Consumer Information Blog

Free credit freezes are coming soon

Looking for stronger ways to protect your credit? Thanks to a new federal law, soon you can get free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts. Here’s what to look forward to when the law takes effect on September 21st:

Online giving portals: what should you know?

A common phrase in the world of charities is that there are many ways to give. Making an online donation is one way, and using an “online giving portal” is becoming a popular option. Check out our new articles – one for consumers and one for businesses – that describe these portals and what to consider before using them. Read the full articles for more information, but here are the basics.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

No gift cards for tech support scammers

Hey computer users, it’s time for a pop quiz.

A) You get an urgent call or email from a tech support company, saying your computer has a problem. Should you give the company remote access to your computer to make repairs?

B) A warning announcing “suspicious activity” or “security threat detected” appears on your computer screen. Should you call the number shown on the screen to talk to a technician?

C) One of these tech support companies asks you to pay for its services, maybe by using a gift card (like from iTunes or Amazon) or wire transfer. Should you?

Winners are losers in lottery & sweepstakes scams

You get a card, call, or email telling you that you won! Maybe it’s a lottery, sweepstakes, or some other prize. The person calling is excited and can’t wait for you to get your winnings. But here’s what happens next...

Untangling a robocaller web

Sick of getting robocalls and other unwanted calls? You can learn more about how to block them at ftc.gov/calls.

You also might know that the FTC continues to go after the people and companies behind these calls. Case in point: today the FTC announced a case against a group of defendants that it alleges are responsible for billions of illegal robocalls.

Asked to pay by gift card? Don’t.

Has someone asked you to go get a gift card to pay for something? Lots of people have told us they’ve been asked to pay with gift cards – by a caller claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a so-called family member in need. If you’ve gotten a call like this, you know that the caller will then demand the gift card numbers and PIN. And, poof, your money is gone.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Google is not calling you

Have you gotten a robocall at work, telling you that you have to take action or your Google business listing will be removed? Or maybe even marked as permanently closed? That kind of thing could be tough for a business — if the threat was real. But those calls are not legit—and not from Google.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Timeshare resale scheme preyed on older adults

If you’re thinking about selling your timeshare through a resale company, research the company first. Read about this recent FTC case against Pro Timeshare Resales, and you’ll know why.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

New alert for Western Union refunds

Did you lose money to a scam, wiring the money via Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017? If so, you might know that May 31 is the deadline for filing your claim to get money back from the FTC’s and the Department of Justice’s settlement with Western Union. With the deadline fast approaching, we know two things: (1) there will probably be a rush of last-minute filers; and (2) scammers will try to take advantage of the people filing claims.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Work-at-home scams lead to business coaching schemes

In the business world, “leads” refer to the contact information of potential customers. In the scam world, it means the same thing. While scammers find their targets in all kinds of ways, one method is to go to people who have already been victims of a related scheme.

The FTC has sued lots of scammers who have sold these kinds of bogus programs and services.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

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