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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

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.”

Why report fraud?

Scams come in many forms: texts, emails, letters, and lots of calls. Scammers plot schemes from tech support scams to fake check scams to try to knock us off balance just long enough to take advantage. They want to get our money and personal information, like account numbers and our Social Security number. How can we fight back? By sharing your story and reporting what happened to the FTC.

What to do if someone steals your identity

You know that protecting your identity and personal information is important. And you also know that taking steps to avoid identity theft can make a big difference. But if someone steals your identity, here’s the first thing you do: go to IdentityTheft.gov.

Scams that start on social media

Scammers are hiding out on social media, using ads and offers to market their scams, according to people’s reports to the FTC and a new Data Spotlight. In the first six months of 2020, people reported losing a record high of almost $117 million to scams that started on social media.

How to spot, avoid, and report imposter scams

Imposter scams often begin with a call, text message, or email. The scams may vary, but work the same way – a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money or share personal information.

Scammers may ask you to transfer money from you bank, wire money using a company like Western Union or MoneyGram, put money on a gift card, or send cryptocurrency, because they know these types of payments can be hard to reverse.

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