Consumer News from FTC.gov

New protections available for minors under 16

1 week 3 days ago

Young people now have more protection from identity theft and fraud, thanks to a new federal law that went into effect September 21st, 2018. The new law lets parents and child welfare representatives of people under 16, as well as legal guardians, request a security freeze, also called a credit freeze, on their behalf. Taking this step can help protect a young person from identity theft and fraud – and it’s free.

Jennifer Leach, FTC, Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education

Keep tech support strangers out of your computer

2 weeks ago

If you need tech help with your computer, where do you go? Most of us probably search online. But your online search can lead you straight to scammers who scare you into thinking your computer is in dire need of repair…and then sell you costly security software that you don’t need.

Lisa Lake

FTC’s Tech Support Takedown 2019

2 weeks ago

We read you loud and clear! Last year, the FTC got nearly 143,000 reports about tech support scams. We’ve been warning people about this type of scam for years. But one piece of information in the FTC’s newest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight was an eye-opener. People 60 and over were about five times more likely than younger people to tell us they lost money on this scam, even though they were less likely than younger people to say they lost money to many other types of scams.

Cristina Miranda

Getting calls from the SSA?

2 weeks ago

Probably not. At least, not from the real SSA. But how many of you have gotten calls from someone who said they were the Social Security Administration? And maybe showed the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) or a number close to it on your caller ID? Lots, right?

Jennifer Leach

Phishing: Don’t take the bait

2 weeks ago

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts – even phone calls – to get you to share valuable personal information, like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use this information to steal your money, your identity, or both. The FTC’s new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, offers tips to help you recognize the bait, avoid the hook, and report phishing scams.

Colleen Tressler

It’s National Consumer Protection Week 2019

2 weeks 3 days ago

Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2019. This marks 21 years of commemorating the important work that the FTC, state attorneys general offices and many community partner organizations do to protect consumers across the country.

NCPW is a time to help people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about their money. Our team at the FTC works hard to shut down scams and sue those who break the law. But one of our best tools to protect consumers is education.

You are a vital part of this effort. We need people like you, talking to those in your community about the issues that are affecting you. Whether it’s imposter scams, dealing with debt collection, or recovering from identity theft, the FTC has resources to help you start those conversations, and share important tips with your friends and family.

Andrew Smith

Going on vacation? Wear contacts? Looky here.

2 weeks 6 days ago

If you’re like some of us here at the Consumer Blog, even though you make a list of things to pack when you go on vacation, you may accidentally leave something behind. Sure, you can buy shampoo, flip flops, and sunscreen almost anywhere. But if you wear contact lenses, it’s important to carry a spare pair of lenses — or prescription glasses.

Colleen Tressler

The top frauds of 2018

2 weeks 6 days ago

Every year, millions of you tell us – and our partners – about the frauds you spotted. Last year, we heard from 3 million of you, and here’s some of what we learned from your reports:

Paul Witt

Musical.ly took kids’ info without parents’ ok

3 weeks ago

Do you know a child who dreams of being the next big star? Who spends time at home, recording song and dance routines (maybe over, and over, and over again)? That child may have used a free app called Musical.ly, now known as TikTok, to create and share recordings. And you’ll want to read about the FTC’s recent settlement with Musical.ly .

Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

Job seekers: Avoid executive placement scams

3 weeks 2 days ago

Online searching makes it easier to connect with companies offering job opportunities. But you can just as easily connect with scammers who seem to be offering legitimate jobs—including executive positions. But after taking your money, it turns out they offer nothing but empty promises.

Lisa Lake

Scammers go after international students’ money

3 weeks 3 days ago

We try to let you know when we learn about new scams, so you can avoid them and warn your friends and family. Here’s another one: scammers pretending to be from the federal government are scaring international students into paying them money. We’ve been getting reports that foreign students, particularly from South Asian countries, are getting phone calls that look like they’re from the government.

Rosario Méndez

Join us for NCPW 2019!

3 weeks 5 days ago

We’re excited that National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is just around the corner and we hope you’ll check out the events we have planned. During NCPW, we join our partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues. Here’s a preview:

Ari Lazarus

It’s showtime at the FTC!

1 month ago

Videos from the Federal Trade Commission may not feature a cast of celebrity actors, but they’re still entertaining. Produced by the nation’s consumer protection agency, these videos offer practical, useful, and memorable messages that can save you money, time, and aggravation. And they’re free.

Colleen Tressler

We work to get your money back

1 month ago

The FTC brings lawsuits to stop unfair and deceptive business practices. One way we help right those wrongs is by getting refunds to people who lost money. And from July 2017 to June 2018, people got more than $2.3 billion in refunds from FTC cases.

Earlier this week, the FTC released our annual report announcing these results. A new map shows how much money and how many checks the FTC mailed to each state, so you can see the FTC refunds sent to people in your area. You also can find out how the FTC knows who should get refunds and the steps we take to return as much money as possible.

Nicole Christ

Romance scams will cost you

1 month 1 week ago

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. Last year, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams – a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC. And, according to a new FTC Data Spotlight, reports of romance scams are on the rise.

Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

FTC halts another phantom debt collection scheme

1 month 1 week ago

Getting a call about a debt you don’t owe – or even recognize – can be annoying. It can be downright scary when the caller claims to be a lawyer and threatens legal action if you don’t pay. Such are the ploys of phantom debt collectors: lies, harassment, intimidation and threats.

Colleen Tressler
Checked
1 hour 36 minutes ago
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