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Consumer Information Blog

A Little Credit

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.

consumer what to know what to do screenshot

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The Truth About Cell Phones and the National Do Not Call Registry

Contrary to re-circulating email, there is no new cell phone national do not call database.

What’s in Your Paint?

Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes have settled FTC charges that they misled people into thinking the paints they sold didn’t contain VOCs — compounds that can hurt the environment and your health. The companies will stop claiming Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance interior paints contain “zero VOCs.”

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Mortgage Relief That Provides None

The FTC recently settled with two individuals and seven companies that allegedly lied about the mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue services they sold to distressed homeowners.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Variations on a Scheme

We’ve heard reports that a variation on an old scam is making the rounds. It sounds like this:

<Ring, ring>

Unsuspecting person who answers the phone:  Hello?

Scammer who is calling:  Ma’am, I’m calling from the government. We’re about to send out national medical cards for the new Affordable Care Act. You’re one of the lucky people to get yours first...

This is National Consumer Protection Week!

National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.

Top Complaint to the FTC? ID Theft, Again

When it’s award season in Hollywood, being #1 is what it’s all about. But in other settings, there’s nothing admirable about coming in first. For the fifth consecutive year, identity theft is at the top of the FTC’s list of consumer complaints.

 

Which HTC Devices Will Get Security Updates?

The FTC and HTC America announced a settlement recently that requires the company to fix security flaws in their smart phones and tablets that put users’ sensitive information at risk. If you’re wondering whether your device was affected, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a new webpage for HTC users that lists affected HTC devices and the status of updates, along with a toll-free number for information (866-449-8358) that is staffed from 8 am to 1 am EST.

Trending

In 2012, the FTC received more than 2 million consumer complaints – a first in the history of the Consumer Sentinel Network. The #1 category of complaints? Identity theft. This tidbit is from the hot-off-the-press Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2012, a fascinating analysis of complaints received in Sentinel during the previous calendar year. Sentinel is a secure online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies across the country. Agencies use the data to research cases, identify victims, and track possible targets.

Want to learn more about the top ten complaint categories, get national data, and state-by-state accountings of the top complaints? Check out the 2012 Sentinel Data Book.

Patching Things Up

If you own an HTC phone or mobile device, you may be affected by a settlement announced today between the FTC and HTC America.

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