Selling your used stuff online has become commonplace. So have scams taking advantage of the good names of reputable online companies. At the FTC, we’ve heard from people stung by scammers spoofing PayPal. The scam generally goes like this: You post a high-value item, like a used car, for sale online. In no time at all, you get an email from a buyer willing to pay full price — or more! But he sets conditions; he is only willing to pay by PayPal or insists the sale must happen right away. What’s really going on? A ruse to steal your personal information, money or merchandise.
Here are some suspicious situations to look for and steps to safe selling online.
“Your computer is damaged ... we’ll help you fix it.” It’s the latest twist on tech support scams: Scammers sell software online that claims to increase your computer’s performance. They lure you to their websites with pop-up ads or web searches. Then, they tell you to call a phone number to activate or register the software. On the phone, they ask for remote access to your computer and then tell you that your computer has many errors that need to be fixed immediately.
“Free credit scores” sounds good, right? But what if you signed up for “free credit scores,” then found out you were enrolled in a credit monitoring program that costs $29.95 per month? Not so good. That’s what the FTC says happened with a company called One Technologies, Inc.
One way to judge a website’s privacy practices is to see if has been certified by an independent organization. Privacy seals and certifications are useful because it is difficult for regular computer users to verify how sites use their information.
Today, the FTC announced a settlement with TRUSTe, which advertises itself as “the #1 privacy brand.” The FTC alleged TRUSTe misled consumers when the company claimed it did an annual compliance checks on all sites that earned its “TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seals,” although it didn’t check more than 1,000 times over a six-year stretch
It’s open season for everyone who wants to switch health coverage. As you select your health insurance plan, watch out for scams. Whether you are on Medicare, selecting a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or have private insurance, here are some tips to help you more safely navigate the open enrollment season.
Earlier this year, I told you that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General (AG) acted to temporarily halt an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality.
I’m now pleased to report that a settlement obtained by the FTC and the Florida AG has permanently shut down the operation. In addition, the defendants are banned from making robocalls and participating in other telemarketing activities.
Lots of people feel the urge to cuddle and care for a puppy – especially one that doesn’t have a home and needs all the TLC an animal lover can give. But if you see an online ad for a dog, or any pet, be warned: that pooch’s pic may just be a trick to steal your money.
Companies have left people’s sensitive personal and financial information in all the wrong places — in dumpsters, on car seats, and even in employees’ backpacks.
Now, the FTC has sued two debt sellers for posting spreadsheets with the sensitive information of more than 70,000 people on a public website, making it — along with information about a debt they might owe — available to anyone who happened on the site.