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March 2020

60 and over in the time of COVID-19? Read on.

I know, 60-year-olds. You’re not old. In fact, we’ve found that, when people think “old,” they think of someone about 10 years older than they are right now. But, because we’ve been warned about the effects of the Coronavirus on people 60+, listen up. Because scammers follow the headlines and know you might have this on your mind.

Got student loan debt? Read this.

You’ve probably seen ads for companies that can help you lower – or even totally get rid of – your student loan debt. Some of those companies just take your money and do nothing for you.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Socially distancing from COVID-19 robocall scams

Scammers – and scammy companies – are using illegal robocalls to profit from Coronavirus-related fears. Listen to some of the latest scammy robocall pitches, so you can be on the lookout and know how to respond. (Here’s a hint: hang up!)

Thinking critically about Coronavirus news and information

It's dizzying, the amount of information out there about the Coronavirus. You’re dealing with story after story online and through social media, television, radio, and in newspapers and magazines — each with its own take — at all hours of the day and night, from all around the world.

So how can we sort out what’s real and what’s not?

Now more than ever, spot the scams with #FTCScamBingo

During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people are working from home — and maybe even, for the first time in a long time, answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. It might be your colleague’s cell phone…or it might be a robocaller or scammer. So here’s a way you can spot some of those scam calls you might be getting. And it’s a way to spread the word to help protect others in your community.

Sprays and pills that cure it all? Not true.

Marketers try to sell us things like sprays and pills that supposedly cure it all, help us lose weight, get rid of wrinkles, and more. But some marketers make claims about their products without having any proof and may lie about the results people experience after using their products. That’s what the FTC alleges Health Center Inc. and its owner Peggy Pearce, the telemarketers of Rejuvi-Cell, Rejuvi-Sea, and Rejuvi-Stem, did.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

FTC: Coronavirus scams, Part 2

Last month, we alerted you to Coronavirus scams we were seeing at the time. Earlier this month, we sent warning letters to seven sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments. So far, all of the companies have made big changes to their advertising to remove unsupported claims. But scammers don’t take a break. Here’s an update on more scams we’re seeing, and steps you can take to protect yourself, your personal information, and your wallet.

Online security tips for working from home

Teleworking during the Coronavirus outbreak? While working from home can help slow the spread of the virus, it brings new challenges: juggling work while kids are home from school; learning new software and conferencing programs; and managing paper files at home. As you’re getting your work-at-home systems set up, here are some tips for protecting your devices and personal information.

Checks from the government

As the Coronavirus takes a growing toll on people’s pocketbooks, there are reports that the government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to each of us. The details are still being worked out, but there are a few really important things to know, no matter what this looks like.

Look before they ship

You’ve spotted a gotta-have-it item online. You’ve looked into the price, product details, and return information. Ready to click the BUY button? Not so fast. If you don’t pay careful attention to a company’s shipping policies, you could miss the boat. That’s a money-saving tip for all consumers, but especially if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or a U.S. Territory – Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the North Mariana Islands – or send packages to those locations.

$153 million in Western Union refunds

Refund checks worth about $153 million are going out to over 109,000 people who sent money to scammers through Western Union wire transfers. The first refunds are going to people who signed and returned a pre-filled claim form and agreed with the dollar amount stated on the form.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC & FDA: Warnings sent to sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments

Last month, we cautioned you to be on the lookout for scammers taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. Today, we have an update.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Credit repair firm settles with FTC

Your credit score affects whether you can get a loan — and how much you’ll have to pay to borrow money. People with low credit scores often have to pay more. So when a company says they’ll help you pay your way to a higher credit score, you might be tempted to listen. But don’t waste your hard-earned money: effective credit repair takes time and effort.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC: Detox tea claims are hard to swallow

Looking to improve your health or lose a few pounds? Maybe detox teas promoted by celebrities on social media have caught your eye. Before you pay up and down a cup, listen to what the FTC has to say about one purveyor of such potions.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

The FTC goes after several top affiliates of MOBE

Who doesn’t want to earn easy, fast money online, and make six figures a year? That’s what an online business coaching and investment opportunity called “My Online Business Education”, or MOBE, promised. Finding the company behind it didn’t deliver on their claims, the FTC shut them down in 2018. Even with the company shuttered, FTC then went after Affiliates who had promoted MOBE.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

FTC settles pain relief device case for $4 million

If you live with chronic and severe pain, over-the-counter devices that promise powerful, drug-free relief can be tempting, even if they’re costly. But, before you invest in products that promise life-changing results, read about the FTC’s $4 million settlement with the marketers of a device known as Quell.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

What's a money mule scam?

Scammers may try to use you to move stolen money. If you help them, you could be what law enforcement calls a money mule.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Fake offers for secret shopper jobs

Did you get an offer to be a secret shopper for a well-known company? It might come as text, email, or letter inviting you to work on a ‘research project starting soon in your area.’ Those offers are fake check scams.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Welcome to NCPW 2020

Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2020. Today kicks off the 23rd year of one of the FTC’s biggest annual events. Whether you’re new to NCPW or a longtime participant, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to celebrate the local, state and federal consumer protection work being done year-round across the country.