Pressing Questions

On Friday, many of my colleagues will be joining the US Department of Justice’s Civil Consumer Protection Branch at the Second Annual Consumer Protection Summit.

On the agenda for the day:

  • Money frauds: those scammers who convince people they’ve won the lottery…if only they’ll pay a fee to collect their winnings; and romance scams, where a scammer pretends to be a love interest to extract money from a target.
  • Debt-related scams: the people who break debt collection laws, market phony debt relief programs, and try to collect debts from people who don’t actually owe money.
  • Dietary supplements: the “cure-all” marketing of supplements, which have dubious effectiveness.
  • Tax season scams: the latest on the cost of refund anticipation loans and tax preparation scams, as we’re all sitting down with our 1040s.

These are some of the hot topics here at the FTC (and at the Department of Justice, IRS, US Postal Inspection Service, Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, all of which will be there). We’re working every day to bring cases and enforce the law against these kinds of scammers, and educate consumers to help them avoid these scams.

What are your fraud-related hot topics?  What pressing questions might you ask experts on these topics?

Comments

I just read the process/rules sellers of home based businesses must follow. Can you go back three or less years to try to get your money back because the seller did not follow the process?

would like fine out the credibility of a company call crescent processing company in dallis tx could you plaesae and thank you

I would like to find out more about debt collection companies and their operation methods. For example, what exactly allows them to take over bad debts and how can I verify that they are the actual owner of the debt, if the company that originally held the debt went out of business? Also, I would like to know what their tax obligations are, especially if they are an out of state company. I am being taxed on the amounts being paid to them, and I understand the original company to whom the debt was owed is allowed to claim bad debts as deductions, so what taxes do debt collectors owe on money that they collect? Finally, how can the ftc allow businesses that have nothing to do with selling products or services profit off of consumers 100% or more plus interest for simply buying bad debts for pennies on the dollar, just by taking people to court and hoping they won't show up, so they can get the default judgement and start garnishing wages and such?! That's just so wrong. The public is not adequately informed to protect themselves against these predators.

I have a problem with my local hospital ,I have a big bill with them on my credit report,they never resubmitted my bill to my Insurance company in 2009 and now are ruining my credit. What can I do anout this? Please help me.

You may want to contact your state insurance regulator. USA.gov has contact information for offices in every state. Simply click on your state and then click on "State Insurance Regulator" on the right hand side of the page.

Am I in the wrong for not paying rent, because we found preexisting mold in the apartment? Also our contract is void due to a fire on the premises occurred and the contract clearly stated it was broken in the lease agreement.

Landlord-tenant issues are generally governed by state and local laws. If you want to know more about your rights, contact your local consumer protection office.

The ones I see extremely often are warnings that I will lose my social security benefits if I don't file my form with them. Fortunately, I already know the ropes of scam and don't fall for them but those who do not spend 80% of their time reading may not know. I am bedridden and would be sorely affected if I lost my money to these creeps. My husband fell for one and lost 3 months of my disability as he was not working or collecting unemployment at the time. It was fortunate that we were homeless and had no rent to pay at that time but....

Hello, I have an financial advisor that said that I lost a large amount of money during the years of 2009-2011 in an account where I'd diversified my funds into three different sectors, I have asked the company in charge of the fund how could all three sector fail, and I'd like to see the report. I haven't heard from them just yet , but could this be true and if so wouldn't they give you some sort of tax 1099 stating that your account lost a few 100,000 ?

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