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Money & Credit

Scams in between stimulus packages

As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines.

A real or fake savings club?

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It’s also the greatest form of “scammery.” That’s why scammers are imitating a type of informal savings club known as a “sou sou” or “susu” to trick people into joining what amounts to an illegal pyramid scheme.

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Money & Credit

Getting unordered seeds and stuff in the mail?

Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. There could be a few things going on, so let’s start unraveling the Great Unwanted Goods Mystery of 2020.

Scammy PPE sellers exploit COVID-19 fears

Last month, the FTC filed its first case against an online seller that failed to ship next-day personal protective equipment (PPE) as promised. Today, we have an update: the FTC is filing three more cases as part of a continuing effort to address “online shopping” fraud that seeks to exploit high demand for PPE and other COVID-related products.

Scammers and “customer service” — another imposter scam

If you want to contact a company’s customer service department, you can do a quick search online and often find what looks like its phone number or email. But is the information at the top of your search results actually correct?

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Money & Credit

Going shopping? Don’t get shortchanged

Remember when stores ran out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and face masks? Well, now COVID-19 is cause for a new shortage: coins. Because of business shutdowns and social distancing, people have been spending cash at stores or restaurants at record low levels. Adding to the shortage, the U.S. Mint has slowed down coin production for a few months to keep employees safe from COVID-19. Now, some businesses are running low on coins and not offering change.

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Money & Credit

Empowering military consumers – all year long

Now that Military Consumer Month has come to a close, it’s time to think about how we can support servicemembers all year long. Seven years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched Military Consumer Protection Day to highlight fraud affecting servicemembers. Since then, the observance has grown into a national, year-round campaign. Militaryconsumer.gov provides servicemembers and their families with resources from partner agencies like Department of Defense (DoD), the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to boost their financial readiness.

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Money & Credit

Video shows how scammers tell you to pay

Scammers make up all kinds of stories to get your money, from telling you that you’ve won a prize, you owe a debt, or your family member is in an emergency. But some things stay the same: scammers want your money, they want it fast, and don’t want you to be able to get it back. They’ll ask you to pay in ways that make it hard to track them down — and once you know what these are, you’ll have one more clue to tell if you’re dealing with a scammer.

FTC Announces Auto Buyers Study Reports

Many of us depend on our cars — for work, errands, shuttling kids, and visiting loved ones. Maybe we love the freedom and convenience cars give us — but many of us find the car-buying process frustrating because of sales and financing practices. The Federal Trade Commission released two reports highlighting some of the challenges people face while buying and financing cars — especially when it comes to charges for add-on items after price negotiations, which can lead people to pay more than expected. 

MyLife accused of posting misleading background reports

If you’re looking for a job, an apartment, or a loan, there’s a good chance that someone will be looking at you — closely. They may search for your name online or order a background report. They’re looking for red-flag warnings that another candidate may be a safer bet. According to a lawsuit announced today, MyLife.com, which sells background reports, raised red flags by posting deceptive “teaser” reports online.

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