During the school year, parents are asked to sign many forms. In the wrong hands, the personal information on these forms can be used to commit fraud in your child’s name — to apply for government benefits, open credit card accounts, or apply for a loan.
When children are victims of identity theft, the crime may go undetected for years — or at least until your child is old enough to apply for a job or a loan, or rent an apartment. But there are laws that help safeguard your family’s personal information.
Friends and family are getting emails or messages you didn’t send. Or your social media accounts have posts you didn’t make. What can you do when it looks like someone’s taken over your account? Here are the steps you can follow if you get hacked.
TXT MSG: U won a FREE gift card!! Go 2 TXMSGSPAM, enter code $$$ to claim card within 24 hrs.
RU getting the MSG? Recently, the FTC moved to shut down a network of scammers who sent spam texts that promised “free” gifts, prizes, electronics, or gift cards. The catch? Clicking on the links in the texts sent recipients on a wild goose chase: a confusing and elaborate process that required them to pay for subscription services, apply for credit, or enter sensitive personal information – including their phone numbers. There were no free gifts or gift cards, but there were plenty of follow-up illegal robocalls.
Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, FTC
On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 from 2-3 p.m., the Federal Trade Commission will present a webinar for people who are blind or visually impaired. In “Talking Through Identity Theft,” we will discuss the causes of identity theft and how to remedy the crime – focusing on financial, medical, government benefits, and child identity theft. What makes this webinar unique, though, is that we will talk through how people who are blind or visually impaired can get access to educational resources on identity theft. We’ll map out the consumer education resources on the FTC’s website, as well as how to file a complaint. We’ll also talk about our audio files, and how to find them online.
The latest in unwelcome, illegal, prerecorded sales calls are from scammers pitching a safety alert system for older adults.
The callers spoof a phone number so it looks like a local call on caller ID. If you pick up, you’ll hear a message saying you’re eligible for an alert system, or system upgrade, or that someone bought a system for you. The message asks you to “press one” on your phone to talk to a live operator, who will quickly ask for a bank account, credit card, or Medicare number, and maybe an address, to “expedite shipping and handling.”
We’re all consumers and information is the first line of defense in the marketplace. Everyone can benefit from amping up their consumer know-how and getting the inside skinny on avoiding scams. That’s true for servicemembers, veterans, and their families, too. And that’s the spirit behind Military Consumer Protection Day, July 17. The FTC, the Department of Defense, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Military Saves have teamed up for this first ever MCPD to kick off a year-round campaign to empower the military and veteran communities.
Crescent City or The Big Easy? “Nawlins” or just New Orleans? However you call this beautiful city, my colleagues and I will be there later this week at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference handing out bilingual materials and chatting with people about being a smart and safe consumer.
Identity theft is an unfortunate fact of modern life. Do you know what to do if your identity is stolen? How can you make identity protection part of your routine? Get answers to these and other identity theft questions during our Twitter Chat July 10 at 2 pm (EDT). FTC staff will host a one-hour session with our partners at DoD’s Military One Source and Military Saves.