By now, you probably know that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is an annual event to highlight free resources from government agencies and consumer advocacy organizations that can help people make smarter buying decisions and spot scams. NCPW 2014 is March 2 – 8.
No, not poltergeists. Scammers. And they want your last penny.
We’ve written before about tech support scams — where a caller claims that your computer has a terrible virus and needs immediate attention. The scammer asks for remote access and then charges you for “fixing” a problem that wasn’t there.
Now, they’re working the phones again, and they claim that if you paid for tech support services, they can get you a refund.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.
According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.
If you’ve been following the news this holiday season, you’ve probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.
Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it’s from Target, here’s what to look out for to make sure you don’t get scammed.
The clock is ticking, and you’re on the hook to find just the right gift this holiday season. Perhaps you’re shopping at the last minute; maybe the giftee is really picky; or, if you’re like I am, maybe you just don’t feel like dealing with wrapping paper! Regardless, a gift card or certificate may seem like a great solution: it’s a quick buy for you and it presents plenty of options for that person on your list.
As you go shopping for gift cards, remember to read the fine print before you buy. Yeah, time is precious and you may not have enough of it to read the details, but there are a few important things to look for.
The Federal Trade Commission is distributing a total of $5.9 million in refunds to more than 316,000 people who bought various products that claimed to help people lose weight and prevent cancer. The FTC said that Central Coast Nutraceuticals, Inc., used misleading claims, deceptive free trial offers, and phony endorsements to market Acai Pure as a weight loss product and Colotox as a cancer prevention supplement, and must refund money to consumers who bought them.
Target has announced that any credit or debit card used in a Target store in the U.S. between November 27 and December 15 may have been compromised. According to the announcement, the stolen information includes the customer’s name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV1 (a security code stored on your card's magnetic stripe).
In light of this announcement, the FTC has this advice...
Adults living at home, in an assisted living facility or a nursing home may use portable bed rails for help getting in and out of bed. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have new resources for consumers, caregivers, and health care providers about bed rails — how to shop for them, how to install and use them safely, what risks they may create, and where to report a problem.
There’s so much to look forward to in the spring — warmer weather, cherry blossoms, March madness, spring break, and… privacy seminars. That’s right: nothing says spring quite like the FTC’s upcoming Spring Privacy Series. These two-hour seminars will explore new and emerging technologies and their impact on consumer privacy.