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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
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The Spread of Online Intellectual Property Infringement Should Worry Payment Providers and Consumers

This week, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition announced the seizure of more than 33,000 domain names distributing counterfeit and pirated items online. The websites marketed and sold items such as counterfeit goods, pirated entertainment, software, electronics, and other bogus products. The operation involved the cooperation of the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center…

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Watch Out for Fraud Through Unauthorized Aggregation

This week, a New Jersey couple and a homeless veteran were arrested and charged with conspiracy and theft by deception for an alleged fraud scheme on the online crowdfunding platform GoFundMe. According to NPR, the three raised $400,000 from more than 14,000 donors based on an allegedly fabricated story of a Good Samaritan. It’s the latest high-profile scam to draw attention to online aggregators and the risks they pose for payment facilitators.

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Are Payment Facilitators Unwittingly Complicit in Anti-Semitic Rhetoric?

Last weekend’s shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has prompted many to look at the online space and the degree to which platforms allow hate speech and extremist ideas. Although attention is focused mostly on social media outlets used by the shooter — including Gab and Twitter — what role…

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E-cigarettes Remain a Pervasive Problem for Youth

Tobacco use among youth in the US is down, but e-cigarettes still pose the greatest challenge to reducing nicotine consumption among middle and high schoolers. These are the findings of the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey, released this month by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration…

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How Does the Partial Rollback of Dodd-Frank Affect Payment Facilitators and UDAAP?

The US House of Representatives voted this week to repeal parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the 2010 legislation that brought significant changes to financial regulation in the United States after the Great Recession. Because Dodd-Frank led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), payment facilitators and…

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Ghost Guns Pose Reputational Risk for Payment Facilitators

Payment facilitators typically prohibit merchants selling firearms because of card brand rules, and because the complex web of jurisdictional laws in the US makes it difficult to track the legality of weapon purchases. Despite this prohibition, some merchants try to skirt the terms and conditions of payment processors by selling firearms that aren’t technically firearms…

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“Hate/Harm” Content Poses a Reputational Risk for Card Brands and Payment Facilitators

With the gaining momentum of the alt-right movement over the past few years, the US and other Western countries have seen an increase in hate groups and other extremist organizations that frequently operate and organize through the internet. Although the First Amendment of the US Constitution offers broad protections for speech, card brands, payment facilitators, and…

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Illicit IPTV: The Streaming Content May Be Cheap, but the Fines Are Expensive

Would you like instant access to thousands of movies, premium TV channels, and pay-per-view content for a low monthly subscription fee, or even for free? These are two examples of the promises that providers of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) make to consumers to entice them to purchase their products. However, merchants who offer unauthorized IPTV…

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Acquirers and Consumers Should be Wary of Debt Settlement Services

  US household debt hit an all-time high in 2017, driven in part by an increase in credit card balances and an uptick in serious delinquencies, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data. That means more desperate consumers looking for relief. Debt settlement companies pitch their services as a…

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Mugshots: US States That Prohibit Websites From Charging a Fee to Remove Arrest Photos

Over the past decade, dozens of for-profit websites have been created for the purpose of publishing arrest records, including booking photographs — more commonly known as “mugshots.” Many of these websites make money by charging the arrestee a fee to remove the image. Is this legal? The short answer is: it depends on the state.…

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