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Steering clear of vehicle history report scams

The FTC has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car – but first want to see a car history report. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report. The seller then sends it to the supposed buyer but never hears back. Weird, huh? Well, it gets weirder.

FTC takes aim at deceptive stem cell therapy claims

People spend billions of dollars each year on health-related products and treatments that don’t deliver. People who buy them are cheated out of their money, their time, and even their health.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

New materials on cybersecurity for small business

If you own a small business, you know it’s critical to protect your business from cyber threats. Today, the FTC launched new cybersecurity resources for small businesses. What better time to check out these new resources than now – it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and this week’s theme is cybersecurity at work.

The campaign is co-branded with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Scams near you, by the numbers

Every day, people across the country are telling the FTC what happened to them. Maybe they lost money to a scam, lost their identity, or just spotted something that looked fishy and wanted somebody to know. All of that information helps FTC and other law enforcement agencies investigate and bring cases against scammers. And, every year, we roll up all that data and give it back to you in an annual data book. Now, though, you don’t have to wait a year to find out what’s happening.

Scammers demand gift cards

Gift cards are a great way to give a gift. But did you know they are also a scammer’s favorite way to steal money? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, more scammers are demanding payment with a gift card than ever before – a whopping 270 percent increase since 2015.

Gift cards are for gifts, not for payments. If someone calls with urgent news or a convincing story and then pressures you to pay them by buying a gift card, like an iTunes or Google Play card, and then giving them the codes on the back of the card – stop. It’s a scam.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Will background check errors deny you a home?

A background check can determine if you can get credit, a job, or even a place to live. That’s why the law requires businesses that provide these reports have reasonable procedures to ensure the information they collect and share about you is accurate.

Immigration help – watch your step

If you’re looking for immigration help, you might run across what look like government websites – but are actually from companies pretending to be part of the U.S. government. The FTC’s recent settlement  has some lessons on how to protect yourself.  

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Charity scams follow hurricane’s wake

As Hurricane Michael barrels its way toward Florida's Gulf Coast, scammers continue to con people who want to help those affected by past hurricanes. Case in point: The FTC and its state and local partners are getting reports about sham charities following Hurricane Florence’s devastating impact on North and South Carolina.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC sues car dealerships for fake recall notices

A recall notice for your car or truck signals a serious safety defect that you should try to get fixed quickly. According to an FTC lawsuit, a group of auto dealerships counted on people doing just that when they sent fake mailers marked “URGENT RECALL NOTICE” to more than 21,000 vehicle owners, most of whom did not have recalls.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is spooky enough with its ghouls and goblins. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind us how to stay safe and secure from real (and maybe even scarier) threats – malware and scammers.

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