Consumer Information Blog

Court tells tech support scammers to pay up

A U.S. District Court recently ordered the operators of several international tech support scams to pay more than $5.1 million for convincing people that their computers were riddled with viruses and then charging for bogus support services.

We’ve written before about tech support scammers. They call and claim to work for well-known companies like Microsoft, Norton or McAfee. They say your computer is infected with malware and then ask for remote access so they can “fix” it. Or they place ads in online search results to trick you into calling them.

computer and phone

Did you get a call from area code (876)?

Ring, ring… you get a call from a number starting with area code (876). They call to say you’ve won the “Mega Millions” Jamaican lottery, and you could even win a car! All you have to do is pay a few thousand bucks in taxes or fees, and the big jackpot is yours. That’s great news, right? Wrong.

Don’t send money to anyone who claims to have a prize for you. Odds are good that it’s a scam. And just so you know, playing a foreign lottery is against federal law.

Image of phone
 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

How to say scram to crammed charges on your mobile bill

If you are budget-conscious, you’re probably great at tracking where your money goes every month. You pore over receipts, take advantage of sales, and even research prices on big-ticket items to save the most. So how often do you review your mobile phone bill for fraudulent charges that could be draining your wallet?

Pension advances come at a very steep price

If you’re retired and trying to make ends meet, here’s a pitch that might catch your interest: “Convert tomorrow’s pension checks into hard cash today.” Sound tempting? Think again.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

New report highlights recommendations to protect consumers from mobile cramming

Chances are you have a mobile phone – according to a Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project survey, almost 90 percent of us do. And like most of us, you may not pore over every line on your monthly phone bill to understand what you are really paying for. Too bad, because mobile cramming –  adding charges to mobile bills that people didn’t authorize or know about – is an illegal practice – and it has become practically epidemic, according to the FTC. 

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Money & Credit

Weight loss double-talk

Many people would give just about anything to eat like a Sumo wrestler, yet have the body of a tennis pro. And, unfortunately, many people have — given their money, that is — for pills and products falsely promising significant weight loss with little or no effort.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Timeshare resellers & quick-money promises

Con artists are adept at selling — or selling you on  — just about anything. When it comes to timeshare resale services, they may claim to have a buyer for your property. Or that they can sell your place quickly and for a good price. But first, you’ll have to pay a hefty fee.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Ticket resellers settle misleading advertising charges

If you’re looking to score tickets for a sporting event, concert, play, or other entertainment event, you might start with the venue that’s hosting the event, right? Well, that’s what some consumers thought they were doing. But looks can be deceiving.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Six things you can do to avoid a mortgage mis-modification

If you’re a homeowner who is struggling to pay the mortgage, a website, phone call or mailer that offers to reduce your mortgage payment by several hundred dollars a month sounds awfully tempting. Unfortunately, it could turn out to be just plain awful.

Today, the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Operation Mortgage Mis-Modification, a group of lawsuits that charged companies with taking hundreds — sometimes thousands — of dollars for loan modifications, and then leaving homeowners worse off.

mortgage statement and calculator

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Stop a debt collector’s empty threats

Calls from debt collectors can add to the stress of having financial problems. When those calls involve harassment, threats and intimidation, the situation can get even worse — especially if you don’t know your rights.

The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers from deceptive, abusive, or unfair debt collection tactics. On June 23, 2014, the FTC filed a joint complaint with the State of New York against National Check Registry for violating the FDCPA by allegedly using outrageous and intimidating methods to get people to pay debts immediately — often debts that were in dispute.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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