TWITTER Week of April 26, 2021 (see last week)
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Consumer World Original
Once again, we bring you another installment in this series spotlighting certain product labels, advertisements or other offers that are real head-scratchers, humorous, or just too-good-to-be-true.
That is our Mouse Print* story this week.
"Dark Patterns" are sneaky and sometimes illegal practices of website designers and others that trick you into making a purchase. This Thursday, April 29, the Federal Trade Commission is holding an all-day, free online streaming video workshop exploring these tactics and what can be done about them. A direct link to watch it will be provided on the FTC website just before airtime. No preregistration is required. Here is some background about Dark Patterns.
Last week, the United States Supreme Court pulled the rug out from under the Federal Trade Commission by ruling unanimously that the consumer agency was not authorized by Congress to seek monetary remedies like restitution from wrongdoers that they sue.
This New York Times Magazine long-form story [alternate link] tells the tale of telemarketing scammers, and goes to extraordinary lengths to track them down. The story begins with an 80-year-old woman who gets a call promising a refund for a never-ordered software product. Ultimately, she lets the caller access her computer, and it only gets worse from there. The intrepid writer telling the story goes all the way to India to find the people responsible for scams like this. As noted, this is a very long but intriguing story. You can listen to a narrated-version of it below. It runs for 35 minutes.
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See also: Hot Deals