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Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Annual Highlights

Springtime: For us here at FTC headquarters, it means warm weather, cherry blossoms on the National Mall, and the publication of the agency’s Annual Highlights.

.FTC Annual Highlights

Resolving Identity Theft? How to Help

FTC staff has a proud history of collaborating with legal services and victims’ rights groups, sharing legal resources and information and training hundreds of advocates throughout the country about a number of important consumer protection issues. Along the way, we’ve gotten many questions about how to help people reduce their risk of identity theft — and how to help them recover from the crime.

Robocall Challenge: And the Winner Is...

Drumroll, please! We've got a new national hero, or rather, heroes. Judges for the FTC Robocall Challenge selected two winners to share the $50,000 prize for Best Overall Solution to block illegal robocalls. Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss will each receive $25,000 for their proposals. Additionally, judges selected Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson from Google for the Robocall Challenge Technology Achievement Award. Organizations that employ 10 or more people were eligible for the Technology Achievement Award — there's no monetary prize, but there's all the glory that a National Hero status brings.

If They’re App-y and You Know It

Have kids in your life? Then you’ve probably got a collection of kids’ apps — or soon will. Whether it’s a game on your phone or a math app on your tablet, find out what apps might be doing — but might not be telling you — and what you can do about it:

Mystery Shopper Reveal: Are You Selling Entertainment to Kids?

Guess who recently went undercover to see if entertainment ratings were enforced when teens tried to buy age-restricted video games, movies, or music?

The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry

Contrary to re-circulating email, there is no new cell phone national do not call database.

Bogus Text Message Prize Offers

If you've ever gotten a text message on your cell phone telling you that you've won a free prize, you're not alone. During the past year, the FTC has gotten tens of thousands of complaints about unsolicited text messages.

Variations on a Scheme

We’ve heard reports that a variation on an old scam is making the rounds. It sounds like this:

<Ring, ring>

Unsuspecting person who answers the phone:  Hello?

Scammer who is calling:  Ma’am, I’m calling from the government. We’re about to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act. You’re one of the lucky people to get yours first...

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Top Complaint to the FTC? ID Theft, Again

When it’s award season in Hollywood, being #1 is what it’s all about. But in other settings, there’s nothing admirable about coming in first. For the fifth consecutive year, identity theft is at the top of the FTC’s list of consumer complaints.

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