Do you have a lot of student debt? Wish it would disappear? You’re not alone. Scammers know that people are struggling with debt. They’re targeting borrowers with phony student loan debt relief schemes that can make things worse.
Today the FTC and the State of Florida announced lawsuits against two student loan debt relief schemes — Consumer Assistance Project and Student Aid Center. The FTC also announced a settlement in a case we wrote about earlier this year.
On the heels of the FTC’s List of Banned Debt Collectors comes the sequel: The FTC’s List of Banned Mortgage Relief and Debt Relief Companies and People. Why would someone be banned? Well, here’s the story.
One thing we know about scammers — they want money, and they want it fast. That’s why, whatever the con they’re running, they usually ask people to pay a certain way. They want to make it easy for themselves to get the money — and nearly impossible for you to get it back.
Their latest method? iTunes gift cards. To convince you to pay, they might pretend to be with the IRS and say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay back taxes right now. Or pose as a family member or online love interest who needs your help fast. But as soon as you put money on a card and share the code with them, the money’s gone for good.
Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
Have you ever disputed a charge on a bill – or even thought about it? If you have, you’ll want to read about the FTC’s settlement with Credit Protection Association (CPA), a Texas-based company that collects cable bills and reports accounts to credit bureaus.
Many people have subscriptions to their beloved dailies or weeklies. But that notice in the mail saying your subscription is about to expire, or offering to get a subscription started, could be from a company that has no relationship with your newspaper or magazine. It may be from a scammer who wants to get into your wallet.
You’re job hunting online and see a job ad for a well-known company. It’s on a site that says it pre-screens people for big employers, like banks, government agencies, and multinational companies. You apply and get a message asking you to schedule an interview.
Not so fast. The “interview” is really a call designed to get you to enroll in specific colleges or career training programs. That’s the story behind the FTC’s complaint against Gigats — also doing business as Expand, Inc., EducationMatch and Softrock, Inc. According to the FTC, instead of interviewing or prescreening people for employers, Gigats ran a deceptive scheme to generate sales leads for its clients.
Looking for a good time and good eats at a good price? Getting a deal on a food festival or other event is terrific. But don’t let scammers leave a bad taste in your mouth by taking a big bite out of your money — and giving you nothing in return.
Counsel, FTC's Division of Consumer & Business Education
To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, the FTC will be a guest on a live Twitter chat hosted by the National Credit Union Administration. NCUA is a federal agency that works to raise consumer awareness and increase access to credit union services. NCUA and the FTC will share tips about saving, borrowing money, managing credit, and avoiding identity theft and imposter scams.
Assistant Director, Division of Financial Practices, FTC
At the FTC, we sue abusive debt collectors and try to do right by people who’ve been harmed by unlawful practices. But we also try to protect people from being harmed in the first place. That’s exactly why I’m here: to warn you about debt collectors calling about debts that the FTC knows are bogus.
The devastation caused by earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan have left people asking how they can help. If you’re looking for a way to give, the Federal Trade Commission urges you to do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.