Want privacy? Tell us about it!

Did a company share your personal information without your knowledge or consent? The FTC wants to know. And we’ve made it easier for you to report privacy-related complaints.

Just go to the FTC’s Complaint Assistant and click the banner that says: “Concerned about how a company is handling your personal information? Click here to report privacy concerns.”

What should you report? Your family reading your diary? No. Identity theft or data breaches? Go to identitytheft.gov instead. A company collecting or sharing your information without asking? That’s what we’re talking about. Here are examples of privacy complaints you might make: 

  • Your location or age shows up where you didn’t expect it. You share your resume online with what you think is a small group, and then find it elsewhere – complete with your age, which you didn’t want strangers to know. Or you post a photo, and then your location appears publicly. Now, everyone knows exactly where you are.
  • A company knows more about you than you expected. You start getting ads for maternity clothes when you haven’t signed up for them. Maybe another company shared some pretty key information about you. If you thought that information was private and can identify the company that shared it, let us know.     
  • Your friends are getting invitations from you – that you didn’t send. An online group you joined starts sending invitations to your friends. But you didn’t give permission for them to be contacted. Maybe a company is accessing your contact list without permission.  

Tell the FTC whenever your information is shared – and you didn’t want it to be. Also, consider these tips:

  • Read the company’s privacy policy. If it says they share personal information with others – and you don’t want that – then don’t do business with them.
  • On social network sites, check your privacy settings. It’s safest to allow only friends to view your information, not friends of friends or the public.
  • On your mobile phone, turn off geo-location services until needed. Otherwise, apps may use your location information when you don’t realize it.

The FTC’s website has more information on consumer privacy.

Comments

I have read so many Privacy Policies that my eye's are crossed now and I feel like I'm just going in circles clicking on links to "Learn More" and read "Full Policy Here". Throw in the " Term Of Use" books, something has to change. Consumer's are NOT going to take the time to read novel's on Privacy Policies. There should be a DEFAULT PRIVACY CONTROL setting already set that would automatically protect Consumers PRIVACY and for the one's who don't care about there privacy they should have to read the novel's to adjust how much information they want to share. That would solve a lot of Privacy concerns.

The SEC uses the intellectual property of US citizens for the benefit of the SEC every day without compensating the citizen. In business that is called corporate espionage, but in Washington it's called business as usual. When asked if the method of collection of intellectual property by the SEC was deceptive a high ranking FTC Attorney said "Yes, it is deceptive." When asked if the the FTC was willing to bring a suit against the SEC the FTC attorney said," Um, well, a, a, um, a well, a, we can't sue government agencies." Just like the FTC treats this blog, free info.

Hi good day 

My name is magaret 2 months ago i was contacted by a man named james lopaz.we got chatting started getting to know each other but then he started telling me that he needs help in getting out of camp and needed 1000$  We stilled chatted but im not sure if this is a scam.

Stated that he works for  ainassad armforce base homeland security  FullName: James Lopez Rank Code: (SSG) Staff Sergeant (MOS)HOMELAND SECURITY  T.Num.1461m0409965 reginment address Ain Assad Armforeces Base mail. po.Box 6653  Albaghdadi

I then asked him for information about him which he gave to me. He then told me to send money through western union$ money gram. I do have pictures of him also not sure if hes using some 1 elses identity from homeland security can you guys please help me. Want to help all other women out there so that this dont happen to them.

He also gave me a base telephone number to call him its +233 231913324 this is the number i call on to speak to him. He also stated that he has a son called williams james. Hes email address is  williams james. Please assist me in finding out the truth.

Don't send money to someone you met online.

The U.S. Army has warned about scammers who go on dating sites and pretend to be servicemembers. According to the Army, scammers often say they are in a combat zone, and ask for money for "leave papers" or "transportation fees" or international telephones or other expensive things. They aren't really soldiers and they don't need money for those things; they are trying to steal your money.

A scammer might steal the name of a real soldier and use is to communicate. The real soldier might not know the scammer is using his name.

I sign petitions on a website for "Just Causes." Every time I do I receive tons of junk mail!

Oh you hit the nail on the head. It seems wierd I have to do so much to OPT OUT of things I never OPTED INTO. The font is so small, sometimes I get the computer to read it to me. I have bad vision and already have everything set for big fonts. So why do I spend any time doing this when I really don't know anyone else who would bother or who has any idea what I am doing. Well, the answer is I am retired, was a paralegal for a long time, and love hunting these companies down . beans

All financial institutions inform the customer and share some customer transaction details with the many creditors.

