Don’t Fall for This Scam Promising Free TV Service

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Unhappy man watching TV
Syda Productions /

Frugal folks love the thought of free TV service. And you can still pull in over-the-air signals and enjoy them for only the price of a TV and some electricity.

But before you can access free over-the-air networks, you need to pay for one more thing — an indoor antenna.

Unfortunately, some shady sellers make false promises about what these antennas can deliver, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Recently, the FTC sued a company for allegedly lying about the company’s antennas and signal amplifiers, and what they can achieve. The FTC says the company’s ads promised that consumers who bought the company’s equipment could bring in premium channels associated with cable, satellite or online content services.

However, that is not true. Such antennas can deliver high-definition versions of local broadcasts, but they cannot bring in cable TV stations. The company’s products were sold under four brand names:

  • TV Scout
  • SkyWire
  • SkyLink
  • Tilt TV

The FTC also says that the company in question ran ads made to look like “news reports” and that some consumer endorsements in the ads were made up.

To avoid being disappointed by similar promises from other disreputable companies, the FTC recommends you check out antenna-shopping tips at the FTC website.

There, you will learn how to:

  • Scan for digital channels.
  • Choose the right antenna for your conditions.
  • Improve reception.

The FTC also warns you not to trust the endorsement of any company unless you know the reputation of the source. Think about where the information is posted and make sure you check the claims against at least one other source.

Finally, if you think you have stumbled upon a scam, report it at the FTC’s website.

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