Articles Posted in False Ad Claims

AdobeStock_20560702-300x201The Department of Financial Services of New York has launched an investigation into popular tax preparation services including TurboTax, which was developed by Intuit, and H&R Block. According to their investigation, these services may have purposefully hidden free tax programs from qualifying customers using deceptive coding techniques and Google Ad strategies.

A total of four tax preparation software companies received subpoenas for similar alleged offenses at the beginning of this month. Mainly, investigators demanded information regarding the programs that were marketed as ‘free’ for users who earn under $66,000 in yearly income.

News of the scheme came to light as users reported being unable to locate the free services being offered. When users signed on to utilize the tax preparation services they were often automatically directed to more costly programs. According to the investigation, many consumers requested refunds after being directed to the more expensive versions of the service but were lied to about their eligibility in an effort to disqualify them from their desired refund.

Lumos Labs Inc. of San Francisco, the maker of Lumosity, the “brain training” games has agreed to pay $2 million in refunds to settle federal charges that it deceived customers about the cognitive and health benefits of its apps and online products.

The  Federal Trade Commission said that this, marks the highest penalty paid on a growing industry that’s come under scrutiny by scientists and regulators in recent months.

Regulators accused San Francisco-based Lumos Labs of making unfounded claims about what its games could do to delay the symptoms of and protect against conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and to reduce cognitive impairment from stroke and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.