Thursday, June 30, 2016

FTC efforts to stop Fraud

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The Federal Trade Commission highlighted to Congress its multi-faceted approach to protecting older Americans from fraud in testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Testifying on behalf of the Commission, Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices, described the FTC’s law enforcement efforts that have halted scams that included older Americans among their targets, such as imposter scams, computer technical support and health care-related frauds, as well as sweepstakes and prize scams.

The testimony noted that in 2015, consumers age 60 and over primarily complained about government imposter scams, which was one of the FTC’s top complaint categories in 2015. 

According to the testimony, all consumers are potential fraud targets, and except in connection with prize promotion and lottery schemes, seniors are not more affected by fraud than younger consumers. A lot of the scams affecting both seniors and younger Americans involve criminal conduct and are based overseas, so the FTC has worked closely with criminal law enforcement agencies and international authorities. The testimony described how the FTC worked with the U.S. Department of Justice on recent cases involving alleged sweepstakes scammers based in Jamaica and the Netherlands, and has provided training for law enforcers in India where many frauds originate.

In addition, the testimony described the agency’s education and outreach programs that reach tens of millions of people each year through its website, news media, and partner organizations that provide consumer information on the FTC’s behalf. 

The testimony also explained that the FTC has developed an outreach program specifically for active older adults, called Pass It On where consumers can find videos, articles and blogs about scams and how to avoid becoming a victim.

The Commission vote approving the testimony and its inclusion in the formal record was 3-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers

You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FREE Miami-Dade Transit Monthly Bus/Metrorail Pass

 Image result for Miami Dade Metrorail pass
Miami-Dade Transit Department is offering FREE Monthly Bus/Metrorail Passes to Miami-Dade County Residents who qualify.

Qualifications are:

  •        Unemployed
  •        Income up to $17, 822.00 a year.
  •        Must present last year’s W-2 or the last (2) Two (Bi-Weekly) Paycheck stubs or (4) Four Paycheck stubs.
  •        Must present Temporary Aide to Needy Families (TANF) proof, if receiving it.
  •        Must present a valid Florida ID and Social Security card

To receive a FREE Miami-Dade Transit Monthly Bus/Metrorail pass Go To:

Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First Street (111 Bldg.)
Golden Passport Office (Lobby Floor)
Miami, Florida 33128
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Call 3-1-1 for additional Information

Monday, June 27, 2016

FTC: New limits on telemarketers

New limits on telemarketers

Scammers want your money, but they don’t want to get caught taking it. That’s why fraudulent telemarketers ask people to pay with systems that deliver a quick, anonymous cash payout like cash-to-cash transfers or cash reload card PINs. However, it’s now illegalfor telemarketers to ask for payment by:
  • cash-to-cash money transfers — like those from MoneyGram and Western Union
  • PINs from cash reload cards like MoneyPak and Vanilla Reload
The FTC amended the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to ban these practices starting June 13, 2016. If a telemarketer asks you to use one of these payment methods, he’s breaking the law.
The amended Rule also bans telemarketers from calling to ask for your bank account information and using it to create a ‘remotely created check’ that you never see, or sign. If a telemarketer you haven’t done business with calls to ask for your bank account number for any purpose, say ‘No’ and hang up.
You have other protections under the Rule, including:
If you hear from telemarketers who don’t follow the rules, hang up and report them to the FTC.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hollywood just can't sell bad movies anymore

CANNES, France — Will Smith remembers when he was obsessed with winning. "I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win, versus promoting something because I believed it was helpful," he commented on stage at Cannes Lions. It was this era — around the time of "Men in Black" and "Wild Wild West" — that he got caught in the whirlwind of success. "I started to taste global blood. My focus shifted from artistry to winning."

What he discovered (and what Hollywood and marketers everywhere still are) is that the winning-is-the-only-thing strategy doesn't really work anymore.

