Consumer Information Blog

Sensa buyers gain refund checks

Close to half a million people who bought Sensa, a sprinkle-on weight loss product, will share more than $26 million in refunds, thanks to the FTC. The money comes from the FTC’s settlement with Sensa’s marketers, who said their powder would help people lose weight. According to the FTC, the company didn’t have the scientific evidence they needed to back up the claims.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Bling in the Holidays

As the old song goes, “Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold.” That rings especially true now that we’re smack in the middle of the gift-giving season. If you’re looking for that special little something, jewelry might do the trick. But do you know whether you’re buying a trinket or a treasure? If you’re on the hunt for holiday glitz, keep in mind these pearls of wisdom.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

How do scammers in your community connect with you?

Do you trust me because I speak Spanish? That sounds like a strange question, but in some communities – and in some situations – it could be enough for someone to trust a stranger.

At the Fraud Affects Every Community workshop recently held at FTC headquarters, we heard from panelists living and working in diverse communities about ways scammers are using language, shared customs, relationships and community practices to steal people’s money.

Giving and getting gift cards this holiday season

Mark Twain once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” If you live by this mantra, you might find yourself scrambling at the last minute to finish your holiday shopping this season. Enter the gift card.

gift card

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Protecting your sensitive health information

Books closed, it’s time for a health privacy pop quiz. What online medical billing company did the FTC allege deceived consumers in an attempt to get their sensitive health information from pharmacies, health insurance companies, and medical labs?

A. Trapper John, M.D.

B. Doogie Howser, M.D.

C. House, M.D.

D. PaymentsMD

“Pass it on” at the holidays

Home for the holidays? This year, when you pass the turkey, latkes, or veggies, why not also pass on your knowledge about avoiding scams?  

You know a lot about scams. Sharing what you know can help protect someone who you know from a scam. That’s why the FTC created Pass It On – articles, presentations, bookmarks, activities and a video – all designed to help you talk about scams and how to prevent them. There’s something for everyone at your holiday gathering.

Pass it on

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Sony’s ads shouldn’t play games

If a company promises a new and innovative handheld gaming console, you’d expect the features to work as described in their ads, right? According to Sony’s settlement with the FTC, announced today, that wasn’t the case with ads for the PlayStation Vita. And now the company will offer partial refunds to eligible buyers.

handheld device

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Seen and heard: Diversity Visa Lottery scams

Many people around the world dream of getting a “Green Card” that allows them to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. People from certain countries who apply and are selected in a lottery drawing could qualify to be “Lawful Permanent Residents.” Unfortunately, the FTC has seen websites that claim to be affiliated with the program, but are not.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Say no thanks to charity cheats

As fall weather cools down, plans for Thanksgiving and the charitable giving season are heating up. Here come the requests for donations — in your mail and email, in person, on social networking sites, through your mobile devices — you name it. Want to express your thankfulness with a gift to a charity? Find an organization that spends wisely on a cause you support, and screen out any requests scammers send your way.

gift box wrapped in paper money

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

What to know about webcam hackers

Have you seen news reports about foreign websites showing live feeds from unsecured wireless cameras — like nanny cams, baby monitors, and security cameras — in the U.S. and around the world? It’s creepy stuff, but there are steps you can take to protect your camera from prying eyes.

IP camera

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

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