Consumer Information Blog

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. 

Blog Topics: 
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

A contest to combat robocalls

“Rachel from Cardholder Services” is one of the most notorious — and most annoying — robocallers ever. Advances in technology have made it cheap and easy for Rachel and her buddies to send out thousands of calls every minute — and to spoof caller ID information, hiding their true location and identity. It’s the perfect environment for telephone spam.

Because technology is the crux of the problem, the FTC is tapping one of the world’s largest hacking conferences for some high-caliber technical support. The FTC is sponsoring a contest at DEF CON 22 in Las Vegas, Aug. 7-10, to inspire innovative tech solutions in the fight against illegal robocalls.

Zapping Rachel from Cardholder Services

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Promises here today, gone tomorrow

We’ve all probably seen ads online, on TV, and in newpapers: “Job placement – Guaranteed!” “Interview Today. Start Tomorrow.” When we’re out of work, an ad promising a job starts to look really good. But what happens if we follow through with a click or a call? Do we get that "guaranteed" job?

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

The business directory scam strikes again

You work at a small business, nonprofit, church or local government agency, and you get a call:  Someone wants you to confirm your contact information for a directory. Sure, no problem.   

But there is a problem:  Soon, you’re opening an invoice for hundreds of dollars for a listing in an online business directory — something you never asked for or wanted.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

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