Consumer protection this week, and always

Sunday marks the start of the eighteenth annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). It’s a time to learn about and share information to help people make more informed buying decisions and recognize, guard against, and report scams and fraud.

The more than 100 agencies and organizations involved in NCPW are on the front lines of consumer protection every day, and are committed to giving you the resources you need to navigate today’s marketplace.

For many years, the Federal Trade Commission has worked with these partners to shut down scams, give consumers a better way to report and recover from identity theft, and expose and stop misleading business practices. NCPW 2016 is a time to honor those victories, as well as many more still to be won in consumer protection.

This is but one time of the year to focus on becoming a more informed and empowered consumer. You also can help inform your community about consumer protection any time of year by getting the word out. Get ideas for events, social media and other activities to keep people around you in the know. What’s more, you can report scams and dishonest business practices you see or experience.

Together, we can make NCPW and every week a time to empower consumers. Thank you for celebrating with us!      

 

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I need help with a Real Estate Ponzi Scheme I would need a suit against a land lease State of Mo and Chicago Title co

You could contact your state Attorney General’s office or the Attorney General for the state where the business is based. You could also contact other state and local consumer protection agencies.

If you want to find a lawyer to help you, this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association and this site from the State Bar Associations have information to help.

got a gov loan scam yesterday# was 315-636-6656 they want 250.00 for a free grant ha ha though I let you know James Allen

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint so it becomes part of the FTC database that's used by investigators nationwide. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We can't address complaints that you discuss in the blog comments.

To Jessica Rich: How can consumers report to the authorities and other consumers that his or her rights could be violated if they deal with a certain a business...like a bank for example? Is there a certain website that warns consumers across the nation to stay away from a certain business or businesses like Homeland Security has for terror alerts?

You can file a complaint about your experience with a business with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, with your state Attorney General’s office, and with state and local consumer protection agencies.  Some attorney general and state consumer protection agencies will tell people if a company has had complaints filed against it.

You can submit a complaint about a bank, mortgage, or other financial product to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Thanks Bridget for your help!!!

iPhones pinged! I have queries and IP addresses and more.i have 80+ apps backboarded in our phones. Some is malware and tracking from two corporations

Thanks for the information about your phone. Which apps are the malware and tracking what company's?

Travel throughout Texas and see new auto dealers advertising "certified" vehicles with no mention of USED vehicle. This is obviously intended to mislead those who are not familiar with the term "certified" or with manufacturers' certified used vehicle programs. With powerful motor vehicle commissions and new dealer lobbying, enforcement seems soft.

Thanks you very much. ..!!!

There needs to be an easier way to report scams. I live in Iowa. One time I received an email offer that sounded very suspicious and fraudulent. I figured I should forward it to the Iowa Attorney General's office, so I went to their website. But there was no clear and simple information on their website about what to do. If was after-hours so I could not call. It took a long time of searching to find what seemed to be a department or office that handled such things, and then there was not clear email address to forward the email to. So, I think that the FTC group should work to make a consistent and streamlined reporting process. I think each city police department and each sheriff's department's website in the US should have a clear fraud reporting link that links to their State's attorney general website, to a page specifically for fraud reporting, and it should be easy to forward scam emails.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m not sure which link you used on the Iowa Attorney General’s site, but you may want to try this one.

You also might be interested in learning more about the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network . The CSN data book is produced annually using complaints received by the FTC’s CSN. That includes not only complaints made directly by consumers to the FTC, but also complaints received by state and federal law enforcement agencies, national consumer protection organizations and non-governmental organizations. The Iowa Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division, is a contributor. The data book includes both national statistics as well as a state-by-state listing of top complaint categories in each state and a listing of states and metropolitan areas that generated the most complaints per capita. For more information, please see the March 1 FTC press release, FTC Releases Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints.

Bad info relayed. In Texas, state law requires front and read license plates. In this day and time, this is actually a good thing for law enforcement and everyday citizens. Many new vehicles have dramatic front-end styling that doesn't lend itself to front license plate frames. Some dealerships wrongfully tell customers it is optional when state law makes it a requirement.

Good now lets Go after Health Care Cost, But First the sorry Auto Insurance Company's and make the Sorry people fix cars rite With Out Cheap CHINA JUNK or USED JUNK , Sell Insurance and NOT tell shops how to fix them, Its not their BUSINESS Thank You , Thank You Very Much

Beware of Morton Finance trading platform it is a scam.I opened an account with $300 because they said I would get a $200 bonus. I never got the bonus and a so called broker called me and wanted me to invest 10K. I said no I was not interested in that and the tried to charge my credit card for 10K and then 2K luckily my credit card thought it was a scam and alerted me. Do not invest money with these guys.

Please report this to your state Attorney General’s office and to the FTC, at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give the FTC will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Recently I received a call from 850-610-2924. I didn't answer the call. I called the number later with my number "hidden", and got a message that it was survey sampling. The message offered an opt out via their internet web site. (FOR ALL WHO DO NOT KNOW, ALWAYS CHECK FOR THE GREEN LOCK AND FOLLOWING, THE https TO INSURE YOU ARE ON A SECURE WEB SITE!) If there is no https behind the green lock, or some other printing this is NOT a secure web site! You will find the green lock at the top left corner of the address bar on the web page. Anyway I went to the survey              web site, found that the web site has an obsolete security but went ahead and opted out of calls to me. I informed them that I'm on the no call registry and have talked with the FTC concerning annoying scam calls. Hopefully I will Not hear from them again!! I've endured 5 months of telemarketers as well as threats and numerous scam calls averaging 100++ calls a month!! Folks beware out there and watch carefully concerning the green lock/https for your security assurance!!

