Consumer Information Blog

Talking Through Identity Theft: A Program for the Blind and Visually Impaired

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 from 2-3 p.m., the Federal Trade Commission will present a webinar for people who are blind or visually impaired. In “Talking Through Identity Theft,” we will discuss the causes of identity theft and how to remedy the crime – focusing on financial, medical, government benefits, and child identity theft. What makes this webinar unique, though, is that we will talk through how people who are blind or visually impaired can get access to educational resources on identity theft. We’ll map out the consumer education resources on the FTC’s website, as well as how to file a complaint. We’ll also talk about our audio files, and how to find them online.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Everything Is Illuminated

Earlier this week, more than 50 legal services practitioners joined together with staff from the FTC, USCIS, DOJ, the CFTC, the CFPB, and the SEC to talk about scams against the immigrant community – present and future.

The results of the half-day forum were illuminating for all of us. We found out about all sorts of creative scams targeting immigrants – more about that in a minute. But, just as important, we heard about the hard work and creative solutions that advocates are undertaking to help protect immigrant communities.

Robocall Scams Push Medical Alert Systems

 The latest in unwelcome, illegal, prerecorded sales calls are from scammers pitching a safety alert system for older adults.

The callers spoof a phone number so it looks like a local call on caller ID. If you pick up, you’ll hear a message saying you’re eligible for an alert system, or system upgrade, or that someone bought a system for you. The message asks you to “press one” on your phone to talk to a live operator, who will quickly ask for a bank account, credit card, or Medicare number, and maybe an address, to “expedite shipping and handling.”

Shining a Light on the Consumer Debt Industry

Today, Reilly Dolan, Acting Associate Director, Division of Financial Practices, FTC, testified before the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection about debt collection.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Your First Line of Defense

We’re all consumers and information is the first line of defense in the marketplace. Everyone can benefit from amping up their consumer know-how and getting the inside skinny on avoiding scams. That’s true for servicemembers, veterans, and their families, too. And that’s the spirit behind Military Consumer Protection Day, July 17. The FTC, the Department of Defense, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Military Saves have teamed up for this first ever MCPD to kick off a year-round campaign to empower the military and veteran communities.

MCPD

Pest Control

We’re no fans of creepy little blood-suckers like bed bugs and head lice. We’re also not keen on pest control marketers who say their products prevent or treat these infestations, but can’t back up their claims.

Visit Us at the NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans

Crescent City or The Big Easy? “Nawlins” or just New Orleans? However you call this beautiful city, my colleagues and I will be there later this week at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference handing out bilingual materials and chatting with people about being a smart and safe consumer.

A-partment Hunting We Will Go

Apartment hunting for the perfect place to live? As you scan rental ads in newspapers, or on websites or listservs, remember that some ads may not be legit.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

World’s Largest Debt Collector Pays the Price for Harassing Consumers

If you’re behind in paying your bills, or a creditor’s records mistakenly show that you are, a debt collector may contact you. You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors. They can't use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices to collect from you. That includes making harassing phone calls. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, that’s just what the world’s largest debt collection operation did.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Can We Talk?

Identity theft is an unfortunate fact of modern life. Do you know what to do if your identity is stolen? How can you make identity protection part of your routine? Get answers to these and other identity theft questions during our Twitter Chat July 10 at 2 pm (EDT). FTC staff will host a one-hour session with our partners at DoD’s Military One Source and Military Saves.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

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