Browse by Topic

How to stop calls from debt collectors

Behind in paying your bills? You might find a debt collector calling. But the law says how and when they can do that. For example, they can’t call before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or while you’re at work if the collector knows that your employer doesn’t approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you or lie when they try to collect a debt. And, if you ask them in writing to stop calling, they have to stop.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is January 25-29

It’s tax season, and you know what that means: identity thieves who want to steal your tax refund are at work. Find out how to stop them during Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 25-29.

The FTC and its partners are hosting a series of events to help you understand tax identity theft, how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim, and what to do if thieves have stolen your tax refund.  Check these out:

Is your baby monitor secure?

It may be time to update an old lullaby with a new stanza: “Hush little baby, don’t say a word, unless your Wi-Fi baby monitor is well-secured.”

Why? It turns out that some baby monitors that broadcast live audio and video feeds over the internet have few security protections. Nobody wants a monitor that lets you keep an eye on your baby from your computer or mobile device if it allows a stranger to hack the feed and watch, too.

Scammers fake Social Security email

The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.”

It sounds real, but it’s all made-up. It’s a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer’s link.

Medicare imposters want to steal your money. Don’t let them.

Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them?

Answer: Never. Hang up — it’s a scam.

We’ve heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They say they need to verify your bank account number — and it might sound convincing. In truth, it’s a trick to steal your money.

Fraud affects every community: debt collection

There’s not much doubt that fraud can happen anywhere. To anyone. That’s the whole idea behind the FTC’s Every Community Initiative: fraud affects every community, and the FTC works to stop fraud wherever it happens. When we look at all the reports we get from consumers in communities across the country, these scams start to feel like something we face together, something we can imagine happening to us, or someone we care about. And when we share those stories, it really hits home.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Four dishonest debt collectors down…

Even though it’s a new year, some things remain the same. Illegal debt collection is still a big problem – which means it’s a big deal here at the FTC. We’ve made some progress: you might remember the 115 cases we announced in November, working with more than 70 law enforcement partners. That was big, but we’re not done yet.

Today, we’re announcing four cases against debt collectors who did pretty much everything wrong – and the release of one video with the story of a veteran who did pretty much everything right.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

How to stay high and dry against storm-chasing scams

Severe weather and historic flooding have left people in many parts of the U.S. battling to save lives, homes and businesses. The last thing anyone needs are scam artists who prey on the misfortune of others. Common natural disaster scams include debris removal and clean-up, shoddy repairs and construction, charity fraud, and imposter scams.

Here are some ways to arm yourself against scammers who use weather emergencies to cheat people.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

“Brain training” with Lumosity — does it really work?

Imagine if you could improve your memory, attention, and problem solving skills in all aspects of your life — just by playing some simple “brain training” games online or on an app. Games that could help prevent age-related memory decline, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Games that could help you at work, school, or with everyday tasks — like remembering where you left your keys, or quickly recalling the name of a person you just met.

That’s just what Lumosity claimed its games could do, based on “proven neuroscience research.” But the FTC charged that there isn’t solid science showing that Lumosity’s “brain training” games work the way they say they would.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Top 10 consumer protection blog posts of the year

It’s time to dust off the red carpet—actually, it’s more of a government-issued gray, but we’re dusting it off nonetheless—to bring you our top 10 consumer blog posts of the year.

Pages