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Jobs & Making Money

“No risk” publications shouldn’t cost money

Some dishonest companies lie when they say that a product is “no risk.” That’s what the FTC says Progressive Business Publications, a business publication company, did. They had telemarketers call businesses, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations to offer samples of their newsletters and books at “no risk.” But they didn’t make clear that, by accepting the samples, your organization got enrolled in an expensive annual subscription.

Fighting Coronavirus scams: taking stock

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the FTC has released dozens of warning letters against people trying to make an illegal buck off the Coronavirus. More than a month in, it seems like a good time to look back at what’s happened. If you follow this blog, you’ll know these have been busy weeks – with advice about spotting the many scams we’re all facing, news of the warning letters sent on a wide range of scams, and some enforcement actions filed.

Economic Impact Payments: May 5 deadline for some SSI and VA beneficiaries with kids

Are you an SSI or VA beneficiary? If you didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and have dependent children, you must register with the IRS by noon Eastern Time on May 5 to get an additional $500 economic impact payment for dependents — or else you’ll have to wait until you file your 2020 tax return to get the money.

New funding for Coronavirus SBA loans attracts scammers

If you’re a business owner, you may be planning to apply for a loan through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. These programs recently got hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding. But, while you’re focused on getting a loan, scammers may be focused on you: hoping to trick you into giving them sensitive business information, like your bank account numbers, employees’ Social Security numbers, and even your money. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to help you stay clear of scammers as you apply for a small business loan.

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Jobs & Making Money

FTC sends COVID-related warnings to MLM companies

A business opportunity that promises you can work from home, earn lots of money, and enjoy a lavish lifestyle? Sounds tempting, particularly now, when so many people are out of work because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But letters the FTC sent today to ten multi-level marketing (MLM) companies are a reminder to research an MLM business before investing your money and your time.

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Jobs & Making Money

The FTC’s Highlights of 2019

We’re all facing unprecedented challenges now – and the FTC has been hard at work on the trail of many Coronavirus-related scams that are harming consumers. But the rest of the Commission’s work continues apace. For instance, last year the Commission returned more than $232 million in refunds to consumers across the country. Today, we’re taking a minute to take stock of some of the highlights from 2019.

If you get SSA or RRB and have kids: file before noon on April 22

Are you an SSA or RRB beneficiary with dependent children? Then, you have only until tomorrow at noon to file to get the additional $500 economic stimulus payment for dependents – or else you must wait until you file your 2020 tax return to get the money.

Alert for small business owners needing PPP loans

This is an alert for small business owners who are looking to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”). The loans help alleviate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, but there are bad actors trying to get business owners to apply for the wrong program. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a case against a company that allegedly claimed to offer PPP loans — but, in reality, the company is not affiliated with the SBA and, the FTC says, it has been deceiving hundreds, if not thousands, of business owners.

COVID-19 scam reports, by the numbers

If you’re a regular reader of this blog — or of the news, you know that scammers are out in force, taking advantage of all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve spotted plenty of bogus cures and treatments, but many of you have told the FTC about straight-up scams, like texts/emails/calls from a “government agency” promising to get your relief money for you. Others have told us about things that could be scams (or could be businesses catching up with the new reality) — like websites that promise scarce cleaning products or masks (that never arrive), or problems related to getting money back for cancelled travel plans.

Looking for work after Coronavirus layoffs?

Have you been laid off due to the Coronavirus? Or maybe your small business shut down? Today, the FTC kicks off a series of blogs with tips about handling the financial impact of the Coronavirus. These days, many people start by looking for ways to make money working from home. If you’re eyeing a work-at-home gig, here are some things to keep in mind.

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