Tax season is getting close — and for some people, so is an experience with tax identity theft or IRS imposters. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. You usually find out something’s wrong after you file your tax return.
Also, IRS imposters work year-round — posing as the IRS when they call and say you owe taxes. They even threaten to arrest you if you don’t put money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the card number. They might know all or part of your Social Security number, and can fake caller ID information to make it look like it really is the IRS calling. But it’s not. Ever.
We began 2014 by announcing that a court ordered Oro Marketing to temporarily shut down operations for bogus business practices. This phone fraud targeted Spanish-speaking Latinos, promising them packages of high-end goods that they could – supposedly – re-sell to make extra money. The company charged between $400 and $490 for the packages, but only delivered low-quality, off-brand products that were impossible to sell. According to the FTC, no one made any money – except the defendants, who misled people to steal their money.
Counsel, FTC's DIvision of Consumer & Business Education
Do you offer your professional services as a babysitter, nanny, or other kind of caregiver? You may have used websites that can match you up with potential clients – sites like Care.com or Sittercity.com. These sites can be a convenient and efficient way to drum up business. But scammers may misuse these sites. FTC staff has seen hundreds of complaints about con artists cheating caregivers with a counterfeit check scheme that asks you to send payment to a third party. Details may vary, but, in general, the scam works like this:
When ads for products don’t tell the truth, you can bet the FTC will take notice.
Today, the FTC brought a case against NourishLife, a company that allegedly made unsupported and false claims about its Speak line of children’s supplements. According to the complaint, the company advertised that Speak products were clinically proven to support “normal and healthy speech development” for kids — including kids with verbal apraxia or those with autism spectrum disorder. The truth, the FTC says, is that the company didn’t have the proper scientific evidence to back up its claims.
Holiday parties went straight to your hips? Looking to jump-start your New Year’s weight loss?
Before reaching for any pill, powder, patch, exercise belt, or cream – know this: a lot of products promising quick, easy and permanent weight loss are bogus. They can hurt your wallet, and hurt your health too.
The holidays are over. Hope you had a grand time! I know I did, but I also know a few people who are experiencing a bit of post-holiday frustration with products and services they bought. But never fear, the FTC is here with some tried and true tips to help resolve your problems. The fact is, most businesses want to keep you happy so you'll keep coming back.
What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Maybe you’re watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV, having a get-together at home, or going out for a night on the town. Whatever your plans are, let’s make sure that those under the age of 21 ring in the new year without alcohol.
A “solar-powered” lotion that transforms UV rays into red light to give you the same anti-aging results you’d get from laser treatment in a doctor’s office, or from an FDA-approved at-home red light device?
An eye lotion that works as well on your eyes as a surgical eye lift?
A body lotion that mimics the effect of a lobster hormone — one that causes their bodies to shrink before molting — to help you shrink, too?