You are here

Money & Credit

Indoor TV antenna? Make sure you know what you’re getting

Any TV set made since 2007 has a digital tuner that lets you watch over-the-air (OTA) channels for free, if you get an inexpensive indoor antenna. These channels usually include local broadcast channels, including high-definition or “HDTV” signals. But an OTA antenna won’t get you free “premium” channels, which you can only get from cable, satellite, or online content services. Don’t believe an OTA antenna ad that says it can.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Scams will follow new COVID-19 rescue plan

The pandemic is still taking a toll on every kind of well-being we have. The new American Rescue Plan, just signed into law, gets the ball rolling to help out on many people’s financial well-being. Payments will soon be coming by direct deposit, checks, or a debit card to people eligible for the payment. You can learn more about who’s eligible, and the timing, at IRS.gov/coronavirus. But let me tell you what will NOT happen, so you can spot and avoid the scammers who are right now crawling out from under their rocks.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Dishonest magazine companies target inmates

If someone you care about is in jail or prison, you might be thinking about getting them a magazine subscription. The FTC wants you to know that some magazine subscription companies might make promises they don’t keep — and you could wind up paying money for magazines that arrive late or never arrive.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fake prize offers don’t pay

During National Consumer Protection Week, we'd like your help to reach people who may be cut off from social networks, and would like a friendly call. While you're catching up, share our tips about spotting and avoiding prize and lottery scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

MoneyGram fraud refunds get closer

If you used MoneyGram to send money to a scammer between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017, you may get a prefilled claim form in the mail soon. To be eligible for a refund, you must fill out the form and mail it back within 90 days from the date on the form.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fraudulent fundraiser uses illegal robocalls to harass consumers

In 2015, the FTC and state partners sued and shut down four sham charities that harassed millions of people with more than 1.3 billion illegal robocalls about donating to charity. The FTC and 46 charity state regulators from 38 states and the District of Columbia are holding the fundraisers that made those illegal calls accountable in a lawsuit announced today. 

The next time you get a call with a pre-recorded message from charity fundraisers, remember these tips:

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Caught in a bad romance

It’s day four of National Consumer Protection Week and we’ve been discussing ways we can look out for each other during the pandemic. Today’s topic – romance scams. Beyond the job losses and economic fallout of the pandemic, the loneliness and isolation brought on by our virtual lives has real consequences. This might explain why romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses reported to the FTC in 2020. That’s up about 50% from 2019.

Community Advocate Center connects more people to the FTC

When ReportFraud.ftc.gov launched in late 2020, it made telling the FTC about scams much easier. But here’s the thing: we know we’re still not hearing from lots of communities around the country. Not hearing those stories means we might not learn about the problems they experience, or bring cases to stop the bad practices and get money back. Which is, of course, always the goal.

Join us for these NCPW events next week

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2021 is coming up next week, and we’d love for you to join us for some virtual events. NCPW is a time when the FTC joins with local, state, and national partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues.

If you have federal student loans, read this

Just under a year ago, we told you that the U.S. Department of Education announced some flexibility to federal student loan borrowers. Understanding these options can help you make more informed decisions about paying your bills and prioritizing your debts. The benefits have been extended through September 30, 2021.

Pages