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That brain-training app was forced to pay $2 million in FTC settlement

That brain-training app was forced to pay $2 million in FTC settlement
PHOTO COURTESY OF LUMINOSITY

If you've played Luminosity's Brain Games & Brain Training, you need to know that you may have been duped into subscribing to it. It's costly, too, at $14.95 a month, or $300 for a lifetime subscription.

If you have played the games just for fun, great. But if you've bought into Luminosity's extensive advertising claims that it can train your brain to be more efficient in performing everyday tasks, or to stave off dementia or Alzheimer's disease, you need to know about a settlement it has made with the Federal Trade Commission.

Luminosity has been fined $2 million by the FTC for deceptive advertising. Those ads appeared on TV networks like Fox News and CNN, and on radio stations. Plus, Luminosity bought hundreds of Google AdWords like "Alzheimer's disease." Meaning, if you searched for that term, and others, an ad for Luminosity would pop up on your screen.

The problem is that Luminosity, owned by Lumos Labs, couldn't back up its claims. The FTC says there's no basis for Luminosity to claim that playing one of its 40 games for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a week, has those benefits.

"Luminosity preyed on consumers' fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. "But Luminosity did not have the science to back up its ads."

Next page: Luminosity's deceptive claims
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