Top 10 consumer protection blog posts of the year

It’s time to dust off the red carpet—actually, it’s more of a government-issued gray, but we’re dusting it off nonetheless—to bring you our top 10 consumer blog posts of the year.

10. Do those incessant, unwanted phone calls and text messages drive you bonkers? You’re not alone. And this blog post gave you tips to stop them.

9. We charged that TracFone Wireless’ promises of unlimited data were off-trac and customers didn’t get what they paid for. If you’re one of them, you may have been eligible for a refund.

8. Scammers targeted real caregivers— like babysitters and nannies—with really fake checks.

7. Our top 5 questions about unwanted calls come in at number 7 in this year-end top 10 countdown.

6. June brought us the anticipation of lazy summer days and jaunts to the beach or lake. It also brought news of an OPM data breach and tips on what to do.

5. We know scammers strike while the iron is hot. This blog told you how to tell if that email about the OPM data breach is legit or a phishing scam.

4. Ever gotten a call from a scammer pretending to be from the IRS? So have we. Hang up, then report ‘em to the FTC.

3. During Tax Identity Awareness week, we shared a cool infographic that tells you how IRS imposter scams work and what to do about them.

2. If you get a call from your own phone number, you might think there’s some sort of witchcraft going on. Thankfully, we told you that it’s probably a scammer making an illegal robocall. You can open your eyes now!

1. And the top blog post of the year told of my colleague who got her very own IRS imposter call and this bogus message: “Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.”

Before they cue the music and kill the lights, remember you can get all of our blog posts by email. Sign up for free.

And a big thank you for reading our blog this year.

Comments

Good job this year! Thank you.

Thanks to Wonderful people you are That help our family in a 100% fraudulant Home forclosure,I worked 22yrs TraumaRN.To pay for my home and lenders Are trying to take away for gain..pd 50k legal and keeps on. Lenders refuse damages to us.Thankyou!!!! Happy new Year.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT FRAUD!!! YOU WERE TOLD 4yrs ago about the clone of my smart phone..did you listen? NO INSTEAD YOU GAVE THEM A LIC TO DO IT LEGAL? NOW LISTEN UP IDIOTS MY NEW CREDIT CARD WITH YOUR TECH HAS BEEN CLONED??? WILL YOU DO ANYTHING? NOPE..YOU ARE USELESS

i make a coment,who can help me about that? i need help

The entire banking industry needs to be investigated in 2016. Starting with Discover Bank...

What about Discover Bank?

Very helpful keep it coming in 2016

I need to talk to someone personally, i dont know who to trust.

You can contact the FTC online or by calling 1-877-382-4357.

Thanks FTC.

Mortgage Rip off - Ocwen Loan -Florida

You seem to have overlooked the fact that Florida had 20% of all foreclosures in the US for the fourth year in a row...why isn't anyone looking into this? It is a theft of property that may be larger than the 2008 "bubble". Who ends up owning all of these properties?

Speaking of Florida: why do 90% of the telemarketers call from Florida? This has been true for as long as I can remember.

This is good stuff. Thank you for the advise.

How about the one claiming they are representing consumer reports readers service. Guy must have called 5 times in 1 day and I let my answering machine take them all. Of course I did not answer until about the 7th call. He proceeded to tell me he was from reader service and wanted to know about my subscription renewal to consumer reports. Well I told him, it did not go threw and then told him he was a scammer and I wasn't going to talk to him. haven't heard from him since.

email scam: saying lost relative left monney

I just purchased a 2016 Honda Accord on 12/31/2015. After driving it home, about 6 miles, I heard noises under the hood, and brought the Honda back to the dealership on 1/2/2016 when they re-opened after New Year's Day. They diagnosed it as 'transmission' problems. There is only 160 miles on this New Honda. How can I just cancel this sale, and get another new Honda immediately? or get all my money back, including purchase price, sales tax, extended warranty fees, doc prep fees, registration fees, etc? I drive about 20,000 miles/year and don't want to be dealing with constant problems. I have had two other Honda's (one dead at 298,000 and other dead at 264,000 miles). I am sitting home today, with NO car, although the 'extended' warranty I purchased (for $2000.00 extra) included a rental car if my new car had any problems requiring overnight repair, but the local car rental facilities (Hertz and Enterprise) had supposedly closed early for the weekend 1/2/2016. This is not going well. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

You say your new car is having problems, and you want to know how to cancel the sale and get a replacement vehicle or a full refund. You can start by talking to a manager at the dealership; explain what you want and see what they offer.  The result you get could depend on several factors including what the dealership will do, what your contract says and the law in your state.  After you talk with the dealer, you might want to talk to Honda corporate headquarters, contact your state Attorney General’s office or find a lawyer using this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or this site from the State Bar Associations.

There's more information about dealing with a defective car at this government website: Car Complaints | USA.gov.

I'd like to know if Techfixnow is a scam. Thank you.

Thumbs Up!

Lemon Law....

Thank you for your recent work on Lumosity--I was just going to purchase it and now glad you showed that its maker did not have reliable scientific data to show that it would do what it promised!

