Consumer Information Blog

Payments you didn’t authorize could be a scam

Usually, when I pay with a check, I write it out and sign it, or I direct my bank to send it on my behalf. But what if a check is drawn on my account but I didn’t write it, sign it, or tell my bank to send it? It can happen if someone has your bank account number: they can use your number to create a check that takes money out of your account. Now, if you’d already agreed to the charges, there’s no problem. But what if you didn’t? That means this check is part of a scam – which is what the FTC says happened in a case announced today.

The FTC sued several companies and individuals for allegedly taking millions of dollars out of people’s accounts using remotely created checks – without the account owners’ authorization.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Uber settles with FTC over privacy and data security promises

As a consumer, you expect companies to honor their promises to protect your personal information. As the nation’s consumer protection agency, so does the FTC. Today, the FTC announced it reached an agreement with Uber to settle FTC charges that Uber abandoned its promises to take reasonable steps to protect consumers’ personal information and to make sure that Uber employees only accessed consumer information for appropriate business purposes.

Battling ticket bots

You’re online, ready to buy concert tickets the second they go on sale, and then… they’re sold out. Were you beaten by a ticket bot? Here’s what you need to know.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Looking for a caregiver job? Watch this video

Are you looking for a nanny or caregiver job? Do you search for these jobs on websites such as care.com or sittercity.com? If so, then you should look out for nanny or caregiver scams.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

A new kind of classic: FTC Classic Videos

 Who doesn’t love taking a trip down memory lane?  In our new “FTC Classics” playlist, you can do just that.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Outlet shopping: What the pros know

As summer comes to a close and back-to-school shopping lists loom large, you may be thinking of ways to save money. Some people turn to outlet shopping. But before you pack up the car for an all-day shopping excursion, here are some tips to help you get the most for your money.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Grandpa spots scammers

One of my favorite parts about working at the Federal Trade Commission is hearing stories of folks avoiding a scam. A recent story involves Lou, who picked up the phone and spotted the scam almost as soon as he heard the young man call him “Grandpa.” The caller said he’d been arrested for drunk driving, needed money for bail, and wanted Lou to call a “lawyer” who would explain everything. (All while not telling “Mom.”)

Launder payments for a scam. Get caught, too.

At the FTC, one lawsuit can lead to another. Two years ago, the FTC shut down Money Now Funding, a scam that promised people they would earn thousands to find and refer small businesses in need of a loan. Fast forward to the present, and the FTC is suing the people and payment processing businesses it says laundered more than $5 million in credit card charges that Money Now Funding collected from its victims.

Two people standing facing each other and talking

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Scammers impersonate the National Institutes of Health

Consumers are reporting another government imposter scam – this time the scammers are pretending to be calling from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to reports, callers are telling people they’ve been selected to receive a $14,000 grant from NIH. To get it, though, callers tell people to pay a fee through an iTunes or Green Dot card, or by giving their bank account number.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

A costly low-cost trial offer

You’ve probably seen online ads with offers to let you try a product – or a service – for a very low cost, or even for free. Sometimes they’re tempting: I mean, who doesn’t want whiter teeth for a dollar plus shipping? Until the great deal turns into a rip-off. That’s what the FTC says happened in a case it announced today.

The defendants sold tooth-whitening products under various names, and hired other companies to help them market the products. These affiliate marketers created online surveys, as well as ads for free or low-cost trials – all to drive people to the product’s website. What happens next is so complicated that we created an infographic to explain it.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

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