Menu
FTC takes action against alleged Obamacare spammer

FTC takes action against alleged Obamacare spammer

The company sent email messages trying to trick people into signing up for insurance before the deadline, the agency says

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against a website operator that allegedly sent spam intended to trick consumers into signing up for health insurance in advance of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The FTC alleges that Kobeni and its president, Yair Shalev, sent unsolicited email telling consumers they would be violating the health-care law if they did not immediately click a link to enroll in health insurance.

A representative for Kobeni wasn't available for comment. The company's website wasn't accessible Friday afternoon.

Between May and August, the company sent email messages with statements such as, "Today is the deadline to make your election or be in violation of federal law," and effective Aug. 5, "health coverage is required by law," the FTC said Friday.

Under the ACA, often called Obamacare, uninsured U.S. residents have until March 31 to sign up for health insurance or face a tax penalty.

The FTC has asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for a permanent injunction against the defendants.

Links in the email messages allegedly sent by the company led to websites with advertisements for insurance. The websites' operators paid the defendants when consumers clicked links contained in the ads, but insurance companies whose ads appeared on the websites did not authorize the email messages, the FTC said in a press release.

The company violated the FTC Act prohibiting unfair business practices by falsely representing that consumers would violate federal law if they did not select health insurance by the dates that appeared in its email messages, the FTC said.

The defendants also violated the antispam CAN-SPAM Act by not providing consumers who received the spam email messages with a clear and conspicuous notice that they had the right to opt out of receiving future commercial email messages, and by sending commercial email messages that did not include the sender's physical postal address, the agency said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Federal Trade CommissionantispamsecurityKobenihealth carelegislationgovernmentindustry verticalsinternetU.S. District Court for the Southern District of FloridaYair Shalev

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments