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FTC Warns Uber, Amazon, Other Tech Firms on Money-Making Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued notices on over 1,100 companies, saying it will be aggressively targeting them if they pitch any misleading money-making claims, according to a press release.

Many high-profile gig economy companies, including Uber and Lyft, along with multi-level marketing firms like Herbalife, Nu Skin, LulaRoe and Mary Kay, were targeted, according to an FTC list. Amazon was also among the targets, along with DoorDash, Fiverr, Upwork and Instacart.

The FTC said the presence of a recipient on the list doesn’t necessarily mean that company was involved in any kind of illicit conduct, the release stated. Instead, it is just meant as a warning.

“Preying on consumers and workers with bogus promises of big earnings should never be profitable,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in the release. “Today’s announcement helps ensure that companies that cheat struggling Americans will pay a heavy price.”

The FTC can fine companies up to $43,792 per violation if they knowingly break the law about money-making opportunities, according to the release.

Federal laws make it so the companies can’t make false, misleading or deceptive statements about the earnings that can come out of money-making opportunities, including fake statements about how likely it is a participant will profit, the release stated.

In terms of scams on the American public, the FTC said earlier this month that scammers took $27 million in total from Amazon customers between July 2020 and June 2021. There were around 96,000 incidents reported to the FTC.

Read more: Scammers Stole $27M From Amazon Customers

Some of the incidents involved companies pretending to be Amazon — a kind of scam which has increased fivefold in the last year. The 6,000 people reporting an Amazon-related scam lost around $1,000 on average.

People ages 60 and older were four times more likely to report being scammed by an Amazon fraudster and reported losing almost twice as much money as the younger victims: $1,500 versus $814.

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