Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
Most consumers know that creditors use information about them and their credit experiences – like the number and type of accounts they have, their bill paying history, and whether they pay their bills on time – to create a credit score, which helps predict how credit worthy they are. (And if they don’t, they can learn about credit scores at the FTC’s Consumer Center.) What most consumers don’t know is that data brokers offer companies scores for other purposes unrelated to credit – for example, for marketing, advertising, identity verification, and fraud prevention. Businesses use these scores to decide which transactions require further scrutiny, what offers and prices to offer certain consumers, and even in what order to answer a consumer’s customer service call.
Regional Director, Western Region, Federal Trade Commission
Earlier this week, law enforcement, legal services attorneys, consumer advocates and nearly 120 other people found common ground in Las Vegas. The Federal Trade Commission put together “Protecting Nevada’s Consumers: A Common Ground Conference” to discuss the consumer protection issues facing Nevadans. What did we learn? That Nevadans face some unique challenges – but many more are the same kinds of challenges we see across the region and country.
Ever hear an expert review on a news segment or talk show? The experts might recommend a number of products, and hey, they’ve tried out the products themselves — and they’re experts appearing on reputable programs — so they must know what they’re talking about, right? Since they’re portrayed as independent reviewers, you may be more likely to believe what they say.
What if we told you these experts aren’t always as impartial as they seem, and what you’re hearing might be a sales pitch?
Recent headlines about data breaches at retail stores and universities may have you wondering if there’s anything you can do to help protect your credit going forward. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says the answer is yes. One option is a credit freeze.
Sunday marks the 16th annual National Consumer Protection Week. The Federal Trade Commission stands with 74 federal, state and local agencies and organizations to stand up for consumers by highlighting the very best in consumer education resources.