Consumer Information Blog

Phony calls about health insurance

Robocalls can be more annoying than a lingering head cold. Recently, some people got robocalls that seemed to be about health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace, but the calls were a con. The callers were phishing for personal information. People who work in the Marketplace don’t make cold calls, and they never ask for personal information. If you get a call like this, hang up.

A year in debt collection

Making a plan is one thing. Sticking to it: quite another. During 2015, the FTC made a plan to address some new and troubling issues in debt collection. Throughout the course of the year, we stuck to that plan – bringing a record number of new cases, banning bad debt collectors, talking with industry, and finding new ways to do outreach.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Spread the word about government imposters

We’re hearing from our colleagues that those pesky government imposters are at it again, using the FTC’s name to try to con people into paying them for something. Whether it’s to clean up your credit report, give you a prize, resolve a complaint against you, or pay off a debt you owe, they’re all lies. The message may be a call or an email, but it isn’t from the Federal Trade Commission, or any other federal agency.

two overlapping dialogue bubbles

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don’t get taken by a supplies surprise

It’s great getting stuff for a deal or as a free sample. But when a seller says something is cheap or free, then sends you a whopping bill, that’s not so great — and it’s against the law.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Looking to get a high school diploma? Watch out for scams.

There are plenty of good reasons to get your high school diploma as an adult. It can open doors to a new job or promotion, or help you get into college or the military. But before you start looking into your options, make sure you know how to spot a diploma scam.

The FTC has filed charges against two fake high school diploma operations: Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs (CNDLP) and Stepping Stonez Development.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Trust, love, password sharing?

A strong password is a great way to prevent hackers and identity thieves from accessing your accounts. But what if you share it with someone you know?

Many teens and young adults are giving passwords to friends or loved ones as a sign of trust or love. After all, sharing is caring, right? But what might seem like a milestone in a relationship can turn out to be a very harmful decision.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Thousands of consumers downloaded a browser-based game. You'll never guess what happened next.

Thousands of people downloaded a popular 3D browser-based game from the Chrome Web Store. That game, described as a "fast-paced, action-packed free-running castle adventure game," advertised "High Speed Acrobatics," "Awesome Outfits and Skills," and "Insanely Dangerous Worlds." The danger, it turned out, was to consumers’ privacy.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Losing weight loss claims

Every time I hear about a weight-loss case, filled with promises that a pill will let you shed pounds, fat, and inches without dieting and exercise, I think of My Fair Lady’s flower girl, dreaming in the cold night air about eating chocolates beside a warm fire, and singing wistfully, “Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”

The FTC announced the settlement of another weight-loss case today. Spoiler alert – it turns out that the only thing the defendants’ Final Trim and AF Plus capsules were sure to trim were the wallets of consumers, who dropped $16.4 million over just three years buying them.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Here’s what snow days are great for

Snowed in? Here’s a cabin-fever buster – catch up on FTC videos, games, and audio tips! It’s the quickest way to learn how to protect yourself, and your family, from fraud and scams.

Skewed Cupid

Valentine’s Day conjures up images of hearts, flowers and a double-decker box of chocolate, nougat and nuts. But, metaphorically speaking, what happens when that stupendous bouquet of roses you got turns out to be a pile of weeds? Love might cloud our vision, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn a blind eye to consumer pitfalls. If you know what to look for, you can avoid some big missteps. While these are probably the least romantic Valentine sentiments ever, they just might save you some heartbreak down the road.

line drawing

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Pages