Consumer Information Blog

A scammer by any other name is still a scammer

When struggling homeowners paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees to Wealth Educators, Inc., they expected help avoiding foreclosure. Although the “law firm” was quick to take their money, it did little or nothing to help save their homes, according to the FTC. And the “law firm” bit was all an act.

Avoid Foreclosure Scam video

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Spring into action with Financial Literacy Month

April is financial literacy month. To help you make smart buying decisions and save more of what you earn, here are a few tips from the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Money back guarantee hid another fee

Starting a new business? That used to mean throwing a name on some brick and mortar. Nowadays, you need a website. Lots of companies sell domain names and web hosting services that let customers put up websites. It pays to go with one that spells out all the terms and conditions before you buy. But what if a company promises a refund as part of its 30-day money back guarantee — and then surprises you with a nonrefundable fee? That’s called deception.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Safe Harbor? Check if it’s certified

Some companies’ privacy policies say they participate in the “U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework.” But that doesn’t mean they have an accident-free shipyard. It has to do with U.S. companies reassuring European residents about the privacy and security of their personal information.

Unlocking the code

Identity thieves may already have a lot of information about you – like your credit card number, the card’s expiration date, and your name, address, and phone number. With all that information in his hands, why would he call you? He’s after one vital piece of information – the security code on your credit card.

Background check check-up

If you’re applying for a job — or trying to keep one — a background check may be in your future. So check out the FTC’s newly revised Background Checks brochure for answers to common questions.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

The FTC didn’t send that sweepstakes letter

Here’s a scam with an FTC angle. The letter has an official-looking FTC seal and is signed by “FTC Director” Jessica Rich. It says someone at the FTC will help you claim a cash prize you’ve won, and will help ensure delivery. That is, after you pay off the more than $5,000 “Legal Registration Bond.”

The language might sound legal, and the letter might look legit. You might look up Jessica Rich and see she’s an actual FTC official. But the truth is, there’s nothing legal or official about it. It’s a fake letter designed to convince you to send money for a non-existent prize.

Scammers play name game and get caught

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but sometimes it’s illegal. Just ask the people behind First Time Credit Solutions, who promoted their business as “FTC Credit Solutions” until the real Federal Trade Commission shut them down.

Check your credit report

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

An invoice today gets the doctor to pay

Do you work at a doctor’s office? A nonprofit? How about a church, retirement home, or small business? Then you might be interested to hear that the FTC has stopped some scammers targeting businesses and organizations like yours.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Operation Ruse Control

Shopping for a car can be fun and exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers also can be stressful. Some advertise unusually low prices, low or no up-front payments, low- or no-interest loans, or low monthly payments. But the FTC says to use caution: Not all dealers play by the rules.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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