Consumer Information Blog

Military Consumer Protection Day 2013

Calling all military families and veterans! Are you looking to protect yourself or your family from fraud, identity theft, and scams? Maybe you’re curious about the best way to use credit, shop for a used car, or maximize your security online. 

Military folks are consumers, too – and critical to the economy. Just ask the 1.4 million men and women on active duty or the 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserve forces. But the unique challenges of military life – frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, and the stresses of deployment – can make military households an attractive target for scam artists. In fact, during 2012 the Federal Trade Commission logged more than 62,000 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and spouses about their experiences in the marketplace.

That led the FTC and its partners to sponsor Military Consumer Protection Day on July 17, 2013. It’s a great day to empower military and veteran communities with information as the first line of defense against consumer fraud.

Vacation Nation

Today the FTC and federal, state, and international law enforcement partners announced 191 recent actions against companies scamming travelers and timeshare property owners. Many of the cases — including the FTC’s — involved timeshare resale scams.

Here’s how the scam plays out:

Timeshare Resale Scams Infographic

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Going on Vacation?

Planning a vacation can be overwhelming. And while there may be options for virtually every budget, there also are lots of pitches made that, frankly, may be a little generous for the situation. Here are some tips to get you started.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Proposed Changes Would Protect Consumers from Deceptive Telemarketing

Consumers may get some added protection from fraudulent telemarketers under some proposed changes to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. Right now, the Rule spells out when telemarketers can call and what they must say. The FTC has proposed changing the Rule to end the use of certain payment methods that fraudulent telemarketers prefer and as a result, increase protection for consumers.

A Guide to Protecting Foster Kids’ Credit

Every year, more than 26,000 kids in the United States age out of foster care. Remember how difficult it was to navigate through the world when you were 18? Now imagine you had to do it with nearly no support system – and with a mountain of debt in your name, thanks to identity theft. But there's a new guide that can help kids - and the people who help them.

Cover of the guide, "Youth and Credit: Protecting the Credit of Youth in Foster Care."

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Visit Us in Vegas at the AARP National Event

Planning to attend AARP’s Life@50+ National Event in Las Vegas next week? We’ll see you there! My colleagues and I will be on hand exhibiting new materials. We’re more than happy to chat with you about how to spot, stop and avoid scams.

Veterans – A Great Asset

While Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to all men and women who died in military service to our nation, every day is an opportunity to thank the veterans we know for their service. Unfortunately, though, not everyone has the best interests of veterans in mind.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Recovering from a Health Care Hustle

The FTC announced today that it will mail more than $700,000 in refunds to people who thought they paid for medical insurance but were sold worthless medical discount plans instead.

Stethoscope and heart monitor

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

How to Make Sure Oklahoma Tornado Victims Benefit From Your Donation

In the wake of the destructive tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday, you may be looking for ways to help, like donating to a charity or fund.

Before you give, just make sure of one thing — that your donations are going to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

“Green Card” Lottery Scams

The results for the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery are now available at dvlottery.state.gov.

That’s good news for people who are hoping to become “lawful permanent residents” in the US (sometimes referred to as “getting a green card”).

But it’s also a good opportunity for scammers to try to confuse hopeful applicants.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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