Consumer Information Blog

You Owe Me Money

What if a company called you, demanding you pay for a product they said you ordered? What if they threatened you if you didn’t pay? And what if you never actually ordered that product, never even saw it, and never promised to pay for anything? 

A recently-filed FTC case claims that Instant Response Systems, a Brooklyn-based company, did all that and more.

What’s in Your Paint?

Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes have settled FTC charges that they misled people into thinking the paints they sold didn’t contain VOCs — compounds that can hurt the environment and your health. The companies will stop claiming Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance interior paints contain “zero VOCs.”

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Mortgage Relief That Provides None

The FTC recently settled with two individuals and seven companies that allegedly lied about the mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue services they sold to distressed homeowners.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Bogus Text Message Prize Offers

If you've ever gotten a text message on your cell phone telling you that you've won a free prize, you're not alone. During the past year, the FTC has gotten tens of thousands of complaints about unsolicited text messages.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Variations on a Scheme

We’ve heard reports that a variation on an old scam is making the rounds. It sounds like this:

<Ring, ring>

Unsuspecting person who answers the phone:  Hello?

Scammer who is calling:  Ma’am, I’m calling from the government. We’re about to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act. You’re one of the lucky people to get yours first...

Pressing Questions

On Friday, many of my colleagues will be joining the US Department of Justice’s Civil Consumer Protection Branch at the Second Annual Consumer Protection Summit.

On the agenda for the day are these hot topics...

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Top Complaint to the FTC? ID Theft, Again

When it’s award season in Hollywood, being #1 is what it’s all about. But in other settings, there’s nothing admirable about coming in first. For the fifth consecutive year, identity theft is at the top of the FTC’s list of consumer complaints.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Which HTC Devices Will Get Security Updates?

The FTC and HTC America announced a settlement recently that requires the company to fix security flaws in their smart phones and tablets that put users’ sensitive information at risk. If you’re wondering whether your device was affected, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a new webpage for HTC users that lists affected HTC devices and the status of updates, along with a toll-free number for information (866-449-8358) that is staffed from 8 am to 1 am EST.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Sharing the Real Wealth

When money’s tight, work-at-home opportunities can sound like just the thing to make some extra cash. Unfortunately, many of these “jobs” are rip-offs. Today, the FTC announced that it will mail over 50,000 refund checks to consumers who were scammed by Real Wealth, a company that allegedly peddled bogus work-at-home offers.

 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

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