As you turn on the A.C. this spring, saving money on utilities might come to mind. Some states let you choose your energy supplier for electricity or natural gas. Maybe you're getting offers from companies, asking you to switch from your local utility company. Before you make a move, here are some questions to ask.
Buying a home is exciting. You saved for the down payment, scheduled the move, and are dreaming of planting new roots. Closing is right around the corner… unless a scammer gets your settlement fees first.
Senior Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
We hear from many people about robocalls. If a call is a message from someone selling something, and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from that company, the call is illegal. Do robocalls bug you, too? If so, watch this video to learn more about them, and the steps you can take to help slow them down.
Exceptionally talented sports legends, musicians, and actors all have something in common – halls of fame. At the other end of the spectrum are banned debt collectors. They, too, get special recognition… in the FTC’s hall of shame.
Are you a former student of DeVry University — or of any other college — who’s heard from a company that’s promising to get your loans forgiven after you pay them a fee?
We have an important piece of advice: don’t do it. It’s never a good idea to pay an up-front fee for the promise of debt relief. Once you pay, you might not get anything in return. And you might be paying for something you can do yourself for free.
It should be clear by now: if you make illegal robocalls to people on the Do Not Call list, you’re headed for trouble. Trouble — in the form of a Federal lawsuit — just found an operation that the FTC says bombarded people with more than 1.3 million robocalls pitching energy savings.
We hear first-hand stories from people around the country about how scammers are targeting people in every community. And while the techniques the scammers use may vary, there’s one thing these scams have in common: sometimes, the first step in avoiding a scam is talking about it with someone you trust.
Patience is a virtue. So is persistence. Three years ago, the FTC temporarily halted a sophisticated scheme run by Ideal Financial Solutions, Inc., a Nevada corporation, that defrauded millions of consumers out of tens of millions of dollars. Here’s how it worked: The defendants bought consumer payday loan applications, including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, from data brokers and payday loan websites. Ideal Financial used the information to take money from consumers’ bank accounts — without their OK or even their knowledge. So the court froze the defendants’ assets and appointed a receiver to control the business while awaiting trial. Fast forward to March 2016.