Money & Credit

Company kept collecting debts it knew were phony

Have you gotten a call, a letter, an email, or a text message about a debt that sounds fishy? Don’t take the bait, because “phantom” debt collectors try to pressure people into paying debts they don’t really owe. In its effort to crack down on phantom debt collectors, the FTC has charged a North Carolina operation with collecting over $30,000 in fake debts, despite consumer complaints that the debts weren’t real.

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Money & Credit

Avoid skimmers at the pump

Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to payment terminals — like gas pumps — that grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online. You won’t know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice. Here are tips to help you avoid a skimmer when you gas up.

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Money & Credit

Signs of a debt relief scam

If you feel smothered by your monthly bills, a call from someone who says they can reduce or eliminate your debts might sound like the answer to your problems. But in many cases, unscrupulous people are behind these calls. They don’t have any intention of helping you, but are very interested in taking your money. How can you tell if you’re dealing with a debt relief scammer? Because they ask you to pay them before they do anything for you.

That’s what the FTC and the Florida Attorney General said happened in a massive debt relief scam they were able to stop last month. The defendants told people they would pay, settle, or get rid of their debts. But they didn’t.

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Money & Credit

New avoid telemarketing scams fotonovela

Three years ago, the FTC created its first fotonovela – a graphic novel to help Spanish-speakers spot and stop frauds targeting Latino communities. To date, we’ve published seven fotonovelas on topics from notario fraud to government imposters. They’ve been very popular – almost a million copies have flown off our shelves – and today we are announcing our newest fotonovela, La familia Rivera evita las estafas de telemercadeo (The Rivera Family Avoids a Telemarketing Scam).

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Money & Credit

NetSpend refunds coming

Do you know somebody who had a NetSpend debit card but had trouble activating it? If so, this blog post is for you. NetSpend Corporation is providing refunds to settle FTC charges that people couldn’t get access to the money they’d put into their NetSpend account.

 

The dish on Dish

Score one for people on the Do Not Call list. Earlier this week, the Court imposed a record-setting $280 million civil penalty against Dish for calls to people on the Do Not Call list, abandoned calls, calls to people who had told Dish they did not want to receive calls, and for assisting and facilitating telemarketers who engaged in practices in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

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Money & Credit

Talking about and reporting scams [fotonovela]

Our new fotonovela, Talking about Scams, tells the story of Eva and her husband, Pablo, who learn how talking about a scam can help someone avoid falling for a scam.

Settling your debts

You might have seen ads for companies that say they can reduce your debt – sometimes for cents on the dollar. All you have to do is pay them. But these offers are not always what they seem.

Join the #Milchat about travel scams

On June 8, @MilConsumer and @StopFraudCo (the Stop Fraud campaign of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office) will host a chat to discuss avoiding travel and vacation scams.

Pure Health and Genesis Today refunds

The FTC will mail more than $1.9 million in refund checks to people who bought Pure Health and Genesis Today green coffee bean extract supplements from stores including Walmart. More than 38,500 people will get back 100% of the money they paid for the products.

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