BuzzFeed News: How A Massive Facebook Scam Siphoned Millions Of Dollars From Unsuspecting Boomers. “Since 2015, Ads Inc. has made money — lots of it — by executing one of the internet’s most persistent, lucrative, and sophisticated scams: the subscription trap. The subscription trap works by tricking people into buying what they think is a single free trial of a celebrity-endorsed product. Although the customers would receive the product — which in most cases was not made by Ads Inc. itself — in reality, the celebrity has nothing to do with the offer. And in purchasing the free trial, the customer unwittingly commits to a pricey monthly subscription designed to be hard to cancel.” This might explain some of the Facebook account renting as well.
Wall Street Journal: Google Shuts Out Payday Loans With App-Store Ban. “The technology giant recently prohibited apps from offering personal loans with an annual percentage rate of 36% or higher on its Google Play app store. The move inserted the tech giant into a fight over payday loans, which often carry triple-digit interest rates. The shift was implemented in August with an update to Google’s app-development guidelines for the Android operating system, prompting an outcry from payday-lending companies.” This shouldn’t be horribly surprising; Google banned payday lending ads ages ago.
CNN: Facebook’s financial partners in Libra may be getting cold feet. “The coalition Facebook assembled to create a global payments network may be losing some key financial support. Visa, Mastercard and other financial partners who signed on to support Libra are reconsidering their involvement in the network, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.”
Wired: This Clever New Service Auto-Cancels Your Free Trials. “The Free Trial Card is a virtual credit card you can use to sign up for free trials of any service anonymously, instead of using your real credit card. When the free trial period ends, the card automatically declines to be charged, thus ending your free trial.”
ProMarket: Protecting the Independence and Integrity of Research: Introducing the Academic Capture Warning System. “Inappropriate financial donor influence at institutions of higher education appears to be on the rise and risks eroding public trust in academic research. In order to defend academic freedom and institutional independence, we have decided to create a new database to document clear violations of well-accepted norms involving financial donations.” The database will launch in approximately three months, but the creators are looking for feedback (and any material anyone has for the database) now.
Veterinary Practice News: AAVMC releases updated cost comparison tool for future veterinary students. “The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is now making it easier for prospective veterinary students to see how much it really costs to fund a veterinary education. To do that, the association has released an updated version of its Cost Comparison Tool (CCT).”
NBC News: Just how much is $250 billion in tariffs?. “To show the economic stake of each of the $250 billion in items already being taxed, NBC compiled a searchable database of the tariffs along with their import values for 2015-2017. The bigger the dollar amount, the more the U.S. economy spends on these goods.”