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November 2020

This holiday season, help friends and family avoid a scam

When you talk with friends and family over the holidays, you may hear about new puppies, old sports rivalries, and dreams of the next vacation. As you join the conversation, why not share some ideas from the FTC’s Pass it On campaign to protect the people you care about from scams?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Holiday shopping season 2020

The holiday season is upon us and retailers are already preparing for what they hope will be a successful shopping season. Because of COVID-19, it’s likely that we’ll be going online to look for those perfect gifts. With so many deals around and what seem like eternal “Black Friday “ sales, it’s important to keep some online shopping tips in mind.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Veterans and imposter scams

During the past four years, the FTC logged more than 378,000 reports from veterans — and nearly 161,000 were fraud-related. More than 24,000 of those reported a loss (with total losses of $205 million). Veterans had a median loss of $755, compared to active duty servicemembers who reported a median loss of $500 over the same period.

Last call for Economic Impact Payments: Nov. 21 at 3 ET

Have you gotten your Economic Impact Payment yet? If you haven’t, time is running out. You have until November 21 at 3pm Eastern Time to enter your information with the IRS.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Customers wondering: high-interest banking app or highway robbery?

“It’s been almost a month and we still don’t have our money. We’re broke and putting groceries on credit cards . . . .” That’s just one of many customer reviews posted about the mobile banking app offered by Beam Financial Inc. and founder Yinan Du – the defendants in a lawsuit filed today by the Federal Trade Commission.

FTC warns companies to stop peddling fake COVID treatments and cures

Here at the FTC, we’ve seen people pitching COVID treatments like gemstone bead bracelets, water filtration systems, indoor tanning with red light UV therapy, copper water bottles, high dose vitamin C IV drips, juices and supplements, stem cell treatments, ozone therapy, laser light treatments, and more. All of these products and treatments have one thing in common: there is no evidence — as required by law — that they work against the Coronavirus.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Settlement requires Zoom to better secure your personal information

Daily life has changed a lot since the pandemic started. Because face-to-face interactions aren’t possible for so many of us, we’ve turned to videoconferencing for work meetings, school, catching up with our friends, even seeing the doctor. When we rely on technology in these new ways, we share a lot of sensitive personal information. We may not think about it, but companies know they have an obligation to protect that information. The FTC just announced a case against videoconferencing service Zoom about the security of consumers’ information and videoconferences, also known as “Meetings.”

Help veterans avoid scams

On Veterans Day, we celebrate our veterans — more than 18 million strong. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. It’s also a good time to arm yourself with some tips to avoid fraud. We know that scammers follow the headlines, and their schemes evolve to take advantage of the things catching our attention now. Knowing what to look for helps all of us steer clear of a con artist.

Why report fraud?

Scams come in many forms: texts, emails, letters, and lots of calls. Scammers plot schemes from tech support scams to fake check scams to try to knock us off balance just long enough to take advantage. They want to get our money and personal information, like account numbers and our Social Security number. How can we fight back? By sharing your story and reporting what happened to the FTC.

Fake Clorox and Lysol websites try to take people to the cleaners

Scammers follow the headlines. They take advantage of what’s happening in the news to find new ways to get people to part with their money. During the COVID pandemic, cleaning supplies have been in high demand, but often in short supply. Scammers see that as opportunity knocking.

Know your rights during Medicare Open Enrollment

During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which end ends December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can choose the plans that are best for them. It’s good to understand what sellers are — and aren’t — allowed to do, so you’ll be prepared if an insurance agent or representative tries to enroll you in a Medicare plan that isn’t right for you.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Non-filers: Expect a letter about your stimulus check

The IRS announced “National EIP Registration Day,” taking place November 10. That’s when the IRS and partners will do a final push to reach out to people who don’t normally file taxes. They want to be sure they know that they may qualify for a payment and should register at IRS.gov to request their EIP.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit