Your mobile phone sets your home alarm system. Your tablet schedules the DVR in your bedroom TV. Your smart watch sends your blood pressure levels to your physician. Every day more and more consumer devices communicate with each other over the internet. Some people call this growing network the “Internet of Things.”
People have long complained about unauthorized charges — cramming — on the bills for their landlines. The FTC has responded loudly and clearly, bringing more than 30 cases, getting tens of millions of dollars back for consumers, and advocating for reforms to eliminate landline cramming. But fraudsters, trolling for new opportunities to cheat consumers, have found the bills for people's mobile devices to be fertile territory.
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Assistant Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC
FTC staff has a proud history of collaborating with legal services and victims’ rights groups, sharing legal resources and information and training hundreds of advocates throughout the country about a number of important consumer protection issues. Along the way, we’ve gotten many questions about how to help people reduce their risk of identity theft — and how to help them recover from the crime.
Drumroll, please! We've got a new national hero, or rather, heroes. Judges for the FTC Robocall Challenge selected two winners to share the $50,000 prize for Best Overall Solution to block illegal robocalls. Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss will each receive $25,000 for their proposals. Additionally, judges selected Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson from Google for the Robocall Challenge Technology Achievement Award. Organizations that employ 10 or more people were eligible for the Technology Achievement Award — there's no monetary prize, but there's all the glory that a National Hero status brings.
Have kids in your life? Then you’ve probably got a collection of kids’ apps — or soon will. Whether it’s a game on your phone or a math app on your tablet, find out what apps might be doing — but might not be telling you — and what you can do about it:
During the past few years, consumers have complained to the Federal Trade Commission about debt collection more than just about any other single topic. It’s no surprise, then, that when we asked legal services attorneys and non-profits across the country what issues resonate most with the people they see, credit and debt topped that list, too.
That’s why the FTC’s new resource, consumer.gov, devotes a section to issues related to credit and debt. It is a great place to learn about building your credit history, and getting your credit reports and scores; using credit, including credit cards, loans, and interest rates; the risks of using more expensive credit options like payday loans and car title loans; and managing debt – from better budgeting to dealing with debt collectors.