Did not know this service existed. Will learn more.

WE HAVE NEVER ALLOWED ANYONE TO SHARE OUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ON ZABA SEARCH OR OTHER WEBSITES LIKE THAT SO THE COMPANIES WHO ARE PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION WAS DONE WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION. EVERYONE WE TALK TO FEELS THE SAME WAY. ALSO, THERE IS A DO NOT CALL REGISTRY AND PRIOR TO HAVING OUR NUMBER LISTED WE REALLY DID NOT GET CALLS, BUT REGISTERED TO PROTECT THAT IN THE FUTURE IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN. NOW WHAT WE AND OTHERS WE KNOW WHO REGISTER ARE EXPERIENCING EVEN WITH PRIVATE NUMBERS (TO AVOID ROBOCALLS) ARE UNSOLICITED CALLS. WHAT WE CAN FIGURE IS THE COMPANIES THAT BUY THESE LISTS OR RECEIVE THEM SO THEY KNOW WHO "NOT" TO CALL, HAVE BREACHED THAT AND ARE USING THE NUMBERS TO CALL THOSE LISTED ON THE DO NOT CALL REGISTERY IN ADDITION TO THOSE THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT ARE NOT SIGNED UP. THAT IS A REAL PROBLEM AND YOU CAN READ IT ALL OVER THE INTERNET. IT SHOULD BE REQUIRED BY LAW THAT ALL COMPANIES THAT DO SHARE DATA LET THE CONSUMERS KNOW THIS UPFRONT,GIVE THEM A SHEET AND EXPLAINED TO THEM THAT THEY CAN SIGN, DATE AND INITIAL FOR THEIR PROTECTION IF THEY DO NOT WANT THE COMPANY TO SHARE ANY DATA. THIS SHOULD BE CLEARLY STATED ON A SEPARATE SHEET WHERE A CONSUMER CAN SEE USING LARGER BOLD PRINT, GIVEN A COPY OF THAT UNDERSTANDING BY ALL COMPANIES THAT DO SHARE AND SPELL OUT CLEARLY TO SIGN, DATE AND INITIAL IF THEY DO NOT WANT ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION SHARED. THERE IS SUCH A PROBLEM WITH HACKERS GETTING PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM SUPPOSED SECURE WEBSITES THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE TIGHTER REGULATIONS. WHEN IT COMES TO THE DO NOT CALL REGISTRY IT'S PURPOSE IS DEFEATED BECAUSE HAD WE REALIZED THAT THEY GIVE LISTS OF NUMBERS TO MARKETING COMPANIES, HOW CAN THEY MONITOR OR KNOW THAT THE INTENTION OF GIVING OUT THE LISTS ARE NOT GOING TO BE "ABUSED"? UNFORTUNATELY IT HAS AND WE AND COUNTLESS OTHERS WERE BETTER OFF PRIOR TO SIGNING UP WITH THIS REGISTRY. IF THERE WERE PUNISHMENTS FOR VIOLATORS THEN THAT COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE HOPE THIS HELPS.

I am being hacked for if entry theft

I am bombarded with unwanted text messages.

I put my resume on care.com and was told they would be taking it down because of my back ground but little did i know somebody had already looked at my resume and wanted to hire me. but thats not the kicker it was a scam they tried to get me to cash a 2850 dollar check that my bank caught right away and informed me that it was fake I'm am so thankful to my bank the person email address is WillyGrant86@ so please Beware she is a scam artist

You can file a complaint online with the FTC and provide all the information you would like to report, including email addresses you believe are involved in fraudulent practices.

Did anyone recieve a call from a phone number 512 569 6807 saying your full name ans social. They said that federal fraud charges are being brought against me but I don't know what for. I haven't done anything. I have been scamed before and sent over 500 dollars because I was freaked out. I believe this is a scam. Can someone help please.

Some scammers pretend to be from a law enforcement agency or to be debt collectors to try and scare you into paying.

You can read more about what fake collectors do in this article.

I can't prove it yet but I'm close. So let's assume it did happen or could happen and try to think like a criminal for just a moment to brainstorm ways of protecting consumers and yes, business owners alike.

