What do bogus government grants, business opportunities, and free trial offers have in common? According to the FTC, they were all part of an elaborate scheme that cost consumers more than $275 million dollars.
Eyeballing that chic dress in the store window, but don’t have enough cash on hand to buy it? Maybe you need that new set of tools, but your checking account is hovering around its minimum? If the store you’re buying from offers a layaway plan, you might consider using it when you don’t have all the money you need to pay for something you’d like to buy.
The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers. And one group of consumers who can face specific kinds of challenges? Our military community. For many young servicemembers, time in the service is their first full-time job. Military families may move around regularly as they change duty stations.
Scammers use a number of clever schemes to trick people into sending them money: they might promise a job, a loan, a scholarship, or a prize. They might even promise to recover money lost to a previous scam.
The letter you opened sounds like you’ve lucked out in a big way. It’s an offer for free plane tickets to practically anyplace you want to go. The company — whose name appears to be that of a well-known airline — urges you to act quickly, or you might miss this “last chance.” They even sent a “voucher” for the tickets.
Seems like all you have to do is call the toll-free number on the letter and you’ll soon be flying off to your desired destination. The offer has a deadline, though, so you’d better call now, right?
The FTC is gearing up for its “Internet of Things: Privacy and Security in a Connected World” workshop on November 19, 2013. The goal is to explore issues of consumer privacy and security when it comes to the connectivity of everyday devices. Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the keynoter;
If you’ve ever had a virus on your computer, you know what a nightmare it can be — a slow computer that crashes unexpectedly, your contact lists getting messages that you didn’t send, your online accounts vulnerable to hacking.
Perhaps just as frustrating as a virus infecting your computer? Paying someone to get rid of a virus that isn’t there.
The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has left many people asking how they can help. If you’re looking for a way to give, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, urges you to do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised — and as you intend.
Veterans Day is a special time to honor all those who have served our country. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 22 million veterans live in the U.S. today. And yet, for all the grateful Americans who celebrate these heroes, there are scammers trying to take advantage of veterans and current servicemembers.
The FTC’s Consumer Center has loads of information to help veterans and their families fight back against fraudsters.