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December 2017

Tips for holiday gift returns

If you’re like a lot of people, you got at least one gift this year that you didn’t want or can’t use. Before you head to the store or go online for a refund or exchange, the FTC has a few tips to help things go more smoothly.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2018

Are you looking forward to getting your tax refund in the new year? Tax identity thieves may be looking forward to getting your refund too. That’s why the FTC has designated January 29-February 2, 2018 as Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. Learn to protect yourself from tax identity theft and IRS imposter scams, and what to do if someone you know becomes a victim.

Getting money back into people’s pockets

FTC staff work hard to protect you from scams and deceptive business practices. We sue scammers and shut down their operations. In many cases, we get refunds for people. In fact, between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, FTC cases resulted in more than $6.4 billion in refunds. We just released a report with details on the amount of money businesses paid back after we sued them, as well as the average amounts people received in each case.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

What’s up with the National Do Not Call Registry?

Is your number one of the more than 229 million phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry? Then you might be interested in the FTC’s just-released National Do Not Call Registry Data Book, which gives an overview of the Registry and complaints the FTC received at donotcall.gov from November 2016 through October 2017.

Fraud alert, freeze or lock after Equifax? FAQs

After the Equifax breach, some people are considering placing a fraud alert on their credit file. Others will freeze or lock their credit files to help prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in their name. Here are some FAQs to help you decide what’s best for you.       

DNA test kits: Consider the privacy implications

Companies are advertising at-home DNA test kits that promise intriguing insights into your past (“Where did my forebears come from?”) – and your future (“Do I have the genetic markers for certain medical conditions?”). If you’re thinking about buying a kit for yourself or a family member, the FTC has advice about protecting the privacy of the sensitive information that DNA tests reveal.

National Consumer Protection Week is March 4 – 10, 2018

I know most of us are in the midst of holiday planning, parties and gift wrapping – but don’t forget to mark your calendar for National Consumer Protection Week 2018!

Get rid of unwanted apps

Using your social media account to log into an app or website can be easier than creating a new user name and password. But, after a while, you can collect more apps and become registered on more websites than you really use. This can leave you open to cyberattacks, phishing, and scams.

Looking to buy a car? Four things to keep in mind

Buying a car can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider, including your budget, your needs and preferences, and the inventory available at the time. And you see car ads when searching online, when watching TV, while reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. So how do you know those offers are the real deal?

Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re considering an offer in a car ad:

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Protecting you through international cooperation

It’s a reality of the times we live in—scammers can target people a mile, an ocean, or even several continents away. These kinds of cross-border scams are on the rise, and working with other countries to help protect you is more important than ever.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit