Consumer Information Blog

“Doctor Trusted” couldn’t be trusted

Do you ever shop online for health products, like dietary supplements? Maybe you’ve seen various seals and certificates on sites you visit — showing that a site is secure, or that products on the site have been tested and evaluated. You’d think you could trust those seals and certificates — but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

The FTC recently announced a settlement with SmartClick Media, a company that sold deceptive “Doctor Trusted” health seals to over 800 websites.

Government imposters bring bad business to small businesses

You’ve started a new business and want to ensure you’re doing everything right. So, when people claiming to be with the government call you to say you’re violating the law, you may be inclined to do whatever they say to fix it…right?

Slow down. Government imposters are counting on that reaction — because that’s their business.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Avoid a debt relief scam [fotonovela]

Maria and Rafael are thrilled that their daughter just graduated college and they’re ready to celebrate with friends and family. Abuela even made her famous tamales for the special occasion! At the party, Maria and Rafael beam with pride. 

Soon after the festivities wind down, reality sets in and Rafael starts worrying. They have to start paying back the money they owe for their daughter’s college education, but he’s been out of work for months. What’s he going to do?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Exposing a mortgage relief scheme’s empty promises

If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you might look for financial relief to help keep the roof over your head. Do you turn to your bank or mortgage lender for help? Maybe you got a mailer promising mortgage relief – via a lawsuit against banks and lenders? If you’ve thought about the last option, watch out for empty promises.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Playing a part in prevention

It’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – it’s not a celebratory day, but rather a day to talk about preventing, identifying, and responding to elder abuse and financial exploitation. Whether you are an older adult, care for one, or simply know someone who is a senior, you can do something to prevent elder financial abuse. Here are some tips and tools to help you play a part.

Combating Fraud in African-American and Latino Communities

When we say we’re fighting fraud in every community here at the FTC, we mean it. We’re bringing cases and reaching out to diverse segments of the population: servicemembers and veterans, older adults, Asian Americans, Native Americans, the disability community, LGBT individuals and groups – and African American and Latino communities.

The FTC gets Rachel the Robocaller… again

Have you gotten pre-recorded sales calls from Rachel from Cardholder Services? Or Bank Card Services or Credit Assistance Program? You’ve been reporting these illegal calls, and the FTC continues to take action.

Today, the FTC and the state of Florida announced a lawsuit against Life Management Services, a company that the FTC says is behind hundreds of thousands of these calls.

Scammers say “Help Wanted”

Criminals don’t like getting caught. So, when they want to send and receive stolen money, they get someone else to do the dirty work. Some scammers develop online relationships and ask their new sweetheart or friend to accept a deposit and transfer funds for them. Other cons recruit victims with job ads that seem like they’re for legit jobs. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

A false appeal to your sense of charity

If you get a call asking you to give to a charity, you might be tempted to say yes without a second thought. But as with any call you get from someone asking for money out of the blue, pause and do some research to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity.

Unfortunately, there are for-profit companies — like American Handicapped and Disadvantaged Workers, Inc. (AHDW) — that pretend to be charitable organizations and lie about how they use donations. The FTC sued AHDW for deceiving people. Here’s the story.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Who are you talking to?

Imagine what you’d say – or write – about your health to a group of strangers. Or a friend. Or, say, your doctor. Probably different, right?

According to a settlement just announced by the FTC, a company called Practice Fusion published comments from many people who likely thought they were communicating directly with their doctor. Numerous people wrote about things like prescriptions. Facelifts. Depression. Some people also included with this information their full name, phone number, and other stuff you don't usually share with the world. But then those seemingly private messages went public.

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