Money & Credit

Data breaches, credit freezes, and identity theft… oh my!

News reports of large-scale data breaches — like this week’s announcement from Home Depot — have prompted some of our readers to ask about a credit freeze. Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you limit access to your credit report, which makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.

Company promised fake FTC refunds

You got a robocall from someone working with the FTC with a message that promised to help you get a refund from the agency. If you ever lost money to a scam, it might have been a tough call to ignore. Turns out ignoring the call would have been the right call because — you guessed it: it was a scam.

A new narrative

As the centenarian agency in the consumer protection world, the FTC knows that changes in the marketplace almost always affect trends in fraud – and that fraudsters follow the headlines. And we listen when the US Census Bureau tells us that more Americans are 65 and older now than at any other time in US history. So we anticipate that fraud targeting older citizens will increase in the next few years.

That’s just one reason the FTC launched a fraud education campaign aimed at active older people, a group with life experience and social networks.

Pass It On image

Can you spot a government imposter?

Your caller ID says “FTC” or “IRS,” and the phone number has the “202” Washington, DC area code. You might even look the number up and see that it’s a real government phone number.

But the person calling isn’t really from the FTC, IRS, or any other agency. It’s a government imposter whose goal is to convince you to send money before you figure out it’s a scam. The big giveaway? They want you to send money.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Debt relief scammers falsely claim government affiliation

What do you get when you mix a fraction of truth and a whole lot of lies? The FTC’s case against scammers who allegedly operated websites that promote a fictitious “Bill Payment Government Assistance Program” — a debt relief program claiming to pay consumers’ bills and repair their credit in exchange for an advance fee.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Order free consumer resources for your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration

The calendar says August: time for TV re-runs, back-to-school sales and the beginning of the futbol season. It’s also time to start planning for Hispanic Heritage Month. The FTC has free resources to help people learn their rights and avoid fraud.

Scamming the families of migrant children

Scammers are contacting the families of children who have recently crossed the border into the U.S. When they call, the scammers:

  • speak Spanish
  • claim to be a charity worker, social worker, or from the government
  • know details about the children and their location, and indicate that the child is about to be released
  • ask for money - for travel or processing costs - to be sent through wire transfer, money order, or a debit from your bank account
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

When is debt collection illegal?

If you’re behind on your bills, you’ll probably get calls from debt collectors. Their job is to get you to pay or make arrangements to pay. But any debt collector who harasses or threatens you is breaking the law. The Federal Trade Commission’s cases against Credit Smart and Regional Adjustment Bureau highlight the facts of life every consumer facing debt collection should know.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Relief from tax relief

The FTC is mailing refund checks totaling more than $16 million to 18,571 people who paid American Tax Relief, a company that claimed it could reduce their tax debts. Under the settlement, the defendants turned over millions of dollars in assets, and are banned from telemarketing and selling debt relief services.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Credit scores: The higher, the better

The World Cup may be over, but it’s still important to know the score…your credit score, that is.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Pages