Consumer Information Blog

Rent-to-Own: Consider your alternatives

Need a sofa, washer/dryer, TV, or new tires? Don’t have the cash or credit to buy them outright? You may be considering rent-to-own: simply make weekly or monthly payments for a while and you own the goods. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things to consider.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don’t pay for a vacation to nowhere

With winter almost over, are you itching to get out of town? As you search for your perfect getaway, you might come across good-looking vacation rental deals that seem amazing. Unfortunately, some “steals” are posted by scammers trying to steal your money. They’ll leave you with a vacation to nowhere.

A not-so-MINI problem

Your car needs an oil change, so you stop by a place on the way home. Or maybe your car is making a funny noise, so you take it to your trusted mechanic.

Later on, when you go to check your car’s warranty, you find out your coverage might be in jeopardy because you didn’t get the work done at one of the car company’s dealers or centers. Can a car company do that?

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Can imported laminate wood floors make you sick?

The warm luster of laminate wood flooring can give your home or office an inviting and natural look. But, according to recent press reports, some laminates imported from China produce potentially hazardous emissions of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Been hacked or hijacked? Read this.

Your email’s been hacked — what do you do?

Your computer’s been hijacked by malware — how do you get it back?

If you’re not sure where to start — or you’re the person everyone asks for help getting started — we’ve got two new videos, in English and Spanish, with the steps to help.

Hijacked Computer video image with play button

Checks in the mail

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a company called Lane Labs marketed products made out of shark cartilage, claiming they could treat and cure cancer.  Only, not so much. The FTC sued the company in 2000, they settled, and paid a hefty sum. The court also barred them from making claims about the health benefits of a product unless they had scientific evidence to support those claims.

It’s the IRS calling…or is it?

Here at the FTC, we think about scams all day long. What are the scammers’ new angles? How can we keep ahead of them? We hear from people about the scams they see, and we turn that into tips people use to spot and avoid scams.

But scammers find FTC staff, just as they find the rest of America. In fact, someone claiming to work for the IRS called my house just last week.

Free TV – but what’s the catch?

You’ve seen the attention-grabbing ads. Get DIRECTV’s satellite TV packages for as little as $19.99 a month for a year! Throw in HBO and Showtime – “free for 3 months.” It’s enough to make you “ditch cable now” and head straight into orbit with satellite TV. But before you pop the corn and head to the couch, listen to this. The FTC says DIRECTV didn’t give consumers the whole scoop and their viewers got stuck with charges they didn’t know about or approve.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Your top 5 questions about unwanted calls and the National Do Not Call Registry

1. How can I make it stop?

You signed up for the Do Not Call Registry ages ago, but you’re suddenly getting a bunch of unwanted calls. What can you do?

Cleaning up without getting cleaned out

I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to say “uncle” to Old Man Winter. This year’s record-breaking snowfalls, downed trees, roof collapses, mudslides, flooding and frozen pipes are leaving overwhelming clean-up and recovery in their wake. If you’re thinking about hiring someone to help you dig out, keep these tips in mind.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages