FTC Takes Action Against Adobe and Two Adobe Executives

FTC Takes Action Against Adobe and Executives for Hiding Fees, Preventing Consumers from Easily Cancelling Software Subscriptions

The Federal Trade Commission reported that it is taking action against software maker Adobe and two of its executives, Maninder Sawhney (“Sawhney”) and David Wadhwani (“Wadhwani”), for deceiving consumers by hiding the early termination fee for its most popular subscription plan and making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions.

A federal court complaint filed by the Department of Justice upon notification and referral from the FTC charges that Adobe pushed consumers toward the “annual paid monthly” subscription without adequately disclosing that cancelling the plan in the first year could cost hundreds of dollars. Wadhwani is the president of Adobe’s digital media business, and Sawhney is an Adobe vice president.

According to the complaint, when consumers purchase a subscription through the company’s website, Adobe pushes consumers to its “annual paid monthly” subscription plan, pre-selecting it as a default. Adobe prominently shows the plan’s “monthly” cost during enrollment, but it buries the early termination fee (“ETF”) and its amount, which is 50 percent of the remaining monthly payments when a consumer cancels in their first year. Adobe’s ETF disclosures are buried on the company’s website in small print or require consumers to hover over small icons to find the disclosures.

For more information, please click here. 

Source: FTC.gov

Have you received an unsolicited “junk” fax on your fax machine?

What is a “Junk” Fax?

Unsolicited advertisements sent to your fax machine are sometimes called “junk faxes.” In most cases, FCC rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and Junk Fax Prevention Act prohibit sending junk faxes.

When are companies allowed to send advertisements to my fax machine?

Businesses may send a fax advertisement to you if you gave them permission.

In all other instances, there must be both an established business relationship between you and the fax sender (based on an inquiry, application, purchase or transaction) and the sender must have obtained your fax number in one of the following ways:

  • Directly from you within the context of the established business relationship – for example, as part of an application, contact information form or membership renewal form.
  • From a directory, advertisement or website to which you voluntarily agreed to make the number available for public distribution, and the sender has taken reasonable steps to verify that you consented to have the number listed.
  • From your own directory, advertisement or website, unless you have noted on such materials that you do
    not accept unsolicited fax advertisements.

Fax advertisements sent as part of an established business relationship must include a notice informing you of your right to avoid future faxes and instructions for making an opt-out request.

A fax sender may not send fax ads based on obtaining your fax number in the ways described above without also having an established business relationship with you.

How do I stop companies from sending me faxes?

If the fax you received includes a notice about opting out of future faxes, follow those instructions.  The opt-out information must include a cost-free way to submit the opt-out request to the sender, such as a toll-free number, local phone number, website address, or email address. These opt-out contact options must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When you send an opt-out request, be sure to identify the telephone number of your fax machine.

Senders must honor opt-out requests within the shortest reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days.

Putting an opt-out notice on a fax ad does not, by itself, make the fax lawful if the sender doesn’t also satisfy the requirements described above.

Have You Been a Victim of Illegal, Unsolicited “Junk” Faxes? 

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be able to bring a private suit against the violator and possibly recover the actual monetary loss that resulted from the TCPA violation, or receive up to $500 in damages for each violation, whichever is greater. Additionally, the court may triple the damages to $1,500 for each violation, if it finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly committed the violation.

To help evaluate your potential legal claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, please contact Michael Yarnoff, Esq., [email protected], [email protected], (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your potential legal rights.

Source: FCC.gov

If you have received an unsolicited "junk" fax on your fax machine, you may have legal claims.

Know the Common Signs of a Scam to Avoid Becoming a Fraud Victim

How to Avoid a Scam – If you recognize some common signs of a scam, you are in a better position to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. 

Some Common Signs of a Scam

Scammers “pretend” to be from an organization you know.

Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company,tech company, or even a charity asking for donations.

They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So the name and number you see might not be real.

Scammers say there is a “problem” or a “prize.”

They might say you’re in trouble with the government, you owe money, someone in your family had an emergency, or that there’s a virus on your computer.

Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information.

Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.

Scammers “pressure” you to act immediately.

Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you cannot check out their story.

They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might also say your computer is about to be corrupted.

Scammers tell you to “pay” in a specific way.

Scammers often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back.

Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.

What You Can Do to Avoid a Scam

Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.

Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you were not expecting. Legitimate organizations will not call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.

If you get an email or text message from a company with which you do business and you think it’s real, it is still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact the company using a trustworthy website or look up the company’s phone number. Do not call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.

Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.

Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. Importantly, never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone, such as a friend, family member or neighbor, about what happened. Talking about it could help you realize that it is a scam.

Reporting Scams to the FTC

Victims of a fraudulent scam can file a report with the FTC by CLICKING HERE. 

Source: FTC.gov

What to do if you get a notice of a data breach. Preventing Identity Theft.

Have you received a data breach notification letter? Did you recently get a notice that says your personal information was exposed or compromised in a data breach? 

Victims of a data breach or other cybersecurity incident should be aware that depending on what information was exposed to unauthorized access during a data breach or hacking incident, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself from identity theft.

What information was identified in the data breach notification letter as lost, exposed or potentially subject to unauthorized access? 

Social Security number

If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.

Get your free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com. Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.

Consider placing a free credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

  • If you place a freeze, be ready to take a few extra steps the next time you apply for a new credit card or cell phone – or any service that requires a credit check.
  • If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.

Online login or password

Log in to that account and change your password. If possible, also change your username.

  • If you can’t log in, contact the company and ask them how you can recover or shut down the account.

If you use the same password anywhere else, change it.

Is it a financial site, or is your credit card number stored? Check your account for any charges that you don’t recognize.

Debit or credit card number

Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.

Review your transactions regularly, and make sure no one misused your card.

  • If you find fraudulent charges, call the fraud department and get them removed.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new card number.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

Bank account information

Contact your bank to close the account and open a new one.

Review your transactions regularly to make sure no one misused your account.

  • If you find fraudulent charges or withdrawals, call the fraud department and get them removed.

If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new bank account information.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com

Driver’s license information

Contact your nearest motor vehicles branch to report a lost or stolen driver’s license. The state might flag your license number in case someone else tries to use it, or they might suggest that you apply for a duplicate.

Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.

Your child’s personal information

Request a free credit freeze for your child. A credit freeze will make it difficult for someone to use your child’s information to open accounts. To place a freeze, follow the specific instructions for each credit bureau:

Generally, children won’t have credit reports, unless someone is using their information for fraud. To find out if your child has a credit report, ask each credit bureau to check its records. Each bureau has specific instructions for these requests:

If a credit bureau has a credit report for your child, the credit bureau will send you a copy of the report. Use the instructions provided with the credit report to remove fraudulent accounts.

Review the FTC’s information on Child Identity Theft.

What can you do if someone is using your information to open new accounts or make unauthorized purchases?

You can report Identity Theft to the FTC by CLICKING HERE. With the information you provide, the FTC can create an FTC Identity Theft Report and a Recovery Plan.

Source: Identitytheft.gov. (Last accessed 04.04.2022).

Have You Been Harmed As A Result Of A Data Breach Which Has Exposed Your Private Personal, Protected Health Or Personally Identifiable Information?

If you have experienced actual or attempted harm or been the victim of fraud due to the illegal or unauthorized exposure of your private personal, protected health or personally identifiable information, please contact Kehoe Law Firm, P.C., [email protected], for a free, confidential consultation and no-obligation evaluation of potential legal claims.