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Identity Theft

Target for new COVID scam: Small business owners

There’s a new coronavirus-related scam making the rounds, but this time the crooks are targeting small businesses. It starts with an email that claims to come from the “Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance.” It says you’re eligible for a loan of up to $250,000 and asks for personal information like birth date and Social Security number. Let’s do a CSI-style investigation to spot clues that the email is a fake.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Santa doesn’t need your Social Security number

This year, during the pandemic, your holidays might be moving a bit online. On the 10th day of Consumer Protection, maybe you’re planning to send e-cards to family and friends.

This holiday season, help friends and family avoid a scam

When you talk with friends and family over the holidays, you may hear about new puppies, old sports rivalries, and dreams of the next vacation. As you join the conversation, why not share some ideas from the FTC’s Pass it On campaign to protect the people you care about from scams?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Why report fraud?

Scams come in many forms: texts, emails, letters, and lots of calls. Scammers plot schemes from tech support scams to fake check scams to try to knock us off balance just long enough to take advantage. They want to get our money and personal information, like account numbers and our Social Security number. How can we fight back? By sharing your story and reporting what happened to the FTC.

What to do if someone steals your identity

You know that protecting your identity and personal information is important. And you also know that taking steps to avoid identity theft can make a big difference. But if someone steals your identity, here’s the first thing you do: go to IdentityTheft.gov.

Threatening phone scams are targeting parents and immigrants

Two disturbing phone scams have popped up on the FTC’s radar. Both scams have one thing in common: they want to trick (and scare) you out of money. If you live on Staten Island, pay close attention, since these two scams seem to be targeting people in your area. But we know that scammers don’t often stick with one area, so they could expand their target area any time now.

What to do when someone steals your identity

Did someone use your personal information to open up a new mobile account or credit card? Or maybe buy stuff with one of your existing accounts? Or did they file for unemployment or taxes in your name? That’s identity theft.

Tips to help you avoid post-disaster scams

Whether you’re getting ready to deal with Laura or Marco, the storms about to hit the Gulf Coast, dealing with the ravages of wildfires out West, reeling from the derecho that struck the Midwest, or facing another natural disaster, handling the aftermath is never easy. But when scammers target people just trying to recover, it can be even worse. Here are some tips to help you avoid common post-disaster scams.

Getting unordered seeds and stuff in the mail?

Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. There could be a few things going on, so let’s start unraveling the Great Unwanted Goods Mystery of 2020.

Scammers impersonate the FTC, too

Scammers never seem to run out of new ways to try to take your money or steal your identity, especially in times of crisis like the one we’re living through now.

One of the latest schemes involves an email that claims—falsely—that it came from me. It might say you’re entitled to some money from a phony “Global Empowerment Fund” and tell you to give your bank account number or credit card information.

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