Strapped for cash? You might think an online payday loan is a quick and easy way to help stretch your money. But before you enter your bank account or any other personal information on a payday loan website, back away from the keyboard! That online payday loan might be a window to a scam.
Veterans and their families deserve truthful information when choosing how and where to use their military education benefits. Are you getting the straight scoop on what your program will cost, the likelihood of graduating and the chances for getting a job in your field? If you’re not getting the information you need to make an informed decision, the FTC and its agency partners want to know.
Quick. In 2012, what was the number one complaint submitted to the FTC?
You guessed it: Identity theft. And it has been the number one complaint for 13 years straight.
That makes Data Privacy Day the ideal time to think about how you can protect your identity.
Latanya Sweeney, the FTC’s Chief Technologist, recently told us that something as simple as an online resume could be a treasure trove for identity thieves. It turns out that a web search can reveal the names, Social Security numbers, and birthdates of thousands of people because this information appears in many online resumes.
This just in: The revision of the FTC’s free guide, Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online, is hot off the press. The booklet has updated tips for parents, teachers, and other adults to use when talking with kids about online safety and digital citizenship.
Another day, another announcement about a data breach.
As news trickles out about retailers that have been hacked, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. Even if you’re not sure that your accounts have been affected, you can do a few things to protect your accounts, your money, and your credit reputation.
The Federal Trade Commission has sued one of the world’s reputedly biggest spammers and the company it says he used to send thousands of false, alarming and threatening emails disguised as information about the Affordable Care Act.
A dune buggy struggles near the top of a steep sand dune — some optimistic off-roader clearly overestimated what it could do. But wait — a Nissan Frontier suddenly zooms up the hill and powerfully pushes the buggy over. It’s amazing — even the people standing there can’t believe it! No really, they can’t. Because it didn’t really happen, the FTC says.
Is it the right color? Right size? How does it stack up in terms of energy efficiency? Those are some top questions for anyone shopping for a home appliance. EnergyGuide labels, created by the Federal Trade Commission, are one key source of information. They show an appliance’s estimated annual energy use, energy cost and key features.
When you’re caring for a baby, diapers and wipes rank high on the list of essential products. And when a company advertises those products as biodegradable, compostable, or “eco-friendly,” it’s essential that those claims are accurate and truthful. Down to Earth Designs, Inc., which makes gDiapers, has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that the ‘green’ claims it made for its disposable diaper pants, liners and baby wipes were deceptive.
Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
Being a victim of identity theft can be complicated and frustrating. While it may take time to figure out what happened and begin to fix the damage from this crime, there are programs and trained victim service providers available to help you through the process.
Have you ever tried to pay for things with a check and the transaction was declined even though you had money in the bank? It might be because a consumer reporting agency gave the retailer negative information about your credit history – including your checking account history – or indicated that you could be a bad credit risk for other reasons.
Quick: name a way your kids could rack up hundreds of dollars in charges in under 15 minutes without you being the wiser.
One answer: through an app on your iPhone or other Apple device.
Today, the FTC announced that it has reached a settlement with Apple, resolving allegations that the company didn’t get parental consent for many of the charges racked up by their children in kids’ games.
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Have you ever wondered how ID thieves get their victims’ personal and financial information? One way you may not have thought of is dishonest tax preparers. Each year, Treasury agents investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by tax preparers — a group that plays an important part in our nation’s tax system.
A homeowner who’s worried about foreclosure or desperate to refinance might listen to a caller who promises to help. Unfortunately, not all cold-calling telemarketers do what they promise. Enter the Federal Trade Commission’s nearly $3.6 million settlement with Prime Legal Plans.
When identity thieves target taxpayers to obtain improper tax refunds, it causes serious consequences for the victim and for the IRS. The IRS is taking steps to make it more difficult for perpetrators to successfully file falsified returns using others’ personal information (prevention) and to make it more costly if caught doing so (deterrence). But as the voice of the taxpayer, my focus is on IRS’s victim assistance to those who find themselves impacted by identity theft.
The FTC warned people last summer about illegal prerecorded sales calls from scammers pitching safety alert systems for older adults. And now, the FTC and the Florida Attorney General have acted to temporarily halt and freeze the assets of an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality. The FTC and the Florida AG are working to permanently ban the operation from illegally pitching their products and to get refunds for victims.
Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
Tax ID thieves are ready — are you?
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job, and it’s one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. You might find out it’s happened when you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.
When you arrange a funeral, you have many decisions to make. Accurate information makes it easier to sort through your choices. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to give consumers certain information about their goods and services.
Gingerbread…eggnog...champagne. The holiday season is over! After enjoying some end-of-the-year indulgences, you may be thinking about how to reshape your body. What if you just had to slather on some cream to get a slim sculpted shape? Sounds like a dream come true, right?
When it comes to treatments for health conditions, it can be tough to tell useful products from those that don’t work as claimed. Dietary supplements may seem like harmless health boosters. But while some have proven benefits, many don't.
Looking for a product to help you lose weight? Ask some questions before you plunk down any money. For example: “Will I really lose a pound a day if I squirt a few drops of homeopathic hCG weight loss drops under my tongue before I eat?” No, you won’t, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with HCG Diet Direct, LLC, a company that marketed and sold the drops.
By now, you probably know that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is an annual event to highlight free resources from government agencies and consumer advocacy organizations that can help people make smarter buying decisions and spot scams. NCPW 2014 is March 2 – 8.
No, not poltergeists. Scammers. And they want your last penny.
We’ve written before about tech support scams — where a caller claims that your computer has a terrible virus and needs immediate attention. The scammer asks for remote access and then charges you for “fixing” a problem that wasn’t there.
Now, they’re working the phones again, and they claim that if you paid for tech support services, they can get you a refund.