Assistant Director, Division of Privacy & Identity Protection, FTC
To some scammers, older Americans are an attractive target — over a lifetime of saving, they may have built up a nest egg for retirement or equity in their home. Like Willie Sutton, scammers go where the money is. So banks and other financial institutions play a key role in protecting their customers from abuse and exploitation. Financial institutions are often in the best position to recognize suspicious activity relating to an account.
Here’s a heads up: we’ve updated our kids’ guide on online safety, and we’re giving away copies… for free! We encourage you to order as many as you’d like. And here’s an idea: share the Heads Up publication with the kids in your life during National Cyber Security Awareness Month coming up in October.
Who doesn’t like to get something for free? That’s what scammers are hoping when they send out messages like this:
You've been selected for a free $1000 giftcard!
Enter the code 'FREE' at yourfavestore.com.shop.biz to get it now.
Only 112 left! Text OUT to stop.
But if you do as the text says, you’ll end up at a website that requires you to give up your personal information to claim your “free” gift. Once you’ve shared your information, the site pushes you to sign up for more than a dozen risky trial offers (which aren’t free) to qualify for the supposedly free gift card they promised you.
As we kick off Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, we think of all the wonderful contributions Latinos have made throughout U.S. history. From Civil War Admiral David G. Farragut to union leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, baseball’s Roberto Clemente, Nobel Prize winner Severo Ochoa and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the list of Latinos who have empowered the U.S., and all of its communities, is endless.
As part of its ongoing effort to end illegal robocalls, the FTC announced settlements with two more unscrupulous companies that made prerecorded calls to trick consumers into paying for deceptive credit card interest rate reduction plans.
As you recover from a weather emergency, you will need to share personal information to get relief benefits or replacement identification documents from government agencies and organizations: Be cautious. Identity thieves may pose as government officials or representatives for government agencies. Ask for identification, and when possible, initiate contact yourself using information posted on official websites or in official information dissemination areas.
Thinking of buying an IP camera to keep an eye on your home or business when you’re away? Or maybe you‘ve already set up a security camera that you can access remotely? If so, you’ll want to read today’s news from the FTC.
With your kids heading back to school, you might be hoping they spend more time with their noses in a textbook than with their eyes glued to a screen. And since you know they’ll be spending time online — socializing, sharing photos, and downloading apps — take the opportunity to talk about being tech smart as well as book smart!
During the school year, parents are asked to sign many forms. In the wrong hands, the personal information on these forms can be used to commit fraud in your child’s name — to apply for government benefits, open credit card accounts, or apply for a loan.
When children are victims of identity theft, the crime may go undetected for years — or at least until your child is old enough to apply for a job or a loan, or rent an apartment. But there are laws that help safeguard your family’s personal information.