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FTC Comes Down Hard on Spammers
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 11 October 2007 11:45
In separate cases, agency slaps complaints on defendants for identity trafficking, bogus product claims

OCTOBER 10, 2007 | 5:02 PM
By Tim Wilson
Site Editor, Dark Reading

In the past two days, the Federal Trade Commission has filed two cases that could make spammers think twice about the lists they use and the claims they make.

Earlier today, the FTC slapped a complaint against, an international group of companies and individuals that has been using email to market Hoodia as a means of weight loss and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) as a method of reversing the aging process. In both cases, the FTC said the claims are unsubstantiated and ordered the company to stop making them.

The case could be a landmark, because it attacks spammers not only on their methods of delivery -- eHealthylife is charged with violations of the CAN-SPAM Act -- but also on the validity of their claims. The case is also the FTC's first use of the U.S. SAFEWEB Act, which was passed last year to help U.S. law enforcement agencies work more closely with foreign agencies to stop international cybercrime and online fraud.

According to the FTC complaint, the defendants falsely claimed that their supposed "Hoodia" products cause weight loss as high as 25 pounds in a month. The defendants also claimed that their HGH products would reverse the aging process by reducing cellulite, improving hearing and vision, causing new hair growth, improving emotional stability, and increasing muscle mass. The FTC charges that the defendants made all of these claims without evidence to support them.... More..... Comment in the Forums

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