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January, 2007

Senior News from January, 2007

Stop the Solicitation

Most people agree that telemarketing calls, junk mail, spam email, and other forms of solicitation are annoying.  But they also pry into your personal life by attempting to uncover personal information, and that can be downright dangerous, especially to older Americans who are often targeted.  Many solicitors will even admit that even they do not know what becomes of the information they collect.  Often, it is sold to other companies.  Occasionally, it is stolen and used to commit fraud or identity theft.

 

These troubling privacy issues have led to the popularity of the Federal Trade Commission’s Do-Not-Call Registry.  Consumers can add themselves to this list to be removed from most telemarketing lists.  But there are additional steps that people can take in order to protect personal information and to limit the number of solicitations received.  The New York Times printed a very helpful article highlighting tips and resources to help consumers keep their names off solicitors’ lists, and keep private information to themselves.  These tips will help senior citizens reduce the inquiries they receive regarding phone solicitations, junk mail, email, credit card offers, credit freezes, real estate filings, and other opt-outs.  Be sure to make use of this helpful information and share it with the senior citizens in your life.

 

Weight-Loss Companies Fined for False Advertising

This month, marketers of four weight-loss products agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tens of millions of dollars in order to settle allegations that their products' claims were false and unsubstantiated.  The weight-loss products in question had been advertised as “clinically proven” to cause rapid weight loss more effectively than other products, but the FTC determined that none of the products were supported by reliable scientific research.  Subsequently, the companies also agreed to limit their future advertising claims. 

 

The advertising techniques used by marketers of weight-loss products are aimed at a very wide audience, and their tactics can often be deceptive.  Always remember that offers that  seem too good to be true, usually are.  There are no “magic” pills for weight-loss.  “You won’t find weight loss in a bottle of pills that claim it has the latest scientific breakthrough or miracle ingredient,” says FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras.  “Paying for fad science is a good way to lose cash, not pounds.”

 

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