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February 2016

No debt relief for mortgages and student loans

If you feel in over your head with debt, a company’s promise to lower your mortgage or student loan payment might seem like a lifeline. Unfortunately, dishonest companies promising debt relief can make a bad situation worse.

Today the FTC announced it filed charges against Good EBusiness for debt relief schemes that targeted people struggling to pay off mortgages and student loans. People paid thousands of dollars in fees, the FTC alleges, only to find themselves out the money with no relief in sight.

Red-carpet ready videos

Okay. FTC videos may not have a star-studded array of Hollywood actors, but they are entertaining. What’s more, they offer practical, useful, and memorable messages that can save you money, time, and aggravation.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Got an ASUS router at home? Read this.

Many of us don’t think twice about our home wireless router after setting it up. And it might be tempting to rush through the set-up process. Here’s why you should pay close attention while setting up your router, and afterwards.

FTC: Stratford diplomas didn’t deliver

You never got your high school diploma, but realize now is the right time. You find a high school diploma program, work hard studying and taking exams, and finally, get a diploma. Or so you think. When you go to enroll in college, you find out the diploma you got from the program that advertised “real” high school diplomas isn’t accepted. Which means your diploma doesn’t count.

According to the FTC, that’s what happened to people who enrolled in Stratford Career Institute’s online distance education school.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

A year in debt collection

Making a plan is one thing. Sticking to it: quite another. During 2015, the FTC made a plan to address some new and troubling issues in debt collection. Throughout the course of the year, we stuck to that plan – bringing a record number of new cases, banning bad debt collectors, talking with industry, and finding new ways to do outreach.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don’t get taken by a supplies surprise

It’s great getting stuff for a deal or as a free sample. But when a seller says something is cheap or free, then sends you a whopping bill, that’s not so great — and it’s against the law.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Trust, love, password sharing?

A strong password is a great way to prevent hackers and identity thieves from accessing your accounts. But what if you share it with someone you know?

Many teens and young adults are giving passwords to friends or loved ones as a sign of trust or love. After all, sharing is caring, right? But what might seem like a milestone in a relationship can turn out to be a very harmful decision.

Thousands of consumers downloaded a browser-based game. You'll never guess what happened next.

Thousands of people downloaded a popular 3D browser-based game from the Chrome Web Store. That game, described as a "fast-paced, action-packed free-running castle adventure game," advertised "High Speed Acrobatics," "Awesome Outfits and Skills," and "Insanely Dangerous Worlds." The danger, it turned out, was to consumers’ privacy.

Losing weight loss claims

Every time I hear about a weight-loss case, filled with promises that a pill will let you shed pounds, fat, and inches without dieting and exercise, I think of My Fair Lady’s flower girl, dreaming in the cold night air about eating chocolates beside a warm fire, and singing wistfully, “Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”

The FTC announced the settlement of another weight-loss case today. Spoiler alert – it turns out that the only thing the defendants’ Final Trim and AF Plus capsules were sure to trim were the wallets of consumers, who dropped $16.4 million over just three years buying them.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness