Consumer Information Blog

Lessons learned

Getting a professional certification or earning your degree can help move your career to the next level. But some for-profit schools promise a lot more than they can deliver, leaving you on the hook to pay for schooling but not qualified to do the job you paid to train for. To stop those unsupported – and sometimes outright false – promises, the FTC brought charges against Professional Career Development Institute. You may know them as Ashworth College. The FTC announced today that Ashworth settled the FTC’s charges that they misrepresented what their programs could do for students.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Sham charities inflate gift-in-kind numbers to deceive donors

Charities rely on generous donations – cash and gifts-in-kind – to help people in your community, across the country, and around the world. Gifts-in-kind are non-cash donations – things like food, clothing, equipment and medical supplies.

Normally, charities give those gifts directly to people in need, or to other charities for redistribution. But a recent complaint against four sham charities by the FTC and law enforcement partners in every state and the District of Columbia shows that’s not always what happens.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Shutting down a sweepstakes scam that sought out seniors

In the past few years, you’ve heard warnings from us about different scams that offered prizes like money, jewelry, or vacations – all in exchange for a fee. And we’ve heard from you to the tune of more than a quarter of a million complaints about prize and sweepstakes scams in the last three years. Thanks in part to those complaints, today the FTC put a stop to a sweepstakes scam targeting older people.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Can debt collectors message you for money?

It could start with an unexpected text message or email like this:

ALERT! YOUR PAYMENT FOR $$
IS SCHEDULED FOR 6/19/15
CALL XXX-XXX-XXXX

Hold on. The message is a lie. You don’t have payment arrangements with anyone. So who’s messaging you for money?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Did you get a consumer complaint notification from the FTC? It’s a scam.

Thanks to emails and calls from people who sensed something wasn’t right, we’ve heard that an FTC imposter scam we’ve written about before is back.

The email tells you there’s a complaint against your business, and wants you to click on a link. Here’s what one of the scammy emails said:

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Sham charity operators turn the Big C into a Big Con

If you know someone with cancer, you may have considered donating to a cancer-related charity. Many legitimate charities use donations to find treatments and cures. Some support patients and families. But there also are bogus charities that lie, exploit your generosity, and use donations to help their managers, their friends, and their families, not the causes described to donors.4 Sham cancer charities: $187 million in donations

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Wipes in pipes cause clogs and gripes

For most people, plumbing problems rank right up there with root canals on the list of “experiences to avoid.” We’re careful about what we flush. We may rely on ads or product labels for information about what’s safe to put in the system, so it’s important those are accurate. According to the FTC, Nice-Pak Products lacked proof to support its claims that its wipes were safe for sewer and septic systems. Under a proposed settlement, the company can’t say the wipes are safe to flush unless it has new tests proving they are.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Recovering from identity theft is easier with a plan

Hollywood might have you believe that identity theft means a dozen maxed out credit cards, a warrant for your arrest, and a bill for a spa appointment 2,000 miles away. But in real life, identity theft can be sneakier.

It might start with a small credit card charge you don’t recognize. Or a strange new account that shows up on your credit report. Or a letter from the IRS that says you already filed taxes this year. Only you didn’t.

Wash that hype right outta your hair

Most of us know better than to seek the Fountain of Youth, take a sip from it, and expect to reverse the signs of aging. That’s called a myth.

When ads claim a product will permanently remove or prevent the growth of gray hair, but the claim isn’t backed by science, the FTC calls that deception – and we hold companies accountable for it.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Attention Women Over 40: Claims may slim your wallet, not your waist

Weight gain and stubborn belly fat: the bane of many middle-aged women. But what if there were a clinically-proven supplement that could help you lose substantial weight, reduce that pouch, and increase your metabolism? Well, one company claimed that’s just what they were offering. Only one problem, says the FTC: the company doesn’t have the evidence to support its claims.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

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