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Scams in online sales: when orders don’t arrive

When local stores ran out of the supplies we needed to manage COVID-19, many of us turned to online sources. According to a new Data Spotlight, scammers ran online sites and took orders for scarce items, but didn’t deliver.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fake emails about fake money from a fake COVID-19 fund

Because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low. Scammers view these as ripe conditions to strike. They’ll stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information. That includes pretending to be a government official from the Federal Trade Commission to gain your trust.

COVID mask exemption cards are not from the government

To help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, many states are requiring people to wear face coverings in places open to the public. But there are cards circulating online and on social media that say the holder has a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, and that it’s illegal for any business to ask them to disclose their condition. Variations of the card include the seal of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), one of the federal agencies responsible for enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fact is, these cards aren’t issued or endorsed by DOJ, or any other federal agency.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Shopping online? Watch this video first

In this age of social distancing, more and more of our favorite stores now offer ways to score great deals online. Even as shops around the country open their doors again, buying online is still a great, useful tool for people to enjoy. It’s nice to know that with a simple web search, you can find, buy, and ship almost any item right to your front door. But, while you’re enjoying that convenience, you want to be sure that sharing your financial and personal data online is safe.

Cryptocurrency blackmail scam alert

The email suddenly appears in your inbox. Someone is writing to say that they have access to your cell phone or your computer. And they’re about to make your sensitive videos, pictures, or compromising information public. Pay them money (a ransom), they say, using a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, and they won’t expose the truth.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Health product claims and false guarantees

If you’re looking for help with chronic pain, you might come across over-the-counter devices promising powerful, drug-free relief. But sometimes device marketers make claims that are not backed by scientific evidence.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Help COVID-19 contact tracers, not scammers

After nearly three months of stay-at-home orders, America is starting to open up again. Contact tracers, the folks who work for state health departments to try to track anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, are an important part of our road to recovery. But some scammers are pretending to be contact tracers so they can profit off of the current confusion. They’re trying to steal your identity, your money – or both. Luckily, there are ways to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer.

FTC, SBA warn companies about SBA loan promises

The latest recipients of government warning letters are six companies that said they could speed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letters – from the FTC and the SBA – direct the companies to remove all false claims from their websites immediately.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The IRS won’t call about your stimulus money

Most people have already gotten their economic stimulus payments, but the Internal Revenue Service is still sending them out. If you haven’t gotten yours yet or have questions about it, the IRS has a number you can call to get answers to common questions. But the IRS won’t be calling you.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Contact Lens Rule updates: What they mean for you

Do you wear contacts? If so, read on. You have the right to get your contact lens prescription from your eye care prescriber — whether you ask for it or not — at no extra charge. The Contact Lens Rule, which the FTC enforces, says so. That lets you take your prescription wherever you want — online or to the mall — to shop around and look for the best deal.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

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