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Consumer Information Blog

Scammers are scheming as HealthCare.gov reopens

The Coronavirus pandemic has not only had a dramatic health impact, but also an economic blow as many Americans are now unemployed — and uninsured. As a result, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has re-opened HealthCare.gov for a “Special Enrollment Period,” from February 15, 2021 – May 15, 2021. This Special Enrollment Period will give people who need health care coverage the chance to sign up. But it also gives scammers a new chance to call, email, send letters and texts, trying to get your money — and your personal and financial information.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

The top frauds of 2020

2020 was a tough year. Between the pandemic and the economic crisis, we all had our hands full. And scammers didn’t take any time off either — 2020 was a busy year for fraud. In 2020, the FTC got more than 2.2 million reports about fraud, with people telling us they lost nearly $3.3 billion.

Health insurance scams can cost you big

In 2018, we told you about Simple Health, a group of companies that the FTC says tricked people into signing up for what the companies told them was comprehensive health coverage that met Affordable Care Act standards. Instead, people wound up with premiums as high as hundreds of dollars a month for coverage the FTC says was nowhere near the full, ACA-qualified coverage Simple Health promised. And as some of its customers were stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills, Simple Health collected more than $195 million because of its deception, according to the case.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Amazon Flex didn’t deliver as promised

Using your own vehicle to deliver packages for Amazon and earn extra money. Sounds good, right? But has Amazon been keeping the tips its drivers are making when delivering for its Amazon Flex program? According to the complaint the FTC issued today, the answer is yes. 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Identity Theft Awareness Week starts today

In 2020, the FTC got about 1.4 million reports of identity theft, double the number from 2019. Repeatedly, identity thieves targeted government funds earmarked to help people hard hit financially by the pandemic. Join us for Identity Theft Awareness Week, February 1-5. Learn about protecting yourself from identity theft, and recovering if it happens to you.

The training program trap: deceptive financing

Have you ever thought about paying for a training program to learn how to invest in real estate or start an online business? These programs can be pricey — and some make false promises about helping people make money. In fact, the FTC has sued plenty of real estate investment training and online business coaching programs that have done exactly that, while charging people thousands — or even tens of thousands — for those programs.

Avoid scammers offering to pay your rent

If you’re facing eviction for any reason, there are organizations out there who can help you. But there are also fake “organizations” and “charities” who can hurt you. There are ways to protect yourself if you're looking for rental assistance.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

It’s National Data Privacy Day

Today is National Data Privacy Day, when many organizations and government agencies, including the FTC, join together to raise awareness about privacy issues and to offer tips and information. As more and more of our devices are connected and share information about us, privacy is increasingly important.
 
There are things you can do to help protect your privacy and limit how you share your information with others.

FTC cases returned $483 million to people in 2020

You may know the FTC for its consumer information, and for taking action against shady companies that violate the law. But did you know the FTC returns millions of dollars to people because of those actions? Last year, the FTC's cases returned $483 million to people nationwide and in 64 countries.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Scammers cash in on COVID-19 vaccination confusion

With every passing day, the news on COVID-19 vaccine distribution seems to change. One reason is that distribution varies by state and territory. And scammers, always at the ready, are taking advantage of the confusion.

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