Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Scams near you, by the numbers

Every day, people across the country are telling the FTC what happened to them. Maybe they lost money to a scam, lost their identity, or just spotted something that looked fishy and wanted somebody to know. All of that information helps FTC and other law enforcement agencies investigate and bring cases against scammers. And, every year, we roll up all that data and give it back to you in an annual data book. Now, though, you don’t have to wait a year to find out what’s happening.

Will background check errors deny you a home?

A background check can determine if you can get credit, a job, or even a place to live. That’s why the law requires businesses that provide these reports have reasonable procedures to ensure the information they collect and share about you is accurate.

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is spooky enough with its ghouls and goblins. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind us how to stay safe and secure from real (and maybe even scarier) threats – malware and scammers.

Facebook breach: what to do next

Facebook recently announced the largest breach in the company’s history. The breach affected about 50 million users, allowing hackers to take over their accounts. If you use Facebook, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are a few steps you can take.

Hang up on Medicare card scams

Scammers follow the news – and the money. A few months ago, we shared the news that Medicare is sending new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits, replacing your Social Security number with another number. As expected, scammers have been trying to cash in on this change.

FTC shuts down fake document sellers

When you apply for credit, a mortgage, a place to live, government benefits, or tax refunds, you need documents showing your income, employment, and other information. But not everyone plays by the rules. Some businesses sell fake documents to people who use them to get products and services for which they might not otherwise qualify.

Empowering Hispanic consumers and business owners

September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month —a time to celebrate the heritage, cultures and contributions of all Latino and Hispanic Americans in the U.S. For us at the FTC, it is a reminder of our continued commitment to protect all consumers in every community. For me, it is a reminder of the work that my colleagues and I do to ensure that many of these resources are available to Spanish speakers.

Copycat recruiting sites?

Servicemembers understand the serious responsibility of enlisting in the armed forces. But some companies may try to take advantage. If you or a loved one is visiting military recruiting websites to research or enlist, don’t get the wrong impression. Double check that the military recruiting sites you land on are official websites of the U.S. Armed Forces, not ones in disguise made to collect, and sell, your personal information.

Let's talk about cyberbullying

Last week, the FTC joined several other agencies and the First Lady for an important conversation about cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a tough subject for both parents and educators. That’s why most of our materials are built around having conversations, in small doses, and in your own language.

Here are some easy ways to start these conversations:

Selling your car? Clear your personal data first.

Is a new car in your future? You might first have some unfinished business with your old one. While you’re cleaning out your personal items, think about the personal information stored in the car’s electronic system. 

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