Consumer Information Blog

FTC cracks down on tech support scams

“Your computer is damaged ... we’ll help you fix it.” It’s the latest twist on tech support scams: Scammers sell software online that claims to increase your computer’s performance. They lure you to their websites with pop-up ads or web searches. Then, they tell you to call a phone number to activate or register the software. On the phone, they ask for remote access to your computer and then tell you that your computer has many errors that need to be fixed immediately.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

“Free credit scores” from One Technologies came at a price

“Free credit scores” sounds good, right? But what if you signed up for “free credit scores,” then found out you were enrolled in a credit monitoring program that costs $29.95 per month? Not so good. That’s what the FTC says happened with a company called One Technologies, Inc.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Privacy program didn’t deliver annual check-ups

One way to judge a website’s privacy practices is to see if has been certified by an independent organization. Privacy seals and certifications are useful because it is difficult for regular computer users to verify how sites use their information.

Today, the FTC announced a settlement with TRUSTe, which advertises itself as “the #1 privacy brand.” The FTC alleged TRUSTe misled consumers when the company claimed it did an annual compliance checks on all sites that earned its “TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seals,” although it didn’t check more than 1,000 times over a six-year stretch

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Open season for identity thieves

It’s open season for everyone who wants to switch health coverage. As you select your health insurance plan, watch out for scams. Whether you are on Medicare, selecting a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, here are some tips to help you more safely navigate the open enrollment season.

That settles it! FTC and Florida AG shut down robocaller

Earlier this year, I told you that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General (AG) acted to temporarily halt an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality.

I’m now pleased to report that a settlement obtained by the FTC and the Florida AG has permanently shut down the operation. In addition, the defendants are banned from making robocalls and participating in other telemarketing activities.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

A new dog…and scammers’ old tricks

Lots of people feel the urge to cuddle and care for a puppy – especially one that doesn’t have a home and needs all the TLC an animal lover can give. But if you see an online ad for a dog, or any pet, be warned: that pooch’s pic may just be a trick to steal your money.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Debt brokers expose sensitive financial info

Companies have left people’s sensitive personal and financial information in all the wrong places — in dumpsters, on car seats, and even in employees’ backpacks.

Now, the FTC has sued two debt sellers for posting spreadsheets with the sensitive information of more than 70,000 people on a public website, making it — along with information about a debt they might owe — available to anyone who happened on the site.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Veterans: Empowered to fight fraud

Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Despite the nation’s gratitude to these heroes, there are some who would lie to make a buck off them.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Free pizza? Nope — just free malware

It’s Pizza Hut’s 55th anniversary, the email says, and you can join in the celebration by getting a free pizza at any of its restaurants. Just click on the “Get Free Pizza Coupon” button.

Don’t do it. There’s no free pizza. Clicking on the coupon will just install malware on your computer.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

FTC helps teach teachers about financial literacy

The FTC offers free materials to help people understand money issues. So when teachers from across the country meet annually to improve their own financial literacy, and increase their ability to teach personal finance in school, we’re ready to help.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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