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Money & Credit

Charity fraud awareness, here and abroad

Today is the start of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week (ICFAW), a coordinated international effort to help charities and donors avoid charity fraud. The FTC joins state charities regulators across the country, the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO), and international partners in this campaign. By joining forces, we can reach more people and more charities with information and advice. Money lost to bogus charities and scammers means less donations to help those in need. And no one wants that, either here or abroad.

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Money & Credit

Fake followers: A social media hoax

Influencers, celebrities and other people with strong online followings can be, well, influential. When considering whether you want to buy something or use a service – especially when you’re buying online – you might look at a person’s or company’s social media. A bigger following might mean something to you, maybe telling you something about their legitimacy or how good their product or service is.

Renting a car: Factoring in the fees

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country road trip, a rental car may be in your future. Comparing prices online can save you a bundle, but make sure you compare the total cost — not just the advertised rate. Added fees can increase the base price dramatically.

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Money & Credit

Zurixx’s real estate investment scheme

These days, it seems like everyone wants to make money by flipping houses. There are companies out there promising to tell you how, but not all those promises are real. The most recent example is Zurixx, a real estate investment company sued by the FTC and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (DCP).

FTC Refunds: The real deal or not?

Sometimes the FTC is able to return money to people who were ripped off in a con artist’s scheme. But scammers try to cause confusion and take advantage at every step.

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Money & Credit

Millennials and fraud: What’s the story?

Lots of people fall for scams. Is it any different for Millennials? That’s what the FTC explores in its new Data Spotlight, Not what you think: Millennials and fraud.

Self-defense against scams

To everyone who hangs up on unwanted calls, learns about the latest scams, and checks with friends about suspicious offers: good news! People who did all those things were less likely to lose money to a scam than people who didn’t, according to Exposed to Scams: What Separates Victims from Non-Victims?, a report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, and the Stanford Center on Longevity.

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Money & Credit

Notarios are no help with immigration

Now and then, it’s helpful to remind ourselves of things we already know: Nobody legit will ever demand payment with a gift card. Dark chocolate is superior to milk chocolate. And notarios do not give legal help with immigration.

If you, or someone you know, is trying to sort out immigration issues, go straight to an immigration lawyer and skip the notarios. They’re not lawyers, and cannot help with immigration.

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Money & Credit

Helping Hispanics avoid fraud

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 - Oct 15) is a time to celebrate the rich culture, heritage, and contributions of Hispanics. It is also a time to reflect on the FTC’s commitment to help Hispanic communities fight fraud.

Earlier this year, the FTC brought together key Hispanic leaders from national and local organizations for a robust roundtable discussion devoted to understanding the unique issues and concerns affecting their communities. Their message was simple: empower more Hispanics to fight fraud and scams. Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to do that. The FTC has a ton of sharable resources (including videos) to help spread the word about fraud and scams in English and Spanish.

Social Security is not trying to take your benefits

We’ve seen a new twist on the Social Security Administration (SSA) scam recently. Check out this SSA imposter robocall, which says your benefits will end. (That’s not true, by the way.)

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Money & Credit

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