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Has anyone been sued or had trouble with the FTC

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by wf blows, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    Anyone want to share any stories of lawsuits or the ftc giving you problems?

    I've been selling on Clickbank for years. I have several products and I'm about to add a ton more in a whole lot of new niches.

    I've never had any problems, but the bigger my business gets and the more money is coming in the more I worry about somebody trying to file a lawsuit. The more you put yourself out there the more chances you have of some nut trying to sue you.

    I don't do anything over the edge, but like most Clickbank products I do use hyped up sales letters and that is what has worked for me.

    I'm just worried that someday somebody's going to try to sue me for fraud or something.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? I've been doing a lot of research and I can't find any cases.
     
  2. giftedwon

    giftedwon Registered Member

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    did you incorporate yourself? that can help protect you. also copyright your material. if you play by the rules you will be fine
     
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  3. blackhatmikey

    blackhatmikey Regular Member

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    wfblows does that stand for white fire blows?
     
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  4. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    I have not incorporated myself. I have been highly considering starting an s-corp for the purpose of protecting my assets, but I've been doing a lot of research and have read that if you get hit up in a fraud case that they will sue your corporation and you as an individual.

    I have huge disclaimers on all of my sites covering the basic stuff, but I still feel like with my products along with 99% of other Clickbank products a lawyer could really rip apart the sales letter and screw you pretty good. All it would take is one loon to go through with a lawsuit and it would be a major headache.
     
  5. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    Yes He-Man/Prince Adam, that is exactly what it stands for.
     
  6. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    I'm worried for getting hit up for product misrepresentation or something along those lines.

    I can't find any cases where this has happened with digital products and I'm just wondering if anyone has ever had to deal with this or even been threatened with a lawsuit.
     
  7. Maireby30

    Maireby30 Newbie

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    I know there were some shady affiliate marketers during the acia berry craze. But I think they got sued because they used oprah winfreys picture.

    If you are really making bank then it might be worth spending the money and talking to a lawyer and having him right up a legal disclaimer.

    I think that the FTC recently passed new laws that if you promote a product through testimonials that are not actual you have to have a disclaimer claiming they are paid actors.
     
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  8. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    Yeah, I knew about the ftc and the Dr Oz/Ophrah stuff. That's about the only thing I can really come up with.
     
  9. dragonlube

    dragonlube Regular Member

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    Im guessing your from the US, if your gonna get sued and charged against, its not gonna happed unless your actually doing fraud so I would check your products.
     
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  10. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    Yes, I am from the US. None of my products are scams and I don't sell any of this magic traffic or make $100,000 a day type of stuff. Playing it too safe would mean taking a major hit to my sales though.

    Considering that there are far more scammy products then mine and i can't find any documentation on lawsuits makes me feel somewhat better.
     
  11. snwbrdstylee

    snwbrdstylee Registered Member

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    Typically you'd lose your merchant account before it got to the point where the FTC got involved so I would worry more about your charge back ratio than the authorities... as far as product misrepresentation goes.

    The Oprah acai stuff was fraudulent because of the billing practices (free trial with a hidden $80 recurring monthly charge) and trademark infringement (saying it was endorsed by Oprah).

    But I have seen companies get busted for tax evasion! So if you weren't reporting the income before and you are looking to expand your product line, I would suggest maybe paying them. Typically once you reach around $xx,xxx per month in revenue you will pop up on their radar.

    So no, I don't think you have anything to worry about!
     
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  12. blackma

    blackma Power Member

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    Depends who comes after you.

    Some companies have fairly aggressive law firms on their payroll.

    Cool story: I remember reading about a case where the legal team of the Napoleon Hill Foundation tried to sue a guy for using the word "success" and "philosophy" in his sales copy. I'm not sure how it ended up but the hounded him relentlessly.
     
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  13. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    I sell all my products through Clickbank. I have average refund rates for Clickbank I believe. I don't do any recurring billing - just one time sales. I also file my taxes correctly every year.

    I'm not too worried, I've been doing this for years and I've never had any customers flip out or anything. I just know the more sales you make the higher the chances are of running into a lawsuit happy person, but if no-one else has had any problems then that makes me feel a little better.
     
  14. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    I'm more concerned with getting sued by the FTC then getting sued by individuals.
     
  15. businessbira

    businessbira Power Member

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    Copypasting what I've read recently:

    1. They will not come after you until you start making a lot of money
    2. FTC only starts an investigation based on certain number of complaints
    3. Before any investigation, the FTC will send you an inquiry form that must be filled out. Never fill this out without the assistance of an attorney. Apparently there are lots of people who do not.

    Bottom line: put out good stuff so people won't complain...
     
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  16. wf blows

    wf blows Newbie

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    Thanks

    I know I should be talking to a lawyer for legal advice. I was just hoping someone here had some personal experience with the ftc and didn't mind talking about it.

    About 7-8 years ago I was selling a certain brand of not so legit designer jeans. I was doing very well for some time then I received a letter from a lawyer demanding all kinds of stuff. I never replied and just quit selling the jeans. I never heard anything about it again. Not long after that I was selling DVD sets, I received a letter from a lawyer about that situation. I ignored it, quit selling DVD sets and never heard anything again.

    Does anyone know if the FTC contacts you and you just avoid and ignore them and you shut down your site will they eventually give up or will they hound you for life? I'm talking about for a site that's making a few thousand a month. Not a multi-million dollar corporation.