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Consumer Information Blog - for 2015-August

Are they your battle buddy – or just unbelievable?

If you serve – or have served – in the military, chances are you feel a pretty tight bond with your brothers- and sisters-in-arms. If you share a common experience with someone, it only makes sense that you trust them, want to associate with them, or even do business with them.

But here’s something to bear in mind: scammers count on your trust in fellow servicemembers – and use it against you. A con artist might have actual service experience or they might be lying about it. Either way, they’re highly skilled at exploiting a military connection to get in good with you. Once they have your trust, they use it to deflect any questions and to throw you off track while they cheat you. It’s known as affinity fraud – when someone uses their membership in a group to scam another member. It could be someone claiming you can trust them because of the shared experience of serving in the military.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Door-to-door sales and the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule

Have you ever been invited to an in-home sales party and felt pressured to buy something? Well, if you regret your purchase, the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule may be able to help. But time is of the essence.

The Rule gives you a 3-day right to cancel a sale made at someone’s home or workplace, or at a seller’s temporary location — like a hotel room, convention center, fairground or restaurant.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC puts germ-free claims in a new light

Salmonella, E. Coli, H1N1, MRSA. Yuck. If you’re looking to kill some germs, there’s no shortage of products out there to help you do the job. But do all of the products work like their ads say they will?

In the case of Angel Sales and Zadro Health Solutions, two companies that claimed their ultraviolet (UV) light devices could kill nearly all viruses and bacteria, the FTC says there wasn’t enough proof.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Spotting elder financial abuse

Financial abuse can be a devastating form of elder abuse. If you're concerned about an older friend or relative, here are some things to consider.

RoboKiller “kills” at DEF CON

For the second year in a row, the FTC traveled to DEF CON, an annual hacker conference, to enlist tech gurus to help fight robocalls. This year, the FTC hosted Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, which challenged contestants to create tools people could use to block and forward robocalls automatically. Forwarded calls go to a honeypot — a data collection system that researchers and investigators can use to study the calls.

Contest winners at DEF CON

Contest Winners Ethan Garr and Bryan Moyles at DEF CON 23

 

Want privacy? Tell us about it!

Did a company share your personal information without your knowledge or consent? The FTC wants to know. And we’ve made it easier for you to report privacy-related complaints.

Stopping unwanted phone calls and text messages

Unwanted phone calls or random text messages seem to come at all hours. They bug you at work, interrupt your dinner, or wake you up when you’re sound asleep. I think we can all agree they’re a real nuisance. Did you know they could also be a scam?

Summertime may be the right time to join a gym

If the dog days of summer have you panting for an indoor workout, you might be thinking of joining a gym. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are a few tips to help you find a club that best fits your needs — and wallet.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Back to school, back to protecting your child’s information

It’s back to school time. That means forms, forms and more forms – the school directory, scholarships, sports teams, scouts, and the list goes on. As you get started, consider these tips for keeping your child’s personal information safe, from pre-school through college.

Weather emergencies: Getting your financial house in order

When it comes to preparing for a weather emergency, a flashlight with fully charged batteries is a must. Know what else can make life after a storm easier? If your financial documents are up-to-date, in one place, and portable. Consider scanning your documents or moving them online so you have a digital record of them, as well. Here’s a basic list of what to gather.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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