As a business owner that was producing an extremely large revenue and customer database very quickly on a shoestring budget, I was a self employed contractor that was strongly advised by my Accountant to incorporate my company to protect myself should any legal problems arise. As more money came in through the sales pipeline, there was also more money going out to meet the needs of a growing company just trying to keep up with its needs to adapt. This called for more inventory such as computers and other office equipment that provided the sales team modern technology and current software applications to stand out above our competitors when providing estimates to our customers. Things were great, for a while. That was until I let the company dissolve while experiencing mental anguish of trying to figure out how my company went down the drain by negative word of mouth and public humiliation through cyber bullying all done through computer technology and anonymous users and social media sites posted on behalf of someone else without that persons knowledge. Which destroyed our reputation all because of a disgruntled employee that was also a proud computer "hacker" admitting his skills but never confessing to his works, especially to that of the fate of my multi-million dollar company.

I have suffered from mental psychosis from this and have argued with doctors that I am not imagining things, which I do not want to get into specifics on this conversation but just know that when dealing with a group such as these type of "hackers", they will go to any means necessary to keep your mouth shut to avoid detection from police and will threaten your life should you report it while doing things to you to make you seem "crazy" to others which will lead to counseling from a psychiatrist all just to discredit you as solid witness for the court by discrediting you as mental ill and unstable.

It's been 8 years now that I have been tormented by this countless large group and constantly pull my hair out thinking of my next move like a chess game to capture the King while considering their next dirty move unsuspected cheating move that they always do ever so smooth and evil it is so fascinating how intelligent they truly are and how sick they truly are as well.

They think no sees them and can't be caught with their games of humiliating other innocent people by sharing their private data but their time is about to come to and end just because it always ends no matter what. Things and time always has its era and a new dawn arises but when will it get better as it only seems to get worse?

I agree 100% with Motor_Mouth's comment that consumer privacy should, by default, be stringently protected from the very first contact or interaction. Simply as a matter of courtesy (as opposed to legality), an invitation to share personal information is a better option than requiring one's clients, members, patients, customers, etc. to defend themselves by searching for & through lengthy privacy policies & terms of use documents, most of which are written in user-unfriendly language, not to mention content! And some sort of good faith clause that would serve to protect businesses from lawsuit-happy consumers would seem a reasonable bridge between parties that could make this actually happen! . . . Sigh . . . soon would be nice.

I am getting messages from lady she all way say we are praying for you getting more money.I could not understand her.is she spam person.please help us.

You can delete the spam message.  If you do not know the person, and you do not want the message, it's OK to delete. You do not need to answer.

this is my hard work pass 18 years .but some one is planning to get my hard work in easy way.please give ideas and safe board to such people on this earth.

You can protect your information. Go to this FTC page to read about identity theft.

I feel my landline phone which is through the internet is watched for usage. I do not use it much but because of dropped cell calls in my area I use the phone line once in a while.I get in succession 2 or 3 robo or scam calls. One just left a message with my name (wrong usage of the spelling) which happens a lot and I find this concerning. I am careful not to answer any calls I do not recognize and am more disturbed that possible tapping (?) is used these days to get scam calls in. Hope this makes sense.

I was contacted by somebody claiming to be a DirecTV promotions representative. They pitched me on a pre-payment deal whereby they would send me a NetSpend debit card. I was instructed to call them when I received it, and place money on the card at local Walgreens. I agreed to the deal because it would save me some $300 on my bill. After doing that, I reached out to DirecTV through their site to verify the promotion. They contacted me and told me that it was a scam. I never put any money on the card, but the scam did not end there! The same person has been calling me and harassing me and threatening to cancel my DirecTV account because I had not held up my end of the deal. What's most alarming here is that my account was in fact canceled today! I have escalated this issue within DTV, but it is a disaster, and what worse is this scammer has my identity including my social! I have no idea where he got this other than DTV. Very alarming. He called me from (855)678-6337 and claimed he was Shak Donson. I also received an email that for all intents and purposes appears to be from DTV. It lists his employee IS as 40r1. I have filled a report with the FTC, but I am still unsure if I will have any further issues from this. A quick google search revealed that others have had similar calls from this number reporting similar harassing situations.

You did the right thing -- checked with the company yourself before sending any money.

If the scammer has your Social Security number, he can misuse that in a lot of different ways. Go to identitytheft.gov and find out what to do right away when someone has your personal information.

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