Consumer Information Blog

Spammy, phony weight loss promises

You get an email from a friend, with a link and a message: “Hi! Oprah says it’s excellent!” But did your friend really send this message? And what’s so excellent?

Millions of people got emails like this one, but not from their friends. Instead, according to the FTC, marketers hired by Sale Slash sent spam emails from hacked email and social media accounts. Why? To trick people into thinking the messages came from a friend. And, of course, to sell stuff.

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Privacy matters

Did you know that May 3-9, 2015 is Privacy Awareness Week? It’s an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum.

Privacy Awareness Week highlights the importance of protecting your personal information. This year’s theme is Privacy Matters — a message we promote year-round at the FTC. Whether you’re at home, work, school, or a doctor’s office — there are things you can do to help keep your information private and safe.

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A pack rat’s guide to shredding

Is your home a pack rat’s paradise? You’re not alone.

As you start spring cleaning, are you wondering what to keep and what to shred? We’ve looked at experts’ advice and compiled this summary of how long they recommend keeping certain documents. Put our handy graphic near your shredder as a guide. 

When should I shred it?

Bogus foreclosure rescue relief offers false HOPE

What happens when you pay someone who says they’re going to help you, and they don’t? Well, in the case of HOPE Services, the FTC came calling.

Here’s the story: According to the FTC, a group of companies and individuals doing business as HOPE Services told consumers facing foreclosure they could get help from legitimate, government-backed programs, like Making Home Affordable —  but only after they made three monthly trial payments into a so-called mortgage lender’s trust account.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

How to help the earthquake victims in Nepal

The devastation caused by a massive earthquake in Nepal and the Katmandu Valley region has left many people asking how they can help. If you’re looking for a way to give, the Federal Trade Commission urges you to do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

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Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Does that weight loss product contain unsafe ingredients?

Look at the label on a bottle of diet pills or another weight loss product. What ingredients do you see? Unfortunately, you might not be seeing the whole picture.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found hidden drugs and chemicals in hundreds of over-the-counter dietary supplements — even in so-called “natural” diet products. The FDA’s website offers a running list of tainted weight loss products, along with a helpful video: Being Fooled by Empty Diet Promises.

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Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Feds call out national mortgage servicer

The Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau don’t play games when it comes to making loan servicers pay for illegal and unscrupulous behavior. Case in point: Green Tree Servicing LLC.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Sweepstakes scam uses FTC Commissioner’s name in vain

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a sweepstakes scam using the FTC’s name to get people to send money. Now, there’s another sweepstakes-themed FTC imposter scam, and this one lays it on thick.

It starts with a letter from a lawyer in California. He says the FTC appointed him to notify you about a claim [spoiler: we didn’t], and includes a letter from FTC Commissioner Joshua Wright enlisting his help [spoiler: it’s fake].

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Preparing for spring weather emergencies

After a long, hard winter, aren’t you ready for spring? Baseball, bike rides, barbecuing…but spring also carries with it the risk of severe weather, including dangerous storms, flooding and tornadoes. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a spring weather emergency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

The Highlights of the Highlights

Every spring, the FTC issues its Annual Highlights for the previous year. It’s like a corporate annual report, summarizing what we did and how we did it. Interested in our mission to protect consumers? Here are some of 2014’s highlights.

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