Privacy & Identity

Can the Spam Texts (And Robocalls)

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. 

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Privacy & Identity

Talking Through Identity Theft: A Program for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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.

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Privacy & Identity

Robocall Scams Push Medical Alert Systems

 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.”

Your First Line of Defense

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.

MCPD

Visit Us at the NCLR Annual Conference in New Orleans

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.

Can We Talk?

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.

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Privacy & Identity

Got Kids Under 13?

It’s summertime. For kids, that might mean days at the pool, sleep-away camp, summer school…and hours on some computer or mobile device, if they can possibly get away with it.

Starting today, parents might feel a little better about their younger kids’ privacy online. That’s because changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule take effect today. The act requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to give notice to parents — and get their verifiable consent — before collecting, using, or disclosing a kid’s personal information. The rule also applies to general audience sites that know they’re collecting information from kids under 13, and to sites and online services that have actual knowledge they’re collecting information from sites directed to children. The rule applies to apps, too, not just to websites.

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Privacy & Identity

Going Mobile

If you want easy access to reliable consumer tips and advice while you’re on-the-go, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new mobile-friendly navigation for our library of consumer information.

consumer center mobile website

A DNC Birthday Suit

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the National Do Not Call Registry. What a fitting day for the FTC’s announcement of the biggest civil penalty ever collected in a Do Not Call case.

Librarians, Check It Out! FTC’s at the ALA Annual Conference

If you’re headed to Chicago for the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, swing by to say hello. FTC staff will be at Booth # 934, ready to hand out our materials – all free, all the time – and talk about how to use them in your community. If you want a little more detail, come to my poster session, Saturday June 29, from 2:30pm to 4 pm. I’ll be talking about our innovative collaboration with the Center for Applied Linguistics to create materials for people who have consumer questions and want basic information.

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