Consumer Information Blog

Scammers are not “friends” to small business owners

Scammers try to contact you in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you too.  Lately we’ve been hearing about scams through Facebook messages directed to small business owners.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Calls asking “Can you hear me now?”

Your phone rings and the caller ID shows a number you don’t know. You answer it anyway and hear, “Can you hear me now?” It’s a pre-recorded robocall – even though it sounds like a real person – and it’s illegal. We’ve heard from hundreds of people who have gotten calls like this.

Emissions modifications for some Volkswagens and Audis

In October 2016, a federal judge ordered Volkswagen to compensate people who own or lease certain Volkswagens or Audis with 2.0-liter TDI-engines. Through September 1, 2018, current owners can apply for a buyback from Volkswagen, and current lessees can apply for lease terminations. Or — if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorizes an approved emission modification (AEM) for their type of car — owners and lessees can have their cars modified and get an AEM payment instead of doing a buyback or lease termination.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don't bank on that check

Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Some invention-promotion firms do nothing for you

Are you ready to patent and market an invention? If so, you may be looking for help – and bogus invention-promotion firms may be looking for you. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a lawsuit against two companies and their owner for running an invention-promotion scam that took thousands of dollars from people and, in many cases, stole their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Scammers even impersonate kidnappers

Imposters will pretend to be anyone to get you to send them money. Recently, reports of virtual child kidnapping imposter scam have resurfaced.

Government imposters want to get to know you

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the FTC want you to know about a scam in which callers posing as federal employees are trying to get or verify personal information. This is a government imposter scam.

“Made in USA” should mean it

As the result of a lawsuit and settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Block Division, Inc., a Texas-based company, has promised to halt its misleading claims that its pulley blocks and equipment were “Made in the USA.” Many parts of the company’s products originated in other countries. In fact, the company’s pulleys used steel plates produced overseas that were pre-stamped “Made in USA” before they were shipped into the United States

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Some online deals charge but don’t deliver

 Lots of people like to shop online. It’s easy and sometimes faster than finding what you want at the local mall. With just a few clicks, your order is processed and your purchase could be on your doorstep the next day. That is, unless you clicked on an ad that was really a scam. Online ads that offer deals on luxury items at low prices can be part of a scheme to take your money and give you nothing in return.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

It’s National Consumer Protection Week 2017

Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week 2017! March signals the start of Spring – a time of reassessment, growth and renewal that brings positive change. It’s also a good time to renew our commitment to helping people in our communities be savvy consumers.

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