Privacy & Identity

Package delivery scam — delivered to your inbox

Expecting packages shipped to your home this holiday season? You’re not the only one… scammers are, too.

Image of computer

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Privacy & Identity

How do scammers in your community connect with you?

Do you trust me because I speak Spanish? That sounds like a strange question, but in some communities – and in some situations – it could be enough for someone to trust a stranger.

At the Fraud Affects Every Community workshop recently held at FTC headquarters, we heard from panelists living and working in diverse communities about ways scammers are using language, shared customs, relationships and community practices to steal people’s money.

Protecting your sensitive health information

Books closed, it’s time for a health privacy pop quiz. What online medical billing company did the FTC allege deceived consumers in an attempt to get their sensitive health information from pharmacies, health insurance companies, and medical labs?

A. Trapper John, M.D.

B. Doogie Howser, M.D.

C. House, M.D.

D. PaymentsMD

What to know about webcam hackers

Have you seen news reports about foreign websites showing live feeds from unsecured wireless cameras — like nanny cams, baby monitors, and security cameras — in the U.S. and around the world? It’s creepy stuff, but there are steps you can take to protect your camera from prying eyes.

IP camera

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Privacy & Identity

FTC cracks down on tech support scams

“Your computer is damaged ... we’ll help you fix it.” It’s the latest twist on tech support scams: Scammers sell software online that claims to increase your computer’s performance. They lure you to their websites with pop-up ads or web searches. Then, they tell you to call a phone number to activate or register the software. On the phone, they ask for remote access to your computer and then tell you that your computer has many errors that need to be fixed immediately.

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Privacy & Identity

Privacy program didn’t deliver annual check-ups

One way to judge a website’s privacy practices is to see if has been certified by an independent organization. Privacy seals and certifications are useful because it is difficult for regular computer users to verify how sites use their information.

Today, the FTC announced a settlement with TRUSTe, which advertises itself as “the #1 privacy brand.” The FTC alleged TRUSTe misled consumers when the company claimed it did an annual compliance checks on all sites that earned its “TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seals,” although it didn’t check more than 1,000 times over a six-year stretch

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Privacy & Identity

Open season for identity thieves

It’s open season for everyone who wants to switch health coverage. As you select your health insurance plan, watch out for scams. Whether you are on Medicare, selecting a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, here are some tips to help you more safely navigate the open enrollment season.

That settles it! FTC and Florida AG shut down robocaller

Earlier this year, I told you that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General (AG) acted to temporarily halt an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality.

I’m now pleased to report that a settlement obtained by the FTC and the Florida AG has permanently shut down the operation. In addition, the defendants are banned from making robocalls and participating in other telemarketing activities.

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Privacy & Identity

Free pizza? Nope — just free malware

It’s Pizza Hut’s 55th anniversary, the email says, and you can join in the celebration by getting a free pizza at any of its restaurants. Just click on the “Get Free Pizza Coupon” button.

Don’t do it. There’s no free pizza. Clicking on the coupon will just install malware on your computer.

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Privacy & Identity

Virtual dating left these people with actual disappointment

Okay, so you had some reservations, but you finally decide to try this online dating thing. Your cousin met the love of her life online, so it’s worth a try right? You find a site that offers free membership so you can browse for possible dates without paying up front.

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