Consumer Information Blog

Donate with honor, not to a sham charity

Would you donate to a charity called Help the Vets? What about if you get a robocall that asks you to donate your car to “Veterans of America?” Unfortunately, just because the word “veterans” is in the name, it doesn’t mean that an organization actually helps veterans. Today, the FTC and its state partners announced that they have taken action against fake charities and other schemes as part of Operation Donate with Honor, a nationwide law enforcement and education initiative to stop veterans-related charity fraud.

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Money & Credit

Avoiding tech support scams

You’re working on your computer when, suddenly, a message pops up on the screen: “Virus detected! Call now for a free security scan and to repair your device.” That’s a tech support scam. Don’t call, text, or email. Legit tech support companies don’t operate that way.

 

FTC looks for revised Used Car Buyers Guides

The FTC’s Used Car Rule says that dealers have to display a Buyers Guide in every used car they have for sale, and give it to buyers after the sale. The FTC recently checked out how dealers are following that rule in 20 cities, visiting 94 dealerships, and inspecting more than 2325 vehicles. Here’s what we found.

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Money & Credit

Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.

While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. It’s a big problem: reports to the FBI about online romance scams tripled between 2012 and 2016, and imposter scams were among the top reports to the Federal Trade Commission for both the general population and the military community.

Student loan debt relief customers: Take 2 steps

Do you have student loans? Did you respond to an ad from Ameritech Financial claiming to offer you debt relief? The FTC has sued Ameritech for deceptive practices and just sent letters about the case to thousands of customers. The court hasn’t ruled, but there are steps you can take now to make sure your payments are going toward your loans. In addition, Ameritech may have changed your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account information. There are steps you can take to protect your financial privacy.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don’t let “FREE” cost you

When a company says you can try its product for free, you might think, why not? Here’s why not: You could end up paying a lot of money for that free trial. Scammers often use free trial offers with undisclosed or buried terms to enroll people in costly membership programs. That’s what happened in the case of Triangle Media Corporation, the FTC alleges.

Scammers create fake emergencies to get your money

Scammers try to trick you into thinking a loved one is in trouble. They call, text, email, or send messages on social media about a supposed emergency with a family member or friend. They ask you to send money immediately. To make their story seem real, they may claim to be an authority figure, like a lawyer or police officer; they may have or guess at facts about your loved one. These imposters may insist that you keep quiet about their demand for money to keep you from checking out their story and identifying them as imposters. But no matter how real or urgent this seems — it’s a scam.

Getting a vacation rental? Watch out for scams.

With July 4th right around the corner, plenty of us are still running around trying to book a last-minute vacation rental. If that’s you, here’s what you need to know: scammers are ready with fake vacation rental ads. Rental scammers try to get your rental booking and take your money. But, when you show up for the vacation, you have no place to stay and your money is gone!

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

FTC sues two more in phantom debt scheme

Have you ever gotten a call about a debt that isn’t yours? That’s known as a phantom debt, and today, the FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office announced that they are suing two players in an alleged phantom debt scam: Hylan Asset Management and Worldwide Processing Group. It’s a complex web of made-up debt, debt sellers, brokers, buyers, and collectors – involving some players the FTC has sued before.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Military Consumer Month 2018: Fight Imposter Scams

July is Military Consumer Month. This year, we’re focusing on fighting imposter scams – where a con artist pretends to be someone you trust, to convince you to send money or personal information. The scam can take many forms: imposters may say they’re calling from the government or from a business with technical support expertise. Other scammers lure unsuspecting victims by posing as legitimate users of online dating sites, or say that there’s an emergency with a friend or family member.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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