Consumer Information Blog

Buying an internet-connected smart toy? Read this.

Before giving in to your kid's plea for a new toy, you may want to collect some information about it. Why? Well, for one thing, that toy may want to collect information about your kid. I’m talking about internet-connected smart toys with cameras, microphones, and sensors. The ones that know your kids’ voices (and yours). Smart toys that silently collect data on each interaction, listen to conversations, and share their location while kids play.

FTC: No support for diabetes treatment claims

People spend billions of dollars a year on health products that are unproven and often useless. Case in point: The FTC has sued the sellers of “Nobetes” about their advertising claims for a pill that would supposedly treat diabetes – and maybe even replace the need for prescription diabetes medication, like insulin. According to the FTC, these claims were false or misleading, and the sellers had no reliable, scientific evidence to back them up.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

The Marriott data breach

Marriott International says that a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database exposed the personal information of up to 500 million people. If your information was exposed, there are steps you can take to help guard against its misuse.

Putting cash in the mail

We’ve been warning you about scammers asking you to pay with gift cards or by wiring money. Scammers love getting you to pay that way because they can get your money fast and disappear. It’s almost as good as getting you to send cold, hard cash. Which must have occurred to them, too, because some scammers are now going low-tech and asking people to send cash in the mail. Sometimes they even tell people to divide the cash between pages of a magazine.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

This giving season, make your donations count

The giving season has begun and many of us are thinking about gifts for family and friends, as well as giving to our favorite charitable causes. If you’re thinking about donating to charity, do some research first to make sure your money will really help the causes you care about. Here’s what you can do:

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fake promises offer no sigh of (debt) relief

An offer of reduced monthly payments — or complete forgiveness — on your student loan may make you want to sign up…and exhale. Unfortunately, though, some of those programs wind up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars for nothing in return. What’s more, you could’ve gotten real help for free.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Talking turkey

Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory – like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate – here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Happy holidays! Shopping tips from the FTC

The gift-giving season is just around the corner, and the gift-buying season starts, oh, any minute now. The FTC has an early gift for you — tips to help you shop wisely and protect your personal information.

Wise giving in the wake of California’s wildfires

California continues to be plagued by wildfires — including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles and the Camp Fire in Northern California, now one of the deadliest in the state’s history. Dozens of people have lost their lives, thousands of homes and business have been destroyed, and more than 250,000 Californians have been forced to leave their homes. If you’re looking for a way to help those in need, do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Picking up the pieces after a wildfire

Experiencing a destructive wildfire can be devastating and have long-term effects, but taking stock and developing a recovery plan can give you a sense of hope and purpose. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

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