Jobs & Making Money

A Strange Affinity

Do you trust people more if they’re like you, or a part of your community? Scammers bet that you do. Every day, they take advantage of that unconscious trust.

It’s called “affinity fraud” — when someone in a group uses their membership in that group to scam another member. Think religious, ethnic, or professional groups. Might you be willing to hear more about a deal if a member of your church asks you to? Or take advice from someone who speaks your same language? Through the FTC’s Legal Services Collaboration, we’ve heard of cases just like that.

Librarians, Check It Out! FTC’s at the ALA Annual Conference

If you’re headed to Chicago for the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, swing by to say hello. FTC staff will be at Booth # 934, ready to hand out our materials – all free, all the time – and talk about how to use them in your community. If you want a little more detail, come to my poster session, Saturday June 29, from 2:30pm to 4 pm. I’ll be talking about our innovative collaboration with the Center for Applied Linguistics to create materials for people who have consumer questions and want basic information.

Veterans – A Great Asset

While Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to all men and women who died in military service to our nation, every day is an opportunity to thank the veterans we know for their service. Unfortunately, though, not everyone has the best interests of veterans in mind.

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Jobs & Making Money

Fake Government Grants — Real Refunds

Nearly 23,000 people who lost money to scammers promising they could help them get free government grants will be getting $1.7 million in refunds, thanks to the efforts of the FTC.

Here’s what you need to know to avoid a similar scam...

money wrapped up in a red bow made to look like a gift

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Jobs & Making Money

Fraud Affects 25 Million People: Recognize Anyone You Know?

The FTC is always working to know more about the types of fraud being committed and who spends money on them. Consumers provide us with useful information through periodic surveys that ask them to share the important details about their recent marketplace experiences and a bit about themselves.

Fraud Survey Report Cover

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

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.

Sharing the Real Wealth

When money’s tight, work-at-home opportunities can sound like just the thing to make some extra cash. Unfortunately, many of these “jobs” are rip-offs. Today, the FTC announced that it will mail over 50,000 refund checks to consumers who were scammed by Real Wealth, a company that allegedly peddled bogus work-at-home offers.

 

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Jobs & Making Money

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.

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