Consumer Information Blog

Report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov

Millions of people are affected by identity theft each year. It might start with a mysterious credit card charge, a bill you don’t recognize, or a letter from the IRS that says you already got your refund — even though you didn’t.

If someone uses your information to make purchases, open new accounts, or get a tax refund, that’s identity theft. Recovering from identity theft often takes time and persistence. That’s why today’s announcement from the FTC is a big deal: New features at IdentityTheft.gov make it easier to report and recover from identity theft.

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GM and dealers agree to tell car buyers about recalls

You’re looking to buy a used car and want some peace of mind, so you choose a dealer that advertises rigorous, bumper-to-bumper safety inspections. You can drive off the lot with confidence, right? Not so fast.

Today the FTC announced that General Motors Company, Jim Koons Management Company, and Lithia Motors have agreed to settle charges they deceptively marketed their used cars when they made claims about their comprehensive inspections.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC complaint targets DeVry’s job placement claims

One way to climb the career ladder is by hitting the books to get your degree. But some companies take the hype too far. That’s why the FTC has filed a complaint in federal court today against DeVry University, one of the nation's largest educational services companies, for misrepresenting the prospects of their graduates to get well-paid jobs in their fields.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Paying down holiday debt?

The season of giving is over — well, sort of. For many people, December’s gift-giving and feasting means a bigger-than-usual credit card bill in January. You know the advice: it’s always good to pay off your balance in full. But if you can’t, we’ve got some tips for paying down credit card debt.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Manuel avoids car-buying trouble [fotonovela]

Manuel and his wife just found the perfect minivan!  They can’t wait to take it home and surprise the kids. But first, there’s the issue of how to pay for it. The dealer financing seems like a good deal, so they go for it. A few days later, the dealer calls to tell Manuel the financing deal fell through. He says Manuel has to accept a new, more expensive deal or he’ll lose the minivan. What will Manuel do?

How to stop calls from debt collectors

Behind in paying your bills? You might find a debt collector calling. But the law says how and when they can do that. For example, they can’t call before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or while you’re at work if the collector knows that your employer doesn’t approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you or lie when they try to collect a debt. And, if you ask them in writing to stop calling, they have to stop.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

This year’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week is January 25-29

It’s tax season, and you know what that means: identity thieves who want to steal your tax refund are at work. Find out how to stop them during Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 25-29.

The FTC and its partners are hosting a series of events to help you understand tax identity theft, how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim, and what to do if thieves have stolen your tax refund.  Check these out:

Is your baby monitor secure?

It may be time to update an old lullaby with a new stanza: “Hush little baby, don’t say a word, unless your Wi-Fi baby monitor is well-secured.”

Why? It turns out that some baby monitors that broadcast live audio and video feeds over the internet have few security protections. Nobody wants a monitor that lets you keep an eye on your baby from your computer or mobile device if it allows a stranger to hack the feed and watch, too.

Scammers fake Social Security email

The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.”

It sounds real, but it’s all made-up. It’s a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer’s link.

Medicare imposters want to steal your money. Don’t let them.

Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them?

Answer: Never. Hang up — it’s a scam.

We’ve heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They say they need to verify your bank account number — and it might sound convincing. In truth, it’s a trick to steal your money.

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