Consumer Information Blog

“Doom”ed false promises

Earn rewards for supporting a project you believe in? That’s what “crowdfunding” is all about.

Here’s how it works: “Creators” think of projects. To pay for those projects, they ask for small amounts of money from lots of people, usually through online platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Often, creators offer rewards to contributors. So far, so good … as long as the creators keep their end of the bargain.

 

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Home improvement scams are no laughing matter

I’m a fan of Tim Allen’s role as an accident-prone handyman on the 90’s hit TV comedy, Home Improvement. But in reality, hiring a good contractor isn’t something you just fall into. It helps to know the signs of a home improvement scam.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Section 8 scammers cheat people seeking housing

If you’re looking for Section 8 housing assistance, here’s something you need to know: scammers have made websites that look like registration sites for Section 8 waiting list lotteries. If you pay a fee or give your personal information, the scammers will take it. And you still won’t be on a real Section 8 waiting list. In fact, there is no fee to register for a Section 8 waiting list.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

OPM data breach – what should you do?

A data breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – and you’re a current or former federal employee whose personal information may have been exposed. What should you do? Take a deep breath. Here are the steps to take. 

The 411 on fraud in the 404

When is it uplifting to talk about obstacles to economic opportunities? When a room full of people at a joint conference of the NAACP and the FTC spend a day making the connections we all need to help overcome scams and exactly those obstacles in our communities.

Eye the label before you buy

In the 80s, singer Bonnie Tyler topped the charts with a song that had the lyric, “Turn around, bright eyes.” Who knew that for the millions of Americans diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, Tyler’s power ballad offers a tip to remember next time you’re in the drug store.

If your health care provider suggests you take a vitamin formulation to help manage your condition, check the front of the package and then turn it around to read the ingredient label to make sure you’re getting exactly what he or she recommends.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Is that work-at-home job going to pay?

Are you looking for a job you can do from home? Maybe you want something flexible to balance responsibilities like caring for kids or family members. Or maybe you haven’t been able to find a job, or you need extra income.

Whatever your reason, know this: many work-at-home ads that promise you can earn a great living, even in your spare time, are scams. They won’t deliver on the claims they make.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Mile-high collaboration

The law enforcement community recently came together in Denver at a Common Ground Conference sponsored by the Colorado Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

An alternative perspective

For many of us, homeopathy is one of those things we’ve heard of… but we might not be able to describe it, exactly. It’s a form of alternative medicine, and is based on the view that a substance that causes symptoms of an illness in a healthy person will — when diluted to a level that’s nearly undetectable — cure similar symptoms in sick people.

Why are we talking about this?  Well, the FTC will be hosting a free, public workshop on September 21, 2015, to take a closer look at advertising for over-the-counter homeopathic products.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Paying your friends through an app? Read this.

Imagine you’re at a restaurant with your friend. She pays the check, and says you can pay her back. Do you:
a) write an IOU on a napkin?
b) pull out a wad of cash and give her exact change?
c) take out your phone and pay her through a mobile payment app?

If you answered c), this post is for you.

Like apps that let you pay at stores with your phone, “peer-to-peer” payment services can be a convenient way to pay friends. But before you use one — or use one again — check the app’s settings for available security features.

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