"Back in the '80s and '90s, you put out a trailer with all the explosions, and it took until Wednesday before people realized your movie was shit," said Smith. In today's rapid-fire social world, however, the response to products, films, and brands is instantaneous: "You're going to know right away if your product is meeting its promises."

Smith thinks this is a good thing. "It's like a new idea that we have to make good movies," he says. For marketing and sales, it means a deeper connection to your audience. "If people don't want it, you're not going to be able to sell it."

Smith made the point by revealing that even his daughter was now immune to his charms. During the international tour for "Whip My Hair" (remember that earworm?), Willow told her dad she was ready to go home — and to make her point, she shaved her head. "[The tour] wasn't what she wanted. There was no sales pitch I could make to her because she didn't want it."

This was something of an epiphany for the actor, who made a mental shift "from product to people." He explained: "It was so explosive in my mind that selling, marketing, creating cannot be about me." The lesson for marketers is clear: If you're not listening to your audience, your promotions will fall on deaf ears. (And to employers: Good luck telling your team to do something they don't believe in just because you've mandated it.)

Smith wasn't the only one to underscore this new reality for the world of advertising. In a panel yesterday on ad blocking, R/GA's Jess Greenwood said the biggest challenge with native advertising is "shifting the mindset away from the idea that you can buy your way into people's lives." Mobile banner ads, for example, are creating what Greenwood calls "an absolute emergency": 66% of users find them useless or annoying. 60% of mobile banner ad clicks are mistakes.

"We're moving from a world where advertising can work on the basis of captive attention to a world where advertising has to capture attention," said Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company. Advertising that doesn't compel consumers won't stand out from the rest of the digital noise. And, even worse, people can shut you out for good: "If we're destroying this one opportunity we have to get good reach," Greenwood warned, "we're in trouble as an industry."

For Will Smith and Mark Thompson, it all comes back to telling a great story. The New York Times is on track to generate $60 million in native advertising revenue this year, and Thompson said success in this burgeoning field requires content that's creative and truly journalistic. For Smith, storytelling is "the universally relatable emotion." It turns out that the "power of the story," which drew him to acting, is also the key to a great brand. 

LikeWill Smith's epiphany: Hollywood just can't sell bad movies anymore

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fraud through the phones...

Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center Blog Updates from the Federal Trade Commission

By Lesley Fair

Spoiler alert: If the villains in a thriller appear to be vanquished with 20 minutes left in the movie, you can bet they’ll make a dramatic reappearance. A case filed by the FTC targets a B2B tactic that small businesses started seeing years ago, but – to quote Poltergeist II – “They’re ba-ack.” And the defendants in the sequel have added what the FTC says is a bogus imposter angle.

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Monday, June 20, 2016

SAVE THE DATE: Nov 13-15, 2016


Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association, Inc., 8228 NW 14th Street, Doral, FL 33126

Friday, June 17, 2016

CAMACOL - Miami Marlins : Domino Tournament, June 25 @ Miami Marlins Stadium

On Saturday, June 25 at 12:00 pm, CAMACOL will be celebrating its 2nd Annual Camacol-Miami Marlins Domino Tournament at the Marlins Park to benefit our Christmas Food Giveaway Program.

   Tickets price is $75 per adults and $50 per kid under 18. And I can assure you that a Ticket Has Never Included So Much!
Ticket includes among other things:

   - Domino Tournament (playing or observing)-
   - Open Bar and appetizers during the Tournament (from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm)
   - The game Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins, seat in the Lexus    Level.
    - All you can eat free from Marlins Concession Stand from 3:00 PM to 7th Inning.      

To attend, please fill the Registration Form:

The 2nd Annual Domino Tournament
2do Torneo Anual de Dominó
June 25, 2016 / Junio 25 del 2016
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.




CITY/CIUDAD                                              ZIP CODE                                  STATE/ESTADO


PHONE:                                                                                      CELL:


Tournament Rules/Reglas del Torneo:

Participants should be at the assigned entrance at Marlins Park no later than 11:45 a.m.

