Free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts are here, starting September 21st, thanks to a new federal law. Here’s what you should know:
Consumer News from FTC.gov
We’ve warned people for years not to trust the wild health claims that some companies make about their pills, powders, and potions. Call us old fashioned, but we almost fell off our stool when we heard about a company that ginned up some health claims for “cocktails” that go through the arm and not down the hatch. What are we talking about? We know you’re on pins and needles, so let’s get to it.
Scammers follow the news – and the money. A few months ago, we shared the news that Medicare is sending new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits, replacing your Social Security number with another number. As expected, scammers have been trying to cash in on this change.
When you apply for credit, a mortgage, a place to live, government benefits, or tax refunds, you need documents showing your income, employment, and other information. But not everyone plays by the rules. Some businesses sell fake documents to people who use them to get products and services for which they might not otherwise qualify.
Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane can be overwhelming, but taking stock and developing a recovery plan can give you a sense of hope and purpose. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.
Looking for an apartment? Many of us start looking online, trusting that the rental sites give us good information. But what if they don’t, and then charge for it? That’s just what the FTC says happened in its most recent case related to housing.
You get a call saying your electricity or water will be shut off unless you pay a past due bill. You may not think you have a past due bill. But the caller sounds convincing, and you can’t afford to ignore it, especially if you’re running a small business.
Actually, you can’t afford to believe it.
A caller says that he’s from the government and your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended. He sounds very professional. So you should do exactly what he says to fix things…right?
September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month —a time to celebrate the heritage, cultures and contributions of all Latino and Hispanic Americans in the U.S. For us at the FTC, it is a reminder of our continued commitment to protect all consumers in every community. For me, it is a reminder of the work that my colleagues and I do to ensure that many of these resources are available to Spanish speakers.
Tips to avoid hurricane relief charity fraud.
Do you work or volunteer with people who are concerned about debt or want to improve their credit? Then you might be interested in these three new free booklets. Delivery to your home or office is free, too. Each booklet also is available as an online article.
Servicemembers understand the serious responsibility of enlisting in the armed forces. But some companies may try to take advantage. If you or a loved one is visiting military recruiting websites to research or enlist, don’t get the wrong impression. Double check that the military recruiting sites you land on are official websites of the U.S. Armed Forces, not ones in disguise made to collect, and sell, your personal information.
Fake checks drive many types of scams – like those involving phony prize wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, online classified ad sales, and others.
Extreme weather and natural disasters can occur with little warning. This year’s floods and wildfires are proof of that. Are you ready to leave your home at a moment’s notice? You can reduce your anxiety about these scary events by making sure you are prepared if and when they happen. September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to get your family, pets, and property ready. You can, for example:
Last week, the FTC joined several other agencies and the First Lady for an important conversation about cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a tough subject for both parents and educators. That’s why most of our materials are built around having conversations, in small doses, and in your own language.
Here are some easy ways to start these conversations:
Is a new car in your future? You might first have some unfinished business with your old one. While you’re cleaning out your personal items, think about the personal information stored in the car’s electronic system.
Hurricane Lane is a Category 4 churning in the Pacific with an eye toward the Hawaiian islands. If you haven’t made storm preparations, now is the time. The FTC has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from the long-term impacts of a weather emergency. But how about the rest of us ready to help with donations after the hurricane? You should know about how to avoid hurricane relief charity fraud.
“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.
It’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, but these chilling words are part of a new scam targeting men.
Many school forms require personal and sensitive information. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s personal information safe — from pre-school through college.
As summer winds down, it’s time for back-to-school shopping. Here are some tips to help you save time and money.