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Don’t pay for a car with Amazon gift cards. Ever.

We’ve written before about scammers who trick people into paying with iTunes gift cards. The latest? They’re asking people to pay for big online purchases — like cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs and tractors — with Amazon gift cards.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC sues D-Link over router and camera security flaws

If you’ve got a wireless network, your wireless router connects your computer and other devices to the internet. If it’s reasonably designed and configured, the router also is a gate that should prevent hackers from accessing your devices and data. Hackers have used unsecured internet-connected devices, like routers and cameras, to steal people’s data, spy on their activities, and even bring down important websites. So it’s pretty important that routers – key connections to the internet – are secured, right?

The FTC thinks so, which is why today we’re suing the makers and distributors of D-Link products, for failing to take reasonable steps to secure their routers and IP cameras.

Police raids in India cut down IRS imposter calls

Over the last few years, we’ve warned about a lot of imposter scams. In one of the most common types, callers pretending to be from the IRS demand payments and threaten to arrest people.

Last fall, we mentioned raids on illegal telemarketing operations by the police in India. After that, the US Department of Justice indicted dozens of scammers who also were impersonating the IRS. After those actions, the number of IRS imposter scams reported to the FTC plummeted. On Tuesday, the New York Times ran a behind-the-scenes look at the call centers and the raids that took them down. It’s a great reminder that scammers are organized, and they’re really good liars.

Announcing the Internet of Things Home Inspector Challenge

Anyone old enough to remember The Jetsons knows how the futuristic family used their flying car or jetpack to get to their “smart home,” where people movers whisked the family from room to room, lights automatically switched on, food appeared at the touch of a button, and Rosie the robot maid cleaned up.

Yahoo customer service scam

Need to contact Yahoo customer care? There are a few ways to do so — but, Yahoo warns that phone is not an option. That’s right: any phone number you come across in an internet search, claiming to connect you with Yahoo customer care, is fake.

Budgeting for the new year

If you had a dollar for every New Year’s resolution you’ve broken, what would you do with all that money? If spending was your first thought, here’s a resolution that can help your money grow: create and use a budget in the new year. Start by taking these steps to make a budget.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Repaying student loans? Read this

If you’re paying back your federal student loans, you might be interested in online ads saying things like, “Erase Default Statuses in 4–6 Weeks!” or – for the next few weeks – “Obama Wants to Forgive Your Student Loans!” Erasing default and loan forgiveness – sounds great to someone who owes a bundle, right?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fake “FTC investigation” email making the rounds again

Scams are like weeds: they crop up, are treated and disappear, only to find a way to pop up again. Such is the case with a scam we’ve written about before. In this scam, the fraudster pretends to be from the FTC and emails people, telling them they’re under investigation and to click on a link for more information.

A debt collection round-up

We ended 2015 by announcing Operation Collection Protection, a massive, nationwide enforcement initiative, targeting illegal debt collection practices at the federal, state, and local levels. Since then, the FTC and its partners have been busy bringing more actions against debt collectors who are unlicensed, deceptive or abusive. As Operation Collection Protection comes to a close, here’s a look back at what was accomplished.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC Workshop: Changing demographics, evolving conversations

The Federal Trade Commission recently held “The Changing Consumer Demographics” workshop to examine demographic shifts.As the U.S. population ages and gets more diverse, consumer protection strategies must evolve to make sure we’re protecting all communities. Workshop participants, including expert demographers and leaders in marketing, consumer advocacy, and law enforcement, discussed what the population will look like in the future – and what that means for consumer protection.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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