How many of us pick up the phone, expecting to hear, “Hey, you owe me money. Now pay up – or else”? But that’s what’s been happening recently to people in the immigrant community. Those aren’t the exact words, and the caller claims to be from the government – but that’s the message people are getting: Send money. Or else.
Do you ever look for products or information online by typing a word into a search engine? I do too. By now, I bet we both know there’s no guarantee that the first result will be the best one. Anyone can set up shop online with almost any name. You may get links to pages that are out-of-date, off-topic, or stocked with low-quality products. Here are some tips for your next search.
Your favorite band is in town and you are ready to rock. Sure, tickets may be sold out at the box office — but that’s no big deal: An ad online says great seats still are available.
Whoa, Nellie! Scammers know how badly you want to see that show. The Federal Trade Commission is getting complaints from people who, unknowingly, have bought counterfeit tickets to concerts and other events.
As Springsteen’s timeless classic reminds us, patriotism never goes out of style. What’s more, many consumers prefer clothing, cars and other products bearing a label proudly claiming to be “Born in the USA.”
Naturally, we expect “Made in the USA” product claims to be as honest as young George Washington when he copped to chopping down his dad’s cherry tree. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That’s why the FTC wants you to know there are laws and guidelines to help you understand exactly what you’re buying — particularly if you prefer to “buy American:”
If you negotiated a short sale of your home, you may be surprised to learn that some mortgage loan underwriting systems can’t distinguish short sales from foreclosures on consumer reports. And that may keep or delay you from getting a new mortgage.
You see, borrowers who go through a foreclosure typically have to wait seven years before they’re eligible for a new mortgage. But short sellers may qualify in as little as two years. When you’re trying to buy a new home, an additional five years can seem like a lifetime. So is there anything you can do to improve your financial footing? You bet there is.
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
You know those labels attached to your clothes that tell you how to wash and care for them? By law, those labels have to be there. The FTC’s Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garments.This Rule is up for review, and to discuss proposed changes, the FTC will host a public roundtable in Washington, DC, on October 1, 2013.
Earlier this week, more than 50 legal services practitioners joined together with staff from the FTC, USCIS, DOJ, the CFTC, the CFPB, and the SEC to talk about scams against the immigrant community – present and future.
The results of the half-day forum were illuminating for all of us. We found out about all sorts of creative scams targeting immigrants – more about that in a minute. But, just as important, we heard about the hard work and creative solutions that advocates are undertaking to help protect immigrant communities.