Consumer Information Blog

FTC report examines data brokers

In today’s economy, Big Data is big business. And data brokers — companies that collect consumers’ personal information and resell or share that information with others — play a key role.

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released a study of nine data brokers. These data brokers collect personal information about consumers from a wide range of sources — including public records, loyalty cards, websites and social media — and provide information for a wide range of purposes — including verifying someone’s identity, marketing products and detecting fraud.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Be prepared. Stay safe: National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014

May 25 – 31, 2014 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week — a good time to prepare your family, pets, and property for extreme weather situations. Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The FTC has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from different aspects of a weather emergency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Want to fight back against cross-border fraud?

Of course, you know the FTC is the nation’s consumer protection agency. Did you know that we also work with our international partners to collect complaints and protect consumers around the world?

Today, FTC staff are meeting in Panama City with members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network.

econsumer logo

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Once more into the breach: What eBay users need to know

As news about the eBay hack hits the media, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. First, change your eBay password. When you create your new password, keep these tips in mind.

If you used your eBay ID or password for other accounts, change them, too. Hackers sometimes try stolen IDs and passwords on different websites to gain control of other accounts. 

Don’t confirm or provide personal information in response to an email or text, and don’t click on links in unexpected messages.

Tell us about it

Job scams. Affinity fraud. Bogus – and dangerous – dietary supplements. Notario fraud. Government imposter scams. These are just a few of the issues facing consumers in California’s immigrant community – and they’re the same issues the FTC is seeing nationwide. We knew from our last Fraud Survey that many consumer scams impact Latinos and African-Americans disproportionately. What our data did not tell us is how immigrants fare, so we went straight to the source to try learn about the marketplace in immigrant communities.

Be on the lookout for timeshare resale phonies

The FTC and state consumer protection agencies have shut down dishonest timeshare resellers for bilking timeshare owners out of millions of dollars. If you’re selling a timeshare, listen carefully for the promise of lots of money quickly and a request for an upfront fee. Those are two key signs of timeshare resale scam — and someone you don’t want to do business with.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

The telltale signs of a pyramid scheme

What’s the difference between a multilevel marketing program and a pyramid scheme? Pyramid schemes are illegal.

If the money you earn is based on your sales to the public, the company may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. Here are some signs that the company is operating a pyramid scheme.

Photo of pyramid
 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Lights out for fake utility bill collectors

The caller sounds convincing: If you don’t pay your utility bills immediately, your gas, electricity or water will be shut off. They ask you to pay using a specific — and unusual — method.

Be warned: The call probably is a trick to steal your money.

Snap. Chat. Delete?

Come on, admit it: Ever since you saw Mission: Impossible, you’ve wished you could send messages that self-destruct. Then Snapchat came along, and suddenly the impossible seemed easy. Adding a twist to photo- and video-sharing, Snapchat allows users to snap a picture, send it to a friend, and choose how long it lasts, from 1 to 10 seconds after it has been viewed. Then, poof. It disappears. Or does it?

Find Friends

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Read the truth behind deceptive mortgage ads

Getting a low interest rate on your mortgage can make a big difference in your household finances, and the internet can be a good way to compare the rates offered by various lenders. The FTC’s case against GoLoansOnline.com shows the value of shopping around and checking multiple sources of information.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

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