It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, businesses, pets and livestock to ravaging floodwaters. But it’s despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to tug at your heartstrings and appeal to your sense of generosity.
That’s why the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, urges you to be cautious of potential charity scams in connection with the ongoing flooding in Colorado.
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.
You get a call from someone saying she works for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). She seems to know exactly who you are. She might already know your name and address, and might even know what kind of visa you’ve applied for. She says you have to pay a new fee – and, if you don’t wire money immediately, your hopes of immigrating will be lost. She might even threaten you with arrest or deportation.
The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, first warned consumers to be on the lookout for flood-damaged cars in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Almost a year later, news reports indicate that water-damaged cars that endured Hurricane Sandy are being sold by private sellers and showing up on used car lots.
OK, it’s not really Check Your Phone Bill Day. But how about checking your wireless phone bill anyway? Pull it up online, dig out your paper copy, or if you don’t get a detailed bill from your phone company, go ahead and ask for one (we’ll wait).