Consumer Information Blog

How not to pay a telemarketer

You get a call from a telemarketer selling a fancy new product, and after talking, you decide you want to buy it. That’s when he asks you to wire money for payment, specifying cash pickup. Do you do it?

The answer: No way. Don’t send the money. If you wire money, you can’t get it back. And, thanks to recent changes to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule — aka the TSR — it’s just plain illegal.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

A sensitive subject

If you have a friend or family member dealing with opiate addiction or dependence, you know it’s a sensitive subject. And you want to be supportive if your loved one is trying to overcome addiction to heroin or another opiate.

You may have seen various opiate withdrawal or detox supplements on the market — made with vitamins, minerals, and herbs — that promise fast and easy results and a path to becoming drug-free. But before you recommend them to a loved one, you should know that dietary supplements and herbal remedies have not been proven to work for successful opiate withdrawal.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Have you taken a dietary supplement? Read this.

There are lots of reasons you might take a dietary supplement — to feel healthy, to feel younger, to manage pain, or just to get more nutrients. But while some supplements have proven benefits, some may not work the way their ads claim, and others might be downright dangerous for your health. Yes, even the ones that claim to be “all-natural.”

Today, the FTC along with other federal agencies announced a joint sweep of actions against companies that have misled people about the safety, effectiveness, or contents of their dietary supplements. Specifically, the FTC brought cases against marketers who didn’t have scientific proof that their supplements worked.

dietary supplements image

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Secret Sister Gift Exchange – Don’t pay or yule be sorry

Have you already decked your halls in lights, timed to blink to the strains of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Even if you haven’t reached that level of early enthusiasm, the holiday spirit is starting to spread already. If you spend any time on social media, you may have seen posts about the Secret Sister Gift Exchange.

SSGE encourages you to mail a gift worth $10 dollars to a stranger at the top of the list. Supposedly, in return, you’ll get a pile of presents from other participants. SSGE and come-ons like it encourage you to hop on board an enticing cash- or gift-giving experience. Sounds like a good time, right? Sorry, Blitzen, stop that sleigh!

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Clicking for support could cost you

The next time you get a message offering to fix a supposed problem with your computer, you might keep this in mind: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because there’s a good chance that call is a tech support scam.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

FTC, VA protecting veterans from deceitful schools

Are you a veteran going back to school for a degree or professional certificate? We’ve taken time this week to thank and honor you and other veterans for your service, but we also want to help. That’s where you come in — we need to hear from you.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

House alarms can’t stop scammers

We moved into our house and immediately installed an alarm system to keep us safe from the bad guys. But even the best house alarms can’t stop everything – like a scammer walking through your front door.

Veterans: Don’t let scammers bilk your benefits

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation had more than 9.3 million veterans aged 65 and older in 2013. For most of us, Veterans Day means a time to thank all our former servicemembers. But it’s a sad truth that scammers operate out of greed, not gratitude. Not-so-honest people target older veterans and their families to cheat them out of their hard-earned benefits.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Another abusive debt collector bites the dust

As part of the FTC and New York Attorney General’s crackdown on abusive debt collectors, an operation doing business under several names, including National Check Registry, has agreed to settle charges that it allegedly used a slew of abusive and deceptive tactics to pressure people into making payments on questionable debts.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Medicare ‘Open Enrollment’ scams

The 2015 Medicare open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. It’s the time when Medicare recipients can comparison shop and make changes to their plans. It’s also a time when scammers take advantage of older consumers with ruses like these.

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