Participants who arrive after the start of the tournament will not be able to play and the cost of the ticket will not be refunded.

Los participantes deberán estar en el lugar indicado del Marlins Park a las 11:45 a.m.

Participantes que lleguen después de comenzado el torneo no podrán jugar y no se devolverá el costo del boleto.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Obama’s Web Rules Upheld ...

... in Win for Google, Loss for AT&T

  • Ruling backs equal access for internet content companies
  • Court decision is a defeat for AT&T, Verizon, Comcast
A federal court upheld net-neutrality regulations designed to ensure an open internet, handing a victory to the Obama administration and a defeat to telephone and cable providers.

The Washington-based U.S. Court of Appeals Tuesday acted after a decade of debate over web access that pitted Silicon Valley against companies that provide internet access to homes and businesses. The court likened internet service providers to utilities, saying they “act as neutral, indiscriminate platforms for transmission of speech.”

The ruling is a triumph for the Federal Communications Commission’s Democratic majority that passed the rules last year. It is a win for Alphabet Inc.’s Google, online video provider Netflix Inc. and others who championed the notion of an open internet where internet service providers are prevented from offering speedier lanes to those willing to pay extra for them.

“The open internet rules are here to stay,” Pantelis Michalopoulos, an attorney who represented Netflix and Dish Network Corp. in the case, said in an e-mail. “There is no doubt who is the winner: the open internet. The gatekeepers may not block or throttle our information. They may not ask information to pay tolls.”

Challengers including AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. said the rule would discourage innovation and investment. AT&T said it would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

‘Unfettered Access’

The three-judge appellate panel heard arguments on Dec. 4. U.S. Circuit judges David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan voted to uphold the FCC. Judge Stephen Williams dissented, saying the FCC ignored market conditions.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who led the agency to a 3-2 Democratic-led vote to pass the rules, said in an e-mailed statement. “It ensures the internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth.”

President Barack Obama backed the rules. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in a Tweet said that, “Today’s decision will help ensure we don’t turn over our democracy to the highest bidder.”

“We have always expected this issue to be decided by the Supreme Court, and we look forward to participating in that appeal,” David McAtee, AT&T’s general counsel, said in an e-mailed statement.

Congressional Options

The wireless industry “will pursue judicial and congressional options to ensure a regulatory framework that provides certainty for consumers, investors and innovators,” Meredith Attwell Baker, president of CTIA, a trade group with members including AT&T and Verizon, said in an e-mailed statement.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, with members including top U.S. cable provider Comcast and Charter Communications Inc., said in a statement it was reviewing the decision.

The decision comes as AT&T, Comcast and T-Mobile US Inc. face regulatory scrutiny for offering customers free data for viewing certain web videos, raising concerns as to whether they’re indeed treating all content equally.

The notion behind the FCC measure, that broadband service providers must treat all content the same, had the support of the Obama administration as well as Twitter Inc., the American Civil Liberties Union and other interest groups.

Telephone Companies

Two years ago, another three-judge panel that included Tatel rejected the FCC’s earlier effort to implement internet traffic rules in a Verizon-filed case, concluding the regulator had tried to treat broadband service providers as common carriers tantamount to telephone companies after having previously classified them as exempt from that designation.

In 2010, a U.S. court ruled federal regulators lacked authority to censure Comcast for interfering with subscribers’ internet traffic.

The FCC in response wrote rules that in 2014 were again rejected for lack of authority.

The agency tried again with the rules passed last year. This time it said broadband service providers, both mobile and fixed, were indeed common carriers that could be regulated under a 1996 telecommunications act, an assertion disputed in court by the challengers’ attorney Peter Keisler.

Defending the measure before the three-member panel was FCC General Counsel Jonathan Sallet.

The revised measures took effect last year.

The case is USTelecom v. FCC, 15-1063, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia (Washington).