Health & Fitness

Consumers Report: The FTC Fraud Survey

The FTC provides useful information to consumers, and consumers provide useful information right back through periodic surveys that ask them to share the important details about their recent marketplace experiences. Last year, we asked people about their experiences with 17 types of fraud, and learned that nearly 11 percent of US adults, or an estimated 25.6 million people, had paid for fraudulent products and services in 2011. Here’s what our researchers found...

fraud survey cover

Annual Highlights

Springtime: For us here at FTC headquarters, it means warm weather, cherry blossoms on the National Mall, and the publication of the agency’s Annual Highlights.

.FTC Annual Highlights

Claims Not “Up To” Expectations

This blog post will make you up to 50% smarter. GUARANTEED!

Don’t believe me?

Do you believe “real” claims like “Lose up to 50 pounds with a weight loss shake” or “New windows will reduce your heating costs up to 50 percent?”

You Owe Me Money

What if a company called you, demanding you pay for a product they said you ordered? What if they threatened you if you didn’t pay? And what if you never actually ordered that product, never even saw it, and never promised to pay for anything? 

A recently-filed FTC case claims that Instant Response Systems, a Brooklyn-based company, did all that and more.

Variations on a Scheme

We’ve heard reports that a variation on an old scam is making the rounds. It sounds like this:

<Ring, ring>

Unsuspecting person who answers the phone:  Hello?

Scammer who is calling:  Ma’am, I’m calling from the government. We’re about to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act. You’re one of the lucky people to get yours first...

Pressing Questions

On Friday, many of my colleagues will be joining the US Department of Justice’s Civil Consumer Protection Branch at the Second Annual Consumer Protection Summit.

On the agenda for the day are these hot topics...

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Trending

In 2012, the FTC received more than 2 million consumer complaints – a first in the history of the Consumer Sentinel Network. The #1 category of complaints? Identity theft. This tidbit is from the hot-off-the-press Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2012, a fascinating analysis of complaints received in Sentinel during the previous calendar year. Sentinel is a secure online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies across the country. Agencies use the data to research cases, identify victims, and track possible targets.

Want to learn more about the top ten complaint categories, get national data, and state-by-state accountings of the top complaints? Check out the 2012 Sentinel Data Book.

Trusting Your Sources

You read the news to get the facts. But what happens when that “newsy” site isn’t news at all?

A company that used fake news sites to push acai berry supplements and other weight loss products has agreed to settle FTC charges. The agency has already stopped others that used wanna-be news sites and phony testimonials from supposed reporters to push their products. The M.O. is to make people think the site — and the reporters — are part of legitimate and trusted news organizations, name-dropping CNN and Consumer Reports, among others, to add credibility. But the fact is the sites were ads, masquerading as news.

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Health & Fitness

Gear up for a Great National Consumer Protection Week!

The 15th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is March 3 - 9. Government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private sector groups from coast to coast have come together here to share information that can help you make smart decisions about a slew of subjects, including privacy protection, money and debt management, and recognizing identity theft, frauds and scams.

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