Consumer Protection is not a luxury, it's a necessity. Clever Ads & Slick Talk are the bait Scammers use. Scamming is nothing new, it has just gained a lot of new ways to reach out & suck the vulnerable in. Often, those hurt the worst are the ones who can afford it the least. Seniors, single parents, shut-ins ... the unintentional Jobless; all are people looking, looking for a miracle, a bargain, a cure, a perfect diet, a home job, a can't miss investment opportunity... even a psychics secrets to finding the winning lottery numbers. Sadly, some of us are that naive. Without people working to uncover & expose these scammers & thiefs, a lot more of these people traps would pull the best of us in. Agencies that work on our behalf need our help. Don't feel foolish or fear reporting something that smells like fish but isn't anything even close. Identity theft is on the rise along with so many creative ways to steal your money, your home, your life & much more. Don't fear retaliation, or even just embarrassment. If it seems wrong or sounds to good to be true ... Check it out. You have everything to lose if you don't & nothing to lose if you do. These comments come straight from someone who has been taken. I thought I was too smart but the scammers were a few steps ahead of me. Thanks to Consumer Protection Agencies for being there for us. We just need to keep a close watch on what they have to say & report scams so they can warn others!

Hello Please can someone tell me if there are any payment protection companies in the US for customers taking a tradesmen on to do home improvements and also if there is anything to cover tradesmen from customers that dont want to pay for work that has been completed? If anyone knows of any if you would be kind enough to put a link to the websites for me that would be great!

Many states require a contractor to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state or locality has licensing laws, make sure the contractor has a current license.

This FTC article about Hiring a contractor has lots of tips about what to check before you hire someone. This page will take you to other FTC articles about Home Improvement.

Yahoo needs to be monitored for allowing fraudulant activity and scams.

I appreciate the FTC...I have used this website and been very successful on scams that I have reported.

My computer screen stopped with a blaring message that my computer was infected, call 1877-960-0968, person said they were from VMAK an authorized Windows tech support company. Would fix my computer and never get this message again for $230...Is it real? I stupidly allowed him access to my computer, and he showed me 27 users on my computer, and system required programs were stopped. AAAAGGGHHH!

This FTC article explains how to get rid of malware (malicious software) that was installed on your computer. This video also explains what to do if someone installed malware on your computer.

Scammer from 226-122-1233

How about auto insurance plans? Type of car I have (Dodge Charger- yes the same model as law enforcement), my policy goes up EVERY six months using the "vehicle rating group", "liability rating grp". Reason they gave me, parts were expensive. Hate to get rid of it.

Watch out for Dish NETWORK SCAM. The scammers hacked into the company's caller id somehow,and they are hard to get rid of.They try to sell you a new receiver with your credit card,saying yours is no longer compatible.

How do I report on a Doctor that slandered my name on my record and also another Gasterologiste wrote inappropriate comments? What bar do I file a complaint

You can ask your state and local consumer protection agencies how to make a complaint about a doctor.

I am not sure if I am in the right place. I have been recently dealing with a collection agency who flat out refuses to work with when it comes to making a payment arrangement. They want a minimum of $100 a month and my income only allows me to afford $30 a month. I am making effort to make payments and they keep telling me that they want more money (I've been saving the receipts). the other day I received a letter that if I don't pay in full $1500 by April 21, 2016 they will proceed with the next step which is to take me to court. I don't believe any one can make me pay more than I can afford. I need suggestions on how to deal with these people. thank you

This FTC article has ideas about coping with debt.

For example, if you're having trouble paying the debt, you might talk with a credit counselor. Reputable credit counseling organizations can advise you on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, and offer free educational materials and workshops. Their counselors are certified and trained in consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Counselors discuss your entire financial situation with you, and help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. An initial counseling session typically lasts an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions.

If the debt collector sends legal papers about going to court, you can call the court that's named on the papers. Make sure the legal papers are legitimate. If the debt collector is going to take you to court, respond to the papers and find out what you need to do.

what can i do?i receive a notice to re image my computer.i need protiction ...

If someone put a computer virus or bad software on your computer, you might need to remove all the software and start over. Software that causes problems is sometimes called malicious software or 'malware.'

This FTC article has tips to check your computer for malware, and ideas about what to do if you find malware.

I see so many issues above that are so true about the mishaps of a lot of good consumers paying for something they are trying to make good with. I'm so glad to see we have these great people here @ the FTC. My word I think about the amounting of thiefs I'm in right now, I can't trust even the cat outside right now. I seen and heard from businesses that finds out I have had thiefs & some companies are joining in the fraud by saying, oh I missed two payments? No! I just think ok let me add you to my legal calander too...? EVIDENCE IN BLACK & WHITE I have speaks for me. No more talking,tell it to the judge. I say..Experience now, taught me to say no! If I know it's wrong, I simply take steps on recovery,& have decided to not trust no one right now.I think if we go into a dispute with a co. Businesses, we can or should post a letter grade back on those badly, misbehaving compines as well. Lost in our monies by bad faith is just not fair to many on fixed incomes especially. ....

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