Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, FTC
Last month, the FTC hosted a workshop on ransomware, one of the most serious online threats facing people and businesses today — and the most profitable form of malware criminals use. How does ransomware work? Hackers hold your files “hostage”— often encrypting them — then demand payment, typically in bitcoins, for you to get them back.
Missed the workshop? Check out our videos featuring conversations with security researchers, technologists, law enforcers, and business leaders. Want some bite-sized takeaways? Here are some tips to protect your devices from ransomware, and what to do if you’re a victim.
The U.S. population is getting older and more diverse. Who are the consumers of the future? How will scammers try to trick them? On December 6, 2016, consumer groups, advocates, researchers, marketers, and government agencies will gather to explore the demographic changes expected in different communities, and discuss the impact of these changes in the marketplace.
The FTC offers free materials to help people understand money issues. So when teachers from across the country meet annually to improve their own financial literacy, and increase their ability to teach personal finance in school, we’re ready to help.
If you have a phone, you’ve probably heard from an IRS imposter — someone claiming you owe thousands of dollars and better pay up immediately, or else terrible things will happen. In the last nine months, more than 111,000 of you reported calls like that to the FTC, and dozens wrote blog comments about callers with South Asian accents posing as IRS agents.
Crowdfunding is the use of online platforms to fund a project or cause by raising money from a large number of people. As part of its FinTech series, the FTC will take a closer look at crowdfunding during a half-day forum on October 26.
Earlier this year, the FTC sued Volkswagen for falsely claiming that its diesel cars had low levels of harmful emissions. A federal judge has approved the FTC order that requires Volkswagen to provide up to $10 billion to owners and lessees of VW and Audi 2.0 liter diesel cars. The FTC has pointers for people who own or lease a 2009 to 2015 VW TDI Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat or Audi TDI A3.
Over the summer, we told you about a mortgage relief scam that defrauded homeowners in financial distress. The case especially affected Spanish-speaking homeowners in Southern California. According to the FTC, Brookstone Law and Advantis Law firms convinced homeowners to make an upfront payment to join a mortgage lawsuit against banks and lenders, supposedly to help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgages, or get money from their lenders.