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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Coronavirus relief scam impersonates Joe Simons from the Federal Trade Commission

Scammers are at it again, pretending to be from a government agency to rip people off. Here’s what you need to know about the latest coronavirus relief fund scam.

Does your health app protect your sensitive info?

New health apps are popping up every day, promising to help you track your health conditions, count your calories, manage your medications, or predict your ovulation. These apps often ask for some of your most sensitive personal information, like your health history, medication list, or whether you have ever suffered a miscarriage.

Frosty the Con Man: avoiding family emergency scams

“Hello? It’s me — Frosty. Look it’s a long story but without my top hat, I’m melting. Please, I need your help — send money now or I’ll be nothing but a puddle!”

Grandma got a scam call from a reindeer

When it comes to unwanted calls, there are a few universal truths. First, you can’t trust caller ID. Second, nobody likes a robocall. And third, it’s all about call blocking. If you watch The Mandalorian, here’s where you say, “This is the Way.” (If you don’t watch it, this just means: call blocking…it’s good.)

Incorrect background reports can deny you a home

Whether you’re just starting out or starting a new life, information on your background report can determine if you get credit, a job, or even housing. That’s why the law requires background screening companies to take steps to ensure the accuracy of the information they collect and share about you. But some companies don’t take enough of these steps and put together inaccurate background reports that can stand between you and a place to live.

Fake calls from Apple and Amazon support: What you need to know

Scammers are calling people and using the names of two companies everyone knows, Apple and Amazon, to rip people off. Here’s what you need to know about these calls.

Find COVID-19 scam resources (and more) in multiple languages at ftc.gov/languages

Searching for in-language information on how to avoid COVID-19 scams and other types of fraud? Check out ftc.gov/languages, the FTC’s one-stop resource for consumer education in Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and other languages.

Veterans and imposter scams

During the past four years, the FTC logged more than 378,000 reports from veterans — and nearly 161,000 were fraud-related. More than 24,000 of those reported a loss (with total losses of $205 million). Veterans had a median loss of $755, compared to active duty servicemembers who reported a median loss of $500 over the same period.

Customers wondering: high-interest banking app or highway robbery?

“It’s been almost a month and we still don’t have our money. We’re broke and putting groceries on credit cards . . . .” That’s just one of many customer reviews posted about the mobile banking app offered by Beam Financial Inc. and founder Yinan Du – the defendants in a lawsuit filed today by the Federal Trade Commission.

Settlement requires Zoom to better secure your personal information

Daily life has changed a lot since the pandemic started. Because face-to-face interactions aren’t possible for so many of us, we’ve turned to videoconferencing for work meetings, school, catching up with our friends, even seeing the doctor. When we rely on technology in these new ways, we share a lot of sensitive personal information. We may not think about it, but companies know they have an obligation to protect that information. The FTC just announced a case against videoconferencing service Zoom about the security of consumers’ information and videoconferences, also known as “Meetings.”

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