Consumer Information Blog

Protecting yourself against tax identity theft

It’s tax season and tax identity thieves are eager to claim your tax refund as their own. Find out how to stop them during Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 29-February 2.

The FTC and its partners are hosting free webinars and Twitter chats to talk about tax identity theft, how to reduce your risk, and what to do if it happens to you. Visit ftc.gov/taxidentitytheft to learn how to participate. Here’s what’s on tap:

FTC Halts “Preferred” Mortgage Relief Scam

Behind on your mortgage and looking for help? Check out these tips and learn how to avoid mortgage relief scams.

Scam spotted thanks to a clever store clerk

You’re going about your normal day at work when, suddenly, there’s a call that looks like it’s from your electric company. That’s what the caller ID shows, and what the person on the line says. The voice on the line tells you that, because of late payments, the power to your business is about to be cut off. Without power, you can’t keep your business running, so that’s an emergency. Or is it?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Equifax’s free credit monitoring - time is ticking …

Considering Equifax’s offer of free credit monitoring after its breach? You need to sign up by January 31, 2018. Maybe you tried earlier but had trouble getting through. Or maybe you just put off the decision. Whatever the reason, if you want it, the time is now.

What to do if you’re the target of revenge porn

Has an intimate image of you been shared without your OK? If so, you’re not alone. Whether a nude picture was taken without your consent, or an image you shared with someone is shared further than you’d intended, many people are affected by revenge porn or non-consensual pornography. If that’s happened to you or someone you know, here are some things to do.

Buyer beware: Flood-damaged cars for sale

The floodwaters from last year’s hurricanes receded months ago, but their wrath could still affect used car buyers across the nation. That’s because storm-damaged cars are sometimes cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You might not know a vehicle is damaged until you take a closer look or have a mechanic check it out. Here’s what to do.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

For-profit charitable callers must follow the rules

“I’m not calling for a donation.” (But really, I am.) Have you gotten this call?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

If your kids have electronic devices, read this

Did you buy electronic devices for your children this holiday season? I did — I bought one for my 9 year-old — and I want to share with you what I learned about protecting my kid’s personal information online.

The minute my son unwrapped his gift, he began using it and I immediately began worrying about his personal information being exposed.

How scammers make you pay

Here’s one of the top questions we get from people: Is this a scam? Whatever the “this” looks like, here’s our best answer to that question: Did someone say you can only pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, or loading money on a cash reload card? If they did, then yes: that is a scam.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Buying or selling a “smart” home? Read this.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, think about the technology you may be buying or selling along with it. Many homes are now “smart” — featuring internet of things (IoT) devices such as connected thermostats, light bulbs, security systems, and energy saving appliances.

Here are tips for making sure you are prepared to sell a home equipped with smart connected devices:

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