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Don’t let “FREE” cost you

When a company says you can try its product for free, you might think, why not? Here’s why not: You could end up paying a lot of money for that free trial. Scammers often use free trial offers with undisclosed or buried terms to enroll people in costly membership programs. That’s what happened in the case of Triangle Media Corporation, the FTC alleges.

Scammers create fake emergencies to get your money

Scammers try to trick you into thinking a loved one is in trouble. They call, text, email, or send messages on social media about a supposed emergency with a family member or friend. They ask you to send money immediately. To make their story seem real, they may claim to be an authority figure, like a lawyer or police officer; they may have or guess at facts about your loved one. These imposters may insist that you keep quiet about their demand for money to keep you from checking out their story and identifying them as imposters. But no matter how real or urgent this seems — it’s a scam.

Getting a vacation rental? Watch out for scams.

With July 4th right around the corner, plenty of us are still running around trying to book a last-minute vacation rental. If that’s you, here’s what you need to know: scammers are ready with fake vacation rental ads. Rental scammers try to get your rental booking and take your money. But, when you show up for the vacation, you have no place to stay and your money is gone!

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

FTC sues two more in phantom debt scheme

Have you ever gotten a call about a debt that isn’t yours? That’s known as a phantom debt, and today, the FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office announced that they are suing two players in an alleged phantom debt scam: Hylan Asset Management and Worldwide Processing Group. It’s a complex web of made-up debt, debt sellers, brokers, buyers, and collectors – involving some players the FTC has sued before.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Military Consumer Month 2018: Fight Imposter Scams

July is Military Consumer Month. This year, we’re focusing on fighting imposter scams – where a con artist pretends to be someone you trust, to convince you to send money or personal information. The scam can take many forms: imposters may say they’re calling from the government or from a business with technical support expertise. Other scammers lure unsuspecting victims by posing as legitimate users of online dating sites, or say that there’s an emergency with a friend or family member.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Avoiding World Cup scams

The long-awaited 2018 World Cup is underway. Fans from across the world have flocked to Russia in support of their favorite teams. Though most have already bought their tickets, many are still hoping to come across an unbeatable deal that will get them to the Cup.

While fans hope for a good deal, scammers hope for ticket-hungry fans. Here are a few tips for avoiding World Cup-related scams:

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

No prizes from the FTC

Recently, someone showed up at the door of the FTC to ask about his prize. He had a mailing saying he’d won $5 million – and the FTC had “certified and verified” it. The letter told him to act immediately to get the money. Otherwise, his millions would be given to somebody else. He’d talked with the so-called officials, who wanted him to pay $500 in fees to claim his (ahem) prize.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Credit card processing “deals” may be scams

If you’re in a small business, you probably need a way for people to pay you – and ways to lower your costs. Scammers have been working both of those angles, promising businesses that they can save on leases of credit card processing equipment. They’ve also been promising that businesses can cancel any time. 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Scams and your small business

At the FTC, our mission is to protect consumers, including small business owners. That’s why, when we see scammers taking money from small businesses, we step in. Today, the FTC announced Operation Main Street: Stopping Small Business Scams, a coordinated law enforcement and education effort with state and federal partners, as well as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to stop scams that target small businesses.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Hawaii’s volcano eruption: Picking up the pieces

While lava from the Kilauea volcano eruption continues to flow, it’s not too early to begin taking stock and developing a recovery plan. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

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