Every spring, the FTC issues its Annual Highlights for the previous year. It’s like a corporate annual report, summarizing what we did and how we did it. Interested in our mission to protect consumers? Here are some of 2014’s highlights.
The caller is irate, intimidating and — despite the foul language — sounds convincing. He says you must make good on a payday loan or your wages will be garnished. If you applied for a payday loan before, you might start questioning your memory: “Did I miss a payment? The caller has my information, so this must be legit…”
The last thing you need is a short paycheck — especially if you’re already in a bind. So you pay. Thing is, you don’t owe them a dime. It’s a scam.
Starting a new business? That used to mean throwing a name on some brick and mortar. Nowadays, you need a website. Lots of companies sell domain names and web hosting services that let customers put up websites. It pays to go with one that spells out all the terms and conditions before you buy. But what if a company promises a refund as part of its 30-day money back guarantee — and then surprises you with a nonrefundable fee? That’s called deception.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it’s illegal. Just ask the people behind First Time Credit Solutions, who promoted their business as “FTC Credit Solutions” until the real Federal Trade Commission shut them down.
Shopping for a car can be fun and exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers also can be stressful. Some advertise unusually low prices, low or no up-front payments, low- or no-interest loans, or low monthly payments. But the FTC says to use caution: Not all dealers play by the rules.
Buying a car can be expensive. So when you hear there’s a service that can save you on financing, you might be all ears. Well, you’ll also need to be all eyes, because some companies say one thing while the paperwork says something different.
You’ve tackled the taxes, you’ve made your list of spring cleaning projects, and maybe you’ve even started thinking about what you might plant now that the snow is melting. But I have one more spring project for you: checking your credit report.
Need a sofa, washer/dryer, TV, or new tires? Don’t have the cash or credit to buy them outright? You may be considering rent-to-own: simply make weekly or monthly payments for a while and you own the goods. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things to consider.
With winter almost over, are you itching to get out of town? As you search for your perfect getaway, you might come across good-looking vacation rental deals that seem amazing. Unfortunately, some “steals” are posted by scammers trying to steal your money. They’ll leave you with a vacation to nowhere.