Money & Credit

Rest insured, you can avoid fake healthcare plans

If you’re looking online for health insurance, there are lots of results that seem to offer good choices. But dishonest companies are literally banking on your being confused by all those choices. So, before you sign up and pay, take steps to know you’re getting exactly what the plan advertised. Otherwise, your so-called “coverage” can leave you exposed to substandard benefits and costly payments.

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Money & Credit

Don’t get swamped buying a flood-damaged car

In the wake of the recent hurricanes, used car buyers should use caution: Storm-damaged vehicles are sometimes cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You might not know a vehicle is damaged until you take a closer look or have a mechanic check it out.

Here’s what to do:

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Money & Credit

Checking out your AMG check?

We told you last month about the $505 million in checks going back to 1.1 million people who got an online payday loan from a company affiliated with AMG Services. And we’ve heard from many of you that you got your check and cashed it. We’ve just heard, though, that scammers are trying to get into the act, using fake checks that look like the real one.

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Money & Credit

College test prep scams are happening

Recently, we heard about scams targeting parents of high school students preparing for college. The scammers claim to be from The College Board – the organization responsible for the PSAT and SAT tests. They call or email you, asking for credit card numbers so they can send PSAT prep materials that the student has supposedly requested. Often the scammers have the student’s name, address and phone number – making them seem more believable. Except your student didn’t ask for materials, and it’s not this group calling.

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Money & Credit

Scams against older adults: reporting to Congress

You might have read media stories about older people losing lots of money to scams. It does happen – and FTC data show that when people over 80 report losing money, the amount they lose is a lot higher than the amount younger people lose. But that’s not the whole story. In fact, FTC data also show that people 60 and older are great at reporting the fraud they see – and can be great at avoiding it, too. Because, according to the FTC’s 2017 data, people 60+ are much more likely to report fraud than people in their 20s – but far less likely to say they lost money.

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Money & Credit

Spread the word about charity fraud

This week, the FTC, the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO), and state charity regulators are joining forces with regulators from across the world to participate in the first International Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

It’s extremely important to raise awareness about charity scams to help ensure that donors’ hard-earned money goes to the worthy causes they seek to support, not to fraudsters. Would you help us spread the word? Here are a few things you can do this week:

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Money & Credit

Steering clear of vehicle history report scams

The FTC has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car – but first want to see a car history report. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report. The seller then sends it to the supposed buyer but never hears back. Weird, huh? Well, it gets weirder.

Scammers demand gift cards

Gift cards are a great way to give a gift. But did you know they are also a scammer’s favorite way to steal money? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, more scammers are demanding payment with a gift card than ever before – a whopping 270 percent increase since 2015.

Gift cards are for gifts, not for payments. If someone calls with urgent news or a convincing story and then pressures you to pay them by buying a gift card, like an iTunes or Google Play card, and then giving them the codes on the back of the card – stop. It’s a scam.

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Money & Credit

Immigration help – watch your step

If you’re looking for immigration help, you might run across what look like government websites – but are actually from companies pretending to be part of the U.S. government. The FTC’s recent settlement  has some lessons on how to protect yourself.  

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Money & Credit

Charity scams follow hurricane’s wake

As Hurricane Michael barrels its way toward Florida's Gulf Coast, scammers continue to con people who want to help those affected by past hurricanes. Case in point: The FTC and its state and local partners are getting reports about sham charities following Hurricane Florence’s devastating impact on North and South Carolina.

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Money & Credit

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