I believe Carmart is overcharging people, with there income tax down payments. In my contract it has a section that tells me how many payments, the amount, thru dates (every two weeks or weekly), and the down payments which are divided up into two years or just one year,each February. Like, 24 payments @ 300.00, 1 payment (downpayment) @ 600.00, 24 payments @ 300.00, 1 payment (down payment) @ 500.00. But I'm told during signing, that with each downpayment I also have to make my car payment that's scheduled for that week. Well I did the math and they were actually getting two extra car payments by telling people this. I called them out on it one year. They just said OK, nothing else. Didn't argue or anything, I paid my truck off with the right amount of payments. Well about a year later I got another vehicle from them,but in a different town, they tried the same scam of me! My sister has gotten two vehicles thru them and they did it to her to, but she didnt catch it and paid the two extra car payments.

If you want law enforcement to be able to see this information, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information will go into a database that law enforcement uses.

You can also contact your state Attorney General’s office.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

My son as at&t internet. I go over there to use it sometimes, well it started updating my address in my personal profile for me, on certain online account websites like my student loan and debit cards. But it actually changed it to my sons address. I started getting my student loan mail at his house. I called my debit card, asked them how my address was changed, they couldn't tell me when,who or why it did that. Weird. My online debit purchases wouldn't go thru because of this! Thanks at&t!

If you think someone changed your mailing address without your permission, you may want to check your credit report to see if they have changed any more of your information.

This page in IdentityTheft.gov explains what to do if you think your information has been lost or stolen.

I hired Greg Carpentry,LLC. to do the work on my home. I was awarded CDBG Rehabilitation Grant. This person did not comply with factory installation. HE USE LOWER GRADE material,siding, Did not put gutters back on the house. The HVAC is 3 ton,The one I He removed a 3 1/2 ton. that was I was supposed to get. The duct work was to be replaced in the attic from R6 to R8. it was not also the all duct was to be repaired. My rails around my porchs look like a 5 year got a nail gun then went wild. He put the siding over rotted cedar. The rot is seeping through the seems.

You can report this to your state and local consumer protection agencies, and to the agency that gave you the grant. Check with your local government to see if they license contractors, or accept complaints.

I unknowingly bought into a television scam of wholesale bridal flowers. We entered into a contract and even increased our order before the final wedding date. The florist asked us to change the time of delivery for the morning to which we had to ask permission of this particular 4 diamond venue. They agreed to allow the florist to deliver at 0900 so we changed the contract to that time thus rearranging other vendors specifically our photographers. They asked us to write a personal check for the balance to the so called owner of the store. We later found out that the check was written to the salespersons wife. Additionally, the initial deposit was made by credit card-- the name on the credit card statement was completely different than the one we entered into contract with. Our flowers arrived 45 minutes before our wedding started and they were brown and wilted. It was a complete bait and switch! After investigating this company we found them using at least 4 aliases. I followed up with a report to the city of Newport Beach and they responded back that this particular company if they didnt have a business license in their city?? How can they be on TV and not have a business license?? I also called ABC because they are serving alcohol to their patrons before entering into contracts not asking ID's and easily reachable to small children in the store with no supervision. ABC advised me they will be investigating them as well. We have asked for a full refund which they denied. Now, I am hiring an attorney and have posted on YELP if any others have been ripped off by this company. In a matter of days, I have found at least 6 other couples that went through the same turmoil. How do we file a class action lawsuit so no other consumers are defrauded by this type of business practice if we dont even know who to sue??? Any advise would be appreciated.

You can report this to your state and local consumer protection agencies. This FTC article explains how to dispute credit card charges.

If you want to find an attorney, you can use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association, or visit this site from the State Bar Associations to locate an attorney in your area.

If you paid partially by credit card call them and dispute the charge that usually gets attention. And if you actually went to a physical address then haunt it , they will want you to go away so usually will try to resolve. They cant stop you from standing in a public place and stating factual information about the business. And tale them , business , whoever you wrote check to, info stamped On back of your check may provide info , and whoever you can find thru public Records is associated with that business. Small claims is up to $7000.00 where i live and i you can prove unfair and deceptive practices you may get triple damages. Good luck!

I wonder if you guys ever received a call from this (308) 536-4180. It sounds so much of scam. Any advice from you would be greatly appreciated.

No matter what, make sure the roofing contractor you choose is a reliable one. Sometimes, there are small roofing contractor businesses who don’t even have insurance for their workers. You don’t want to use the shady contractors.

What are the current laws for hours and number of calls telemarketers and so-called debt collectors? It is MY phone and MY rights SHOULD supersede those who use it. I PAY for it. How do I stop them? My phone service company is not much help, and if I contact them via email, they may then have new info on me, and/or then know I am getting their messages.Some of each category call 5-10 times per day!!! Is Sunday forbidden for them to use? Probably not. The consumer rights are NOT being protected. I am a physically challenged senior citizen and wheel chair bound. My adult son lives with me and is battling a terminal illness. Perhaps you can now understand that my frustration is far beyond the norm.

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