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Fake followers: A social media hoax

Influencers, celebrities and other people with strong online followings can be, well, influential. When considering whether you want to buy something or use a service – especially when you’re buying online – you might look at a person’s or company’s social media. A bigger following might mean something to you, maybe telling you something about their legitimacy or how good their product or service is.

What Do Not Call complaints are telling us

Have you gotten a call from an imposter, maybe someone pretending to be with the Social Security Administration, IRS, or a tech support company, this year? If so, you’re not alone. Calls from imposters were the most-reported topic of unwanted calls to the FTC over the past year (FY2019).

You can see our annual report on Do Not Call complaints, with state-specific data. But here are some key takeaways.

Aloe, goodbye: company’s claims lacked proof

You may have heard of using aloe vera for sunburn relief. A Florida company claimed its aloe products would relieve joint and muscle pain, diabetes, acid reflux and more — and that health studies confirmed its claims. Not so, says the FTC. Under an FTC settlement, the company will pay a financial judgment of $537,000 and must stop making health related claims that aren’t supported by the necessary scientific evidence.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Renting a car: Factoring in the fees

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country road trip, a rental car may be in your future. Comparing prices online can save you a bundle, but make sure you compare the total cost — not just the advertised rate. Added fees can increase the base price dramatically.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Zurixx’s real estate investment scheme

These days, it seems like everyone wants to make money by flipping houses. There are companies out there promising to tell you how, but not all those promises are real. The most recent example is Zurixx, a real estate investment company sued by the FTC and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (DCP).

FTC Refunds: The real deal or not?

Sometimes the FTC is able to return money to people who were ripped off in a con artist’s scheme. But scammers try to cause confusion and take advantage at every step.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC: AdvoCare business model was pyramid scheme

Are you thinking about joining a multi-level marketing business to earn extra money? Before investing your hard-earned cash, make sure you’re not dealing with a pyramid scheme – a scam that can cost you dearly.

graphic of FTC settlement with Advocare

 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Millennials and fraud: What’s the story?

Lots of people fall for scams. Is it any different for Millennials? That’s what the FTC explores in its new Data Spotlight, Not what you think: Millennials and fraud.

Self-defense against scams

To everyone who hangs up on unwanted calls, learns about the latest scams, and checks with friends about suspicious offers: good news! People who did all those things were less likely to lose money to a scam than people who didn’t, according to Exposed to Scams: What Separates Victims from Non-Victims?, a report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, and the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Video games, loot boxes, and your money

Play video games, or have kids who do? For most of us, that’s a yes, according to a recent industry survey.

It also means you might have heard of loot boxes. Loot boxes are the containers you come across in many games filled with a random mix of virtual items players might want: maybe clothes or gear to customize your avatar, or weapons or skills that could give you an advantage over other players in the game. Some of the items are valuable in the game, but many are not. And you won’t know what you’re getting until you open it.

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