It’s fine to play “let’s pretend” when you’re young; you can be an astronaut today and an inventor tomorrow. But grown-ups who pretend to be debt collectors and lie to get peoples’ money are headed for trouble. At the request of the FTC and the Illinois Attorney General, a federal court has shut down a network of businesses and operators that falsely claimed to be debt collectors collecting real payday loan debts.
Last May, we told you that the FTC, along with all 50 states and the District of Columbia, announced a complaint against four sham charities. Children’s Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society agreed to shut down, but Cancer Fund of America (CFA) and Cancer Support Services (CSS) refused – until now.
Being green isn’t always easy. So when Volkswagen (VW) said it developed technology that greatly reduces emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) in its TDI “Clean Diesel” vehicles, environmentally-conscious consumers responded favorably, and sales of TDI vehicles in the U.S. increased substantially. The FTC is challenging a number of claims VW made about its diesel engine automobiles.
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
You’ve probably seen ads offering “identity protection” services. In fact, nobody can guarantee you won’t experience identity theft. Those services offer identity monitoring and repair — things you can do yourself, for free.
If you’re open to being a do-it-yourselfer, here are some free and low-cost alternatives to buying identity theft protection services.
As you turn on the A.C. this spring, saving money on utilities might come to mind. Some states let you choose your energy supplier for electricity or natural gas. Maybe you're getting offers from companies, asking you to switch from your local utility company. Before you make a move, here are some questions to ask.
Buying a home is exciting. You saved for the down payment, scheduled the move, and are dreaming of planting new roots. Closing is right around the corner… unless a scammer gets your settlement fees first.
Senior Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
We hear from many people about robocalls. If a call is a message from someone selling something, and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from that company, the call is illegal. Do robocalls bug you, too? If so, watch this video to learn more about them, and the steps you can take to help slow them down.
Exceptionally talented sports legends, musicians, and actors all have something in common – halls of fame. At the other end of the spectrum are banned debt collectors. They, too, get special recognition… in the FTC’s hall of shame.
Are you a former student of DeVry University — or of any other college — who’s heard from a company that’s promising to get your loans forgiven after you pay them a fee?
We have an important piece of advice: don’t do it. It’s never a good idea to pay an up-front fee for the promise of debt relief. Once you pay, you might not get anything in return. And you might be paying for something you can do yourself for free.