November 2013

Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

Forget the turkey — are you craving some Cyber Monday deals? A little research can help you get the best deal and avoid hassles. Here are some tips to help you save some money and protect your financial information.

Online Shopping Tips Video

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Get Ready for Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Like helping people avoid scams? Then you might like to know that the FTC has named Jan. 13-17 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and will host national events like a webinar and Twitter chat, in English and Spanish, as well as regional events.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week banner

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Get the Facts before Buying a Business Opportunity

Scammers pushing empty promises of wealth from business opportunities never cease to be creative. They come up with ideas that sound so detailed and timely that the deal has to be legit…at least, that's what they want you to think.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Risk-free? Not so much.

What do bogus government grants, business opportunities, and free trial offers have in common? According to the FTC, they were all part of an elaborate scheme that cost consumers more than $275 million dollars. 

Free Trial Offers Video Still

Can’t Fully Pay? Put it on Layaway

Eyeballing that chic dress in the store window, but don’t have enough cash on hand to buy it? Maybe you need that new set of tools, but your checking account is hovering around its minimum? If the store you’re buying from offers a layaway plan, you might consider using it when you don’t have all the money you need to pay for something you’d like to buy.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Additive Adjustment

Use less gas. Save money. Help the environment. Just by adding a little pill to your fuel tank? Not likely.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Preventing Fraud Against Our Forces

The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers. And one group of consumers who can face specific kinds of challenges? Our military community. For many young servicemembers, time in the service is their first full-time job. Military families may move around regularly as they change duty stations.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Double Take

Scammers use a number of clever schemes to trick people into sending them money: they might promise a job, a loan, a scholarship, or a prize. They might even promise to recover money lost to a previous scam.

Tripping: Free Travel Offers to Anywhere Could Take You Nowhere Fast

The letter you opened sounds like you’ve lucked out in a big way. It’s an offer for free plane tickets to practically anyplace you want to go. The company — whose name appears to be that of a well-known airline — urges you to act quickly, or you might miss this “last chance.” They even sent a “voucher” for the tickets.

Seems like all you have to do is call the toll-free number on the letter and you’ll soon be flying off to your desired destination. The offer has a deadline, though, so you’d better call now, right?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The “Internet of Things”

The FTC is gearing up for its “Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World” workshop on November 19, 2013. The goal is to explore issues of consumer privacy and security when it comes to the connectivity of everyday devices. Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the keynoter;

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Getting Your Money Back After a Tech Support Scam

If you’ve ever had a virus on your computer, you know what a nightmare it can be — a slow computer that crashes unexpectedly, your contact lists getting messages that you didn’t send, your online accounts vulnerable to hacking.

Perhaps just as frustrating as a virus infecting your computer? Paying someone to get rid of a virus that isn’t there.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

How to Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has left many people asking how they can help. If you’re looking for a way to give, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, urges you to do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised — and as you intend.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Honor Our Vets

Veterans Day is a special time to honor all those who have served our country. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 22 million veterans live in the U.S. today. And yet, for all the grateful Americans who celebrate these heroes, there are scammers trying to take advantage of veterans and current servicemembers.

The FTC’s Consumer Center has loads of information to help veterans and their families fight back against fraudsters.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

If You’re Considering a Vocational School…

Going to a vocational school, also known as a trade, career or correspondence school, can be an effective way to train for a skilled job as an automotive technician, medical assistant, electronics technician, or any of a number of other positions. Before you commit to a school, though, it’s a good idea to research its training program, its record of placing graduates in jobs, and its fees.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

North of the Border, Up Canada Way

North of the border, it’s Media Literacy Week. This year’s theme is “What’s Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages” – which, of course, is a theme that makes sense in the US, too.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Lend an Ear: Free Webinar for Librarians

Do your library patrons have a variety of backgrounds, cultures, literacy levels, and learning styles? Are they looking for information on managing money, credit & debt, recovering from identity theft, or avoiding fraud? You probably would love to get your hands on helpful information that’s clear, direct, and easy-to-use, right? Then tune in November 13 at 2 pm EST! The Public Library Association and the FTC are teaming up to present a free webinar about reaching out to patrons  who have consumer questions and who need just basic information, plain and simple. Hear how the FTC partnered with the Center for Applied Linguistics to create Consumer.gov and its easy-to-use consumer resources. The site has tip sheets, short  videos, and audio read-alongs to share what someone needs to know and do on important consumer issues.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The jig is up for bogus debt collection and rate reduction operations

The FTC continues to crack down on fake debt collection and credit card interest rate reduction scams. We recently obtained a court order that imposes a $25.3 million judgment against the mastermind of two schemes that bilked consumers out of millions.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

What’s a Healthy Weight Loss Plan?

The most reliable way to lose weight and keep it off? Consume fewer calories and get more exercise.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness