Money & Credit

What’d we miss?

Hey, guys – we’re back. We missed you. What’s been going on? No, really, we want to hear from you. Now that funding has been restored, our systems are live again, and you can report fraud to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel. We’re anxious to know what scams you’ve been seeing so far in 2019.

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Money & Credit

This is what a Social Security scam sounds like

Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million.

Here’s what one of those scam calls sound like:

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Money & Credit

Netflix phishing scam: Don’t take the bait

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts to get you to share valuable personal information – like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use your information to steal your money, your identity, or both. They also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network. If you click on a link, they can install ransomware or other programs that can lock you out of your data.

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Money & Credit

Fake calls about your SSN

The FTC is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often, he says it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. He then says your Social is blocked – but he might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. And he will ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

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Money & Credit

Putting cash in the mail

We’ve been warning you about scammers asking you to pay with gift cards or by wiring money. Scammers love getting you to pay that way because they can get your money fast and disappear. It’s almost as good as getting you to send cold, hard cash. Which must have occurred to them, too, because some scammers are now going low-tech and asking people to send cash in the mail. Sometimes they even tell people to divide the cash between pages of a magazine.

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Money & Credit

This giving season, make your donations count

The giving season has begun and many of us are thinking about gifts for family and friends, as well as giving to our favorite charitable causes. If you’re thinking about donating to charity, do some research first to make sure your money will really help the causes you care about. Here’s what you can do:

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Money & Credit

Fake promises offer no sigh of (debt) relief

An offer of reduced monthly payments — or complete forgiveness — on your student loan may make you want to sign up…and exhale. Unfortunately, though, some of those programs wind up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars for nothing in return. What’s more, you could’ve gotten real help for free.

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Money & Credit

Talking turkey

Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory – like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate – here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready.

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Money & Credit

Happy holidays! Shopping tips from the FTC

The gift-giving season is just around the corner, and the gift-buying season starts, oh, any minute now. The FTC has an early gift for you — tips to help you shop wisely and protect your personal information.

Wise giving in the wake of California’s wildfires

California continues to be plagued by wildfires — including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles and the Camp Fire in Northern California, now one of the deadliest in the state’s history. Dozens of people have lost their lives, thousands of homes and business have been destroyed, and more than 250,000 Californians have been forced to leave their homes. If you’re looking for a way to help those in need, do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

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Money & Credit

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