Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education
In pretty much every article and blog post we put out, you’ll find tips to help you avoid scams. The idea is that, if you can spot a scam, and know how to avoid it, you and your money are more likely to stay together.
Today, we’re releasing a brochure that distills those tips down to the top 10 ways to avoid fraud. This brochure – available online and in print – is your one-stop resource to help you spot imposters, know what to do about robocalls, and how to check out a scammer’s claims.
It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, and businesses to the ongoing flooding in Louisiana. But it’s despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity.
Have you seen ads promising easy money if you shrink-wrap your car — with ads for brands like Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi? The “company” behind the ads says all you have to do is deposit a check, use part of it to pay a specified shrink-wrap vendor, and drive around like you normally would.
But don’t jump onto the bandwagon. It’s only easy money for the scammer who placed the ads.
If anyone tells you to buy iTunes cards to pay the IRS, qualify for a grant, get a loan or bail out a family member, say “No.” They’re trying to scam you. The only place to use an iTunes card is at the iTunes store, to buy online music, apps or books.
What’s worse than losing money to a scammer? Losing more money to another scammer claiming to help you recover from the first one.
Yep; this really happens. It works like this: Con artists contact you because you’re on their lists of people who lost money to scams. For a “small fee” or “donation” upfront, they promise to recover the money you lost from a prize scheme, bogus product offer, or some other scam.
Hundreds of thousands of people who bought Kevin Trudeau’s book “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” after watching his deceptive infomercials will get money back, thanks to the FTC.
You’ve started a new business and want to ensure you’re doing everything right. So, when people claiming to be with the government call you to say you’re violating the law, you may be inclined to do whatever they say to fix it…right?
Slow down. Government imposters are counting on that reaction — because that’s their business.
Maria and Rafael are thrilled that their daughter just graduated college and they’re ready to celebrate with friends and family. Abuela even made her famous tamales for the special occasion! At the party, Maria and Rafael beam with pride.
Soon after the festivities wind down, reality sets in and Rafael starts worrying. They have to start paying back the money they owe for their daughter’s college education, but he’s been out of work for months. What’s he going to do?
If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you might look for financial relief to help keep the roof over your head. Do you turn to your bank or mortgage lender for help? Maybe you got a mailer promising mortgage relief – via a lawsuit against banks and lenders? If you’ve thought about the last option, watch out for empty promises.
Have you gotten pre-recorded sales calls from Rachel from Cardholder Services? Or Bank Card Services or Credit Assistance Program? You’ve been reporting these illegal calls, and the FTC continues to take action.
Today, the FTC and the state of Florida announced a lawsuit against Life Management Services, a company that the FTC says is behind hundreds of thousands of these calls.