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January 2013

Robocall Challenge: Your Entries Are In!

Last October, the FTC challenged innovators to create solutions to block those annoying — and illegal — robocalls. We’re happy to announce that we received 744 eligible submissions before the FTC Robocall Challenge closed on January 17, 2013. You can check out a brief description of each entry in the Challenge submission gallery. Way to go, innovators!

 

When Home Insulation Claims Are Full of Hot Air

The FTC has announced that the owner of Energy Conservation Specialists (aka Thermalcool), a home insulation business, will pay up for telling people they could save 40 to 60% on their energy bills with his products — a claim he couldn’t prove — and for exaggerating the insulating power of his products.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Make Data Security Part of Your Routine

Yesterday was Data Privacy Day, and though it’s just one day a year, we hope you’ll make data security part of your regular routine.

 

FTC Commissioner Kicks Off Data Privacy Day

This morning, FTC Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen spoke at a Data Privacy Day event at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Gear up for a Great National Consumer Protection Week!

The 15th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is March 3 - 9. Government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private sector groups from coast to coast have come together here to share information that can help you make smart decisions about a slew of subjects, including privacy protection, money and debt management, and recognizing identity theft, frauds and scams.

Buying Jewelry for Valentine’s Day?

Nothing says “Be My Valentine” more than a box of chocolates, flowers, and a poetic love note.

Unless it’s a heart-thumping piece of jewelry!

If you’re thinking about buying jewelry for your sweetheart, there are a few things to know about platinum, gold and silver, and gemstones, diamonds and pearls.  A little knowledge can help you avoid buyers’ remorse.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Data Privacy Day Is January 28th

Data privacy is so important, there’s a day dedicated to it. The National Cyber Security Alliance is kicking off Data Privacy Day with an event on January 28, 2013, at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. Panelists will explore data stewardship and privacy innovation, as well as the implications for personal information in an on-demand mobile environment.  FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen will keynote the event.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Winter’s here, and boy, does your utility bill show it! If you’ve got a minute, take a listen to some tips from the FTC on how to cut your energy costs. 

Audio Tips

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

FTC to Debt Collectors: Play by the Rules!

If you’re behind in paying your bills, you may be contacted by a debt collector — someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Finding Qualified Help with Immigration

Immigration can be a complicated process. It’s reasonable to want help navigating it. And it’s vital to find qualified help. But it’s equally important to be careful about who helps you. Friends and relatives may offer advice, or a business owner or notario may promise good results for a low fee. Here at the Federal Trade Commission, we hear from people who have gotten bad advice from trusted friends and relatives or who have lost their money to unscrupulous notarios. In the worst cases, they’ve lost their chance to immigrate.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Have You Been Bamboozled?

Bamboo: it’s not just for tiki huts anymore. In fact, because it grows quickly and with little or no pesticide, it has become popular in products that range from flooring to furniture.

But according to recent FTC lawsuits against Amazon.com, Leon Max, Macy’s, and Sears, when it comes to soft textiles, like shirts or sheets, items that are advertised as bamboo are really rayon. What’s worse? Some bamboo wannabes were promoted as environmentally friendly, but manufacturing rayon — even when it’s made from bamboo — is far from a “green” process.
 

Make Computer Security One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

Exercise more. Floss daily. Remember anniversary this year. Something’s missing… computer security! Your list of resolutions isn’t complete until you add “update my security software” and “protect my passwords” to the mix. Don’t worry, it’s not time consuming. Protecting yourself from scammers, hackers, and identity thieves is definitely something you’ll want to do this year.