Consumer Information Blog

Teaching financial literacy? FTC gives you a Jump$tart

When teachers from across the country meet to improve their ability to teach personal finance, we’re ready to help.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

It would be so wise!

I know what you’re thinking. It’s barely Halloween and the Christmas decorations are up. You’re worried because you don’t have a lot of cash or don’t want to run up a lot of debt.

The good news is that some sellers offer layaway to help you spread your payments out. You start paying early and they hold on to your gifts until you pay them off. But bear in mind that layaway fees and policies can vary a great deal. Check them carefully before you sign up.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FREE resources for educators

Are you a teacher looking for online safety resources to share with your students? You’re in luck. The FTC offers FREE resources on topics including cyberbullying, using public Wi-Fi safely, advertising literacy, downloading apps, protecting personal information online, and much more.

Image of kids using smartphones

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

When dead debt comes back to life

With Halloween almost here, we’ve got a question for you — are your zombie-fighting skills up to snuff?

We’re not talking about fighting just any zombie — this time your undead enemy is zombie debt.

Zombie debt is debt you think is dead, gone, and forgotten, but has somehow come back to life. Here are some tips for battling zombie debt when a collector resurrects it.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Copycat scammers and the visa lottery

Each year, the U.S. State Department holds a Diversity Visa (DV) lottery and millions of people from eligible countries enter their names. They hope to win a chance to apply for a U.S. visa and become legal permanent residents. The State Department runs the only legitimate site for the lottery: www.dvlottery.state.gov, and there’s no fee to enter. If you get an email or see a website that claims to be about the DV lottery, but asks you to send money, don’t click on a link or give up personal information.

Image of narrator of Diversity Visa Lottery video

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Don't forget the debt

When a loved one passes away, the last thing on your mind is hassling with debt collectors. But you may have the job of managing the deceased’s assets – and you could find yourself handling an estate that includes outstanding debts. Keep these considerations in mind.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Gamers: Avoid the phishing hook

Did you ever get an email that seemed legit, but it asked you to click a link or give up some personal information? Well, if you play massive multiplayer online games, be warned: phishers are looking for ways to get those emails into your inbox.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Take notice: How your credit history can affect your monthly bill

When you apply for things like cable or satellite TV, mobile phone service, or internet service, the company might review your credit report. They can use the information in your credit report to give you less favorable terms, meaning they can charge you more for the service than someone with a better credit history. That’s called risk-based pricing. The law says it’s OK as long as the company lets you know about it by sending you a Risk-Based Pricing Notice.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Fake kidnappers cause genuine loss

Phone scammers spend their days making trouble. They waste our time, tie up our phone lines and harass us with ugly language. Some do much, much worse. The FTC has heard from people who got calls from scammers saying, “I’ve kidnapped your relative,” and naming a brother, sister, child or parent. “Send ransom immediately by wire transfer or prepaid card,” they say, “or something bad will happen.”

They’re lying. They didn’t kidnap anyone, but they hope you’ll panic and rush to pay ransom before checking the story.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Your online life after death

OK, so I know you don’t really want to talk about this – but here goes: we’re all going to die someday. Maybe you’ve already started thinking ahead: planning for your funeral, the care of loved ones and disposal of your property. But what about your online life? All the digital files, photos, posts and other accounts you leave behind might cause a lot of inconvenience – even fraud or identity theft – for your loved ones to clean up. Here are a few tips to figure out a plan for your online life after death.

Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

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