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FTC fines auto dealerships in US, Canada over ‘deceptive ads’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Federal Trade Commission announced the results of Operation Ruse Control, a nationwide crackdown on car dealers who allegedly use deceptive advertising to take advantage of car buyers.

"For most people, buying a car is one of the largest purchases they’ll make," Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said. "Car ads must be truthful, loan terms must be clear, and dealer practices must be honest. That’s why our partners are working together to crack down on deceptive marketing about car sales, leasing and financing."

CBS 6 New spoke with the owner of a local dealership who said he was glad to be part of the investigation, because he did not know he was doing anything wrong.

“What happened here, it was an error, mistake that we didn`t advertise it in the right way and we got fined for it. So we learned from it,” said Sam of Tarabay Motorsport Auto Sales.

The FTC also fined dealerships for additional deceptive practices, including automotive loan application fraud, odometer fraud, deceptive add-on fees and car title loan marketing.

Click here for the complete Operation Ruse Control report.