Consumer Information Blog

The latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers

You know those commercials you see on national TV selling everything from clothing to electronics, even weight-loss products? It’s tempting to call the number on the screen, many of us do. When you place an order, you trust that the company you call will send quality products. But the latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers shows that isn’t always what happens.

A handy consumer resource

How does a fixed rate mortgage compare to a variable rate mortgage?
What can you do about a store that doesn’t honor its refund policy?

What if you have a complaint about an insurance company?

The world can be a tricky place for consumers. It takes time and energy to research companies, compare products, and stay up-to-date on the latest scams. At times, it might feel like a full time job. The 2014 Consumer Action Handbook can help, and it’s now available to order or download for free.

It’s getting hot out there…

It’s plenty warm in much of the country, signaling the official start of the summer. Need some ideas on how to make the price tag linked to hot weather burn a little less? We’ve got some tips for you. 

Image of thermostat

“Green” lumber claims require sturdy support

People often rely on advertising to provide information about products. So regardless of the pitch, it’s critical that the information be accurate.

American Plastic Lumber (APL) advertised its plastic lumber products — including picnic tables, benches and trash cans — as being made almost completely of recycled plastic from items consumers already used, like milk jugs or detergent bottles. According to the FTC’s settlement with APL, the company’s claims that its lumber was made from plastic that consumers had used were false.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Credit repair operator’s bogus letter writing earns an “F”

RMCN Credit Services, Inc. — one of the nation’s largest credit repair companies — has agreed to settle charges that it lied to credit bureaus about information in people’s credit reports and illegally collected fees before performing any services.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

It’s Game Over for Gameover Zeus

The Department of Justice recently announced a multinational law enforcement effort to disrupt the Gameover Zeus Botnet.

What is it and why care about it? Gameover Zeus is malware designed to steal banking and other credentials from home and business computers.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Weight loss: Fact vs. Fiction

Thinking about squeezing into that itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini — or baring your bod in that form-fitting suit? It’s beach season, and those quick weight loss products might seem appealing. You’ve probably seen the ads for pills, powders, patches, belts, and creams promising to melt the pounds away without any diet or exercise. But do those products really work?

Learn how to tell fact from fiction when it comes to weight loss products. Play the FTC’s new Weight Loss Challenge game, and have fun getting the skinny on safe and effective weight loss!

Weight loss challenge game

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Whoa there! Watch out for cell phone ‘credit muling’

Scammers have found yet another way to exploit people who need money fast, including cash-strapped college students: Pay them to open wireless contracts that include new smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The scammers target people to act as “credit mules.” That’s when a scammer uses someone else's identity, personal information and credit to get something of value. In this case, it’s a wireless device.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Mortgage ads without credibility: “ZIP. ZERO. NADA.”

If you’re looking for a mortgage, ads for “$0 money down” may be tempting. But if they hide fees or don’t disclose the true terms of the deal, they’re misleading, and they violate the law. In fact, the FTC recently settled charges with a Pennsylvania homebuilder that deceived consumers with ads for low-cost mortgages that hid fees and didn’t disclose vital information about the true cost of the mortgages.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

What’s in a health claim? Should be a healthy dose of proof

Name a common health concern, and there’s probably a dietary supplement that promises a solution. But when advertised promises aren’t backed up with adequate proof, the Federal Trade Commission sees a problem. The makers of the BrainStrong Adult dietary supplement agreed to settle FTC charges of deceptive advertising for making unsupported health claims about BrainStrong with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Pages