Consumer Information Blog

Don’t get taken by a supplies surprise

It’s great getting stuff for a deal or as a free sample. But when a seller says something is cheap or free, then sends you a whopping bill, that’s not so great — and it’s against the law.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Looking to get a high school diploma? Watch out for scams.

There are plenty of good reasons to get your high school diploma as an adult. It can open doors to a new job or promotion, or help you get into college or the military. But before you start looking into your options, make sure you know how to spot a diploma scam.

The FTC has put a stop to two fake high school diploma operations: Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs (CNDLP) and Stepping Stonez Development.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Trust, love, password sharing?

A strong password is a great way to prevent hackers and identity thieves from accessing your accounts. But what if you share it with someone you know?

Many teens and young adults are giving passwords to friends or loved ones as a sign of trust or love. After all, sharing is caring, right? But what might seem like a milestone in a relationship can turn out to be a very harmful decision.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Thousands of consumers downloaded a browser-based game. You'll never guess what happened next.

Thousands of people downloaded a popular 3D browser-based game from the Chrome Web Store. That game, described as a "fast-paced, action-packed free-running castle adventure game," advertised "High Speed Acrobatics," "Awesome Outfits and Skills," and "Insanely Dangerous Worlds." The danger, it turned out, was to consumers’ privacy.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Losing weight loss claims

Every time I hear about a weight-loss case, filled with promises that a pill will let you shed pounds, fat, and inches without dieting and exercise, I think of My Fair Lady’s flower girl, dreaming in the cold night air about eating chocolates beside a warm fire, and singing wistfully, “Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”

The FTC announced the settlement of another weight-loss case today. Spoiler alert – it turns out that the only thing the defendants’ Final Trim and AF Plus capsules were sure to trim were the wallets of consumers, who dropped $16.4 million over just three years buying them.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Here’s what snow days are great for

Snowed in? Here’s a cabin-fever buster – catch up on FTC videos, games, and audio tips! It’s the quickest way to learn how to protect yourself, and your family, from fraud and scams.

Skewed Cupid

Valentine’s Day conjures up images of hearts, flowers and a double-decker box of chocolate, nougat and nuts. But, metaphorically speaking, what happens when that stupendous bouquet of roses you got turns out to be a pile of weeds? Love might cloud our vision, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn a blind eye to consumer pitfalls. If you know what to look for, you can avoid some big missteps. While these are probably the least romantic Valentine sentiments ever, they just might save you some heartbreak down the road.

line drawing

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Oh no, it's that time again!

Put the long winter months to good use by getting your financial house in order for the rest of the year. A great place to start is to review your credit report, which can affect your ability to shop for a car or a home, or even apply for a job. It can also help you spot errors and prevent identity theft.

Lucky for you, we have a short video explaining just how to go about getting your free annual credit report.

Free Credit Report video

Guess what we’ve been up to? Protecting your privacy — and more.

Protecting your privacy is a job we take seriously at the FTC. We’ve already brought hundreds of privacy and data security cases. In total, they affected billions — that’s right, billions — of consumers. There’s more to come, but as we celebrate Data Privacy Day today, we want to share some highlights from our efforts over the past year.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov

Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. It might start with a mysterious credit card charge, a bill you don’t recognize, or a letter from the IRS that says you already got your refund — even though you didn’t.

If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. That’s why today’s announcement from the FTC is a big deal: New features at IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report and recover from identity theft.

Image of IdentityTheft.gov

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

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