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September 2013

Paying for a Threat

Imagine this: it’s the hottest day of the year. (Or, since we’re getting into Fall, the coldest.) Someone from your utility company calls to say they’re about to cut off your power. You check the caller ID, and it looks like the right number – at least, it’s in your area code. You know you’ve paid your bill, and you can’t imagine what happened – but you also know you can’t afford to lose power.  So what do you do?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Oh…Is This An Ad?

Do you sometimes find it hard to tell ads from surrounding content when you’re online or using a mobile app? Have you ever wondered whether the article you selected is actually an ad? If your answer is yes, you may be interested in an upcoming FTC workshop.

Do you know how to prepare for a weather emergency? Let the FTC help show you the way

September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to prepare your family, pets, and property for extreme weather situations. The FTC has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from different aspects of a weather emergency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

A Text Twist on Debt Collection

Yet another text message. Who’s this one from? Seriously? A debt collector?

Getting texts from debt collectors might be annoying, but it’s not illegal. What is illegal is an incomplete disclosure and a harassing or deceptive attempt to collect money. For example, it’s against the law for debt collectors to pretend to be attorneys or falsely threaten to sue you, regardless of how they communicate — through texts, through letters, or through phone calls.

Envelope Image

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Common Sense Protections for Your Financial Information

To some scammers, older Americans are an attractive target — over a lifetime of saving, they may have built up a nest egg for retirement or equity in their home. Like Willie Sutton, scammers go where the money is. So banks and other financial institutions play a key role in protecting their customers from abuse and exploitation. Financial institutions are often in the best position to recognize suspicious activity relating to an account.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Protecting Your Wallet

Whether you’re setting out on your own or teaching people about financial issues like making and saving money, using credit, or managing debt, it pays to have some everyday strategies.

Managing your finances takes time and effort—and can raise lots of questions. That’s why we’re hosting a Hispanic Heritage Month Twitter chat in Spanish this Thursday, September 26, at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific. FTC staff will be ready to take your questions –  in Spanish.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

A Healthy Check

With cold and flu season just around the corner, you might be considering ways to boost your immune system. Before you spend any money on a dietary supplement that claims it can prevent or treat the common cold, you might want to read up on two recent FTC cases.

Iovate Product Images

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Heads Up!

Here’s a heads up: we’ve updated our kids’ guide on online safety, and we’re giving away copies… for free! We encourage you to order as many as you’d like. And here’s an idea: share the Heads Up publication with the kids in your life during National Cyber Security Awareness Month coming up in October.

Heads Up Guide

Vexing Texts

Who doesn’t like to get something for free? That’s what scammers are hoping when they send out messages like this:

You've been selected for a free $1000 giftcard!

Enter the code 'FREE' at yourfavestore.com.shop.biz to get it now.

Only 112 left! Text OUT to stop.

But if you do as the text says, you’ll end up at a website that requires you to give up your personal information to claim your “free” gift. Once you’ve shared your information, the site pushes you to sign up for more than a dozen risky trial offers (which aren’t free) to qualify for the supposedly free gift card they promised you.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Empowering Latino Communities

As we kick off Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, we think of all the wonderful contributions Latinos have made throughout U.S. history. From Civil War Admiral David G. Farragut to union leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, baseball’s Roberto Clemente, Nobel Prize winner Severo Ochoa and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the list of Latinos who have empowered the U.S., and all of its communities, is endless.

Ring, Ring! More Robocall Settlements

As part of its ongoing effort to end illegal robocalls, the FTC announced settlements with two more unscrupulous companies that made prerecorded calls to trick consumers into paying for deceptive credit card interest rate reduction plans.

Robocall Audio Tip

After a Weather Emergency: Repair or Replace Appliances?

Deciding whether to repair or replace damaged appliances is an important safety issue. Corrosion of clogged parts can cause a fire, explosion or electrical shock. Consider these factors when you decide to repair or replace your appliances.

Weather Emergencies

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

A False Lens of Security

Thinking of buying an IP camera to keep an eye on your home or business when you’re away? Or maybe you‘ve already set up a security camera that you can access remotely? If so, you’ll want to read today’s news from the FTC.

Security Image

Buying a New Car: But the ad from the dealer said…

Shopping for a new car can be fun and exciting. It also can be stressful, wading through ads and promotions offered by dealers. But a sure fire way to deflate a deal faster than hitting a spike strip on the open highway is to show up at a dealership expecting to pay the advertised price only to be told that’s not the actual price or you’re not eligible for the discounted price.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit