Attorney, FTC's Division of Consumer & Business Education
Have you already decked your halls in lights, timed to blink to the strains of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Even if you haven’t reached that level of early enthusiasm, the holiday spirit is starting to spread already. If you spend any time on social media, you may have seen posts about the Secret Sister Gift Exchange.
SSGE encourages you to mail a gift worth $10 dollars to a stranger at the top of the list. Supposedly, in return, you’ll get a pile of presents from other participants. SSGE and come-ons like it encourage you to hop on board an enticing cash- or gift-giving experience. Sounds like a good time, right? Sorry, Blitzen, stop that sleigh!
The next time you get a message offering to fix a supposed problem with your computer, you might keep this in mind: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because there’s a good chance that call is a tech support scam.
Are you a veteran going back to school for a degree or professional certificate? We’ve taken time this week to thank and honor you and other veterans for your service, but we also want to help. That’s where you come in — we need to hear from you.
We moved into our house and immediately installed an alarm system to keep us safe from the bad guys. But even the best house alarms can’t stop everything – like a scammer walking through your front door.
Counsel, FTC's Division of Consumer & Business Education
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation had more than 9.3 million veterans aged 65 and older in 2013. For most of us, Veterans Day means a time to thank all our former servicemembers. But it’s a sad truth that scammers operate out of greed, not gratitude. Not-so-honest people target older veterans and their families to cheat them out of their hard-earned benefits.
Staff Attorney, Division of Financial Practices, FTC
As part of the FTC and New York Attorney General’s crackdown on abusive debt collectors, an operation doing business under several names, including National Check Registry, has agreed to settle charges that it allegedly used a slew of abusive and deceptive tactics to pressure people into making payments on questionable debts.
The 2015 Medicare open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. It’s the time when Medicare recipients can comparison shop and make changes to their plans. It’s also a time when scammers take advantage of older consumers with ruses like these.
Senior Attorney, Southwest Region, Federal Trade Commission
When you get more complaints about debt collection than about any other industry, what do you do? If you’re the FTC, you partner with 73 federal, state and local government agencies to bring down the hammer on illegal debt collection. And you collectively bring 115 law enforcement actions, including three brand new cases announced today by the FTC, bringing to 11 the number of cases the FTC has filed against 52 defendants so far this year. That’s more than in any year in FTC history.
Haunted by debt collectors? Here’s a chilling thought: some debt collectors are calling about debts that aren’t real. The FTC says a company calling itself “Delaware Solutions” and “Clear Credit Solutions,” did just that.
You walk out of a VA facility, and see a booth with people offering free phones and cell service for veterans, all thanks to a government program. It sounds compelling, right?
“Free” might end up costing you a lot of money. The FTC has heard about booths like these — and what happens next. Months later, veterans who signed up for the program get notices saying they need to provide personal information and documents to prove they meet the income requirements — something the people pitching the program never mentioned. Many veterans find that their incomes are too high to qualify for the program, and face losing service or paying for something they thought would be free.