October 2016

FTC sues phone scammers who promised free money

The FTC says that Phoenix-based telemarketers bilked consumers out of millions with fake promises of free grant money and internet business opportunities.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

The FTC fights international scams

If you have a phone, you’ve probably heard from an IRS imposter — someone claiming you owe thousands of dollars and better pay up immediately, or else terrible things will happen. In the last nine months, more than 111,000 of you reported calls like that to the FTC, and dozens wrote blog comments about callers with South Asian accents posing as IRS agents.

Telemarketer talking to worried consumer

FTC examines crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is the use of online platforms to fund a project or cause by raising money from a large number of people. As part of its FinTech series, the FTC will take a closer look at crowdfunding during a half-day forum on October 26.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

VW buybacks and lease terminations to begin

Earlier this year, the FTC sued Volkswagen for falsely claiming that its diesel cars had low levels of harmful emissions. A federal judge has approved the FTC order that requires Volkswagen to provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. The FTC has pointers for people who own or lease a 2009 to 2015 VW TDI Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat or Audi TDI A3.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Kids turning 16? Check their credit report.

Any parent or guardian of a child knows the milestones that come with turning 16 – learning to drive, maybe dating, or thinking about college. But now, there’s one more: checking their credit report.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Alert for Spanish-speaking victims of a mortgage relief scam

Over the summer, we told you about a mortgage relief scam that defrauded homeowners in financial distress. The case especially affected Spanish-speaking homeowners in Southern California. According to the FTC, Brookstone Law and Advantis Law firms convinced homeowners to make an upfront payment to join a mortgage lawsuit against banks and lenders, supposedly to help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgages, or get money from their lenders.

Buying cosmetic contact lenses without a prescription is scary

Halloween is right around the corner. And if you’re looking to top off your costume by wearing cosmetic contact lenses, read on.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Government imposters target commercial truck owners

What’s one kind of scam targeting you and everyone you know? Imposter scams. They happen when scammers pretend to be a person, business, or government agency you trust, then try to convince you to send money. One of their latest targets: people who own tractor-trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles.

Money-making scheme targets older people and veterans

If you’re just getting by, and someone offers you the chance to earn more money through a business opportunity, you might be willing to listen, right?

Unfortunately, those offers often turn out to be just another scam. Today the FTC announced charges against three people and multiple companies behind a telemarketing scheme that targeted older people and veterans, and took millions of dollars from people with promises they would multiply their investment.

Buying a Used Car

Whether you’re 16 or 60, buying a used car can be an exciting experience. But it can also be a big financial commitment, with some industry reports estimating that the average price of a used car is close to $20,000. A new consumer.gov article gives you tips for buying a used car, written in a plain and simple style that cuts to the chase.

row of parked cars

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Phony computer techs shut down

Scammers know people pay attention to warning signs, like the car’s “check engine” light, or railroad crossing gates and weather alerts. So when a fraudster wants to grab your attention, he may disguise his pitch as a warning. At the FTC’s request, a federal court temporarily shut down and froze the assets of an operation that allegedly used phony online warnings about computer security, and deceived people into spending millions of dollars on unnecessary computer technical support services.

Woman on phone talking to scammer

Electronics buyback scam taken offline

It seems like manufacturers are coming out with new smartphones, tablets and other devices at a faster clip year after year. People who upgraded and were looking to get some money back for their old devices may have been tempted by some websites that promised to pay top dollar. As a result of the lawsuit filed by the FTC and the State of Georgia, a federal court just put a stop to one company running several buyback websites because it wasn’t keeping up its end of the bargain.

woman working on a tablet while holding a mobile phone

Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has left the Caribbean and is on its way to the east coast of the U. S. If you live in states along the coast and haven’t begun storm preparations, now’s the time. The FTC has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from the long-term impacts of a weather emergency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

ITT Tech closure — Next steps

Are you a former ITT Tech student trying to plan your next steps? You’re not alone. Thousands of former students have questions about the status of their student loans and the future of their education.

As you consider what to do next, here’s some helpful information from the Department of Education (ED) about two options available to ITT students: getting your federal student loans discharged, or trying to transfer your ITT Tech credits to another school.

Online or on paper, get the latest FTC identity theft info

Looking for information on dealing with identity theft? The FTC has new and revised identity theft publications that reflect features of IdentityTheft.gov that make it easier to report and recover from identity theft.

Here’s what’s hot off the presses:

Beware of supplements promising big relief

You might try to get relief from occasional body aches and pains with an over-the-counter treatment. But for people with severe joint stiffness or mobility restrictions due to arthritis or fibromyalgia, it’s a good idea to get medical advice. According to the FTC, some products that claim to treat those serious conditions don’t live up to the hype. Today the FTC announced a settlement against a company that claimed its "clinically proven" supplement promised "complete and long-lasting relief" from joint pain.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness