You are here

Identity Theft

Phishing: Don’t take the bait

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts – even phone calls – to get you to share valuable personal information, like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use this information to steal your money, your identity, or both. The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, offers tips to help you recognize the bait, avoid the hook, and report phishing scams.

It’s National Consumer Protection Week 2019

Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2019. This marks 21 years of commemorating the important work that the FTC, state attorneys general offices and many community partner organizations do to protect consumers across the country.

NCPW is a time to help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about their money. Our team at the FTC works hard to shut down scams and sue those who break the law. But one of our best tools to protect consumers is education.

You are a vital part of this effort. We need people like you, talking to those in your community about the issues that are affecting you. Whether it’s imposter scams, dealing with debt collection, or recovering from identity theft, the FTC has resources to help you start those conversations, and share important tips with your friends and family.

The top frauds of 2018

Every year, millions of you tell us – and our partners – about the frauds you spotted. Last year, we heard from 3 million of you, and here’s some of what we learned from your reports:

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Join us for NCPW 2019!

We’re excited that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is just around the corner and we hope you’ll check out the events we have planned. During NCPW, we join our partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues. Here’s a preview:

Fight back against tax identity theft

It’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week – a terrific time to get up to date on protecting yourself from identity thieves who try to claim your tax refund and imposters who pretend they’re from the IRS to get your money. Come to one of the two telephone town hall meetings happening on Thursday, January 31 – one at 10 a.m. ET and another at 1 p.m. ET. Experts from the FTC, AARP, and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration will talk about tax identity theft and more.

Buying an internet-connected smart toy? Read this.

Before giving in to your kid's plea for a new toy, you may want to collect some information about it. Why? Well, for one thing, that toy may want to collect information about your kid. I’m talking about internet-connected smart toys with cameras, microphones, and sensors. The ones that know your kids’ voices (and yours). Smart toys that silently collect data on each interaction, listen to conversations, and share their location while kids play.

The Marriott data breach

Marriott International says that a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people. If your information was exposed, there are steps you can take to help guard against its misuse.

Spear phishing scammers want more from you

“I’m calling from [pick any bank]. Someone’s been using your debit card ending in 2345 at [pick any retailer]. I’ll need to verify your Social Security number — which ends in 8190, right? — and full debit card information so we can stop this unauthorized activity...”

 

Hang up on spoofed SSA calls

If you get a call that looks like it’s from the Social Security Administration (SSA), think twice. Scammers are spoofing SSA’s 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. Spoofing means that scammers can call from anywhere, but they make your caller ID show a different number – often one that looks legit. Here are few things you should know about these so-called SSA calls.

FTC shuts down fake document sellers

When you apply for credit, a mortgage, a place to live, government benefits, or tax refunds, you need documents showing your income, employment, and other information. But not everyone plays by the rules. Some businesses sell fake documents to people who use them to get products and services for which they might not otherwise qualify.

Pages