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Get-rich scheme sold to wannabe Amazon sellers

8 hours 50 minutes ago

“Get started selling on Amazon and make $5,000 - $10,000 in the next 30 days… even if you’ve never sold anything online before.” That’s one of the pitches the promoters of a large get-rich scheme used to lure people into a bogus business opportunity.

Rosario Méndez

FTC sues telemarketers over Do Not Call violations

13 hours 13 minutes ago

If you’re on the Do Not Call Registry, companies shouldn’t call you out of the blue to try and sell you something. In fact, it’s usually illegal.

The FTC continues to take action against companies and telemarketers that ignore the Registry. The latest example: today the FTC announced a complaint against Alliance Security, a home security system installation company, Alliance’s owner, Jasjit Gotra, and two of Alliance’s telemarketing firms, along with their owners. These two telemarketing firms — Defend America and Power Marketing Promotions — and their owners have agreed to settle the FTC’s charges.

Amy Hebert

Western Union refunds scam alert

1 day 8 hours ago

We’ve heard that people are getting official-looking emails about the Western Union settlement. The thing to know is that you cannot apply for a refund by email. The scam emails we’ve seen ask for information about your Western Union transaction, along with your name and address. These emails are scams. Don’t respond, don’t give any information.

The only way to apply for a refund from the FTC’s Western Union settlement is to follow these steps:

Karen Dodge

Refunding $10 million after tech support scam

4 days 9 hours ago

The FTC is mailing partial refunds to about 37,000 people who bought unnecessary tech support products and services from Inbound Call Experts, also known as Advanced Tech Support. People are eligible for refunds if they bought the company’s products and services between April 2012 and November 2014, and filed a refund claim with the FTC before October 27, 2017.

Bridget Small

Bitcoin + online chain referral = illegal scheme

1 week ago

Ever get a chain letter in the mail or online? Then you know the drill — you send money to a person at the top of the list, then take their name off and add yours to the bottom before sending the letter to more people. If the letters keep going, you’re supposed to make money as your name moves up the list. In fact, most people are guaranteed to lose money.

Chain letters have been around for decades. Today’s twist: online chain referral schemes involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Litecoin.

Amy Hebert

Got Toys"R"Us gift cards?

1 week ago

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the iconic Toys"R"Us is winding down its business operations in the U.S., and closing its stores across the country, including stores in Puerto Rico. At this time, according to Toys"R"Us, you have only until April 15, 2018 to use your Toys"R"Us gifts cards.

Colleen Tressler

It’s National Password Day

1 week 1 day ago

When is the last time you reviewed the passwords to your bank account, e-mail or credit card accounts?

Today is a good day to do it. Why? It’s National Password Day. Together with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we are sharing tips to make your passwords more secure.

Jason Adler

Korean-language information from the FTC

2 weeks ago

Scams affect people in every community, and the FTC offers information in several languages to help them spot and avoid fraud. For example, we have a new video for people in the Korean community and those who work with them: How Scammers Tell You to Pay / 사기꾼이 돈을 요구하는 방법.

Bridget Small

Military Consumers and Sentinel: A deeper dive

2 weeks ago

Last week, we gave you an overview of the latest Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Today, let’s look a bit more closely at the data from military consumers. We got more than 113,000 reports from military consumers in 2017. Although not all of them gave details about their military status,more than 28,000 are servicemembers, their family members, and inactive Reserve or National Guard, and more than 78,000 are military retirees or veterans. Here are a few interesting take-aways.

Monica Vaca

FTC continues to crack down on student loan scams

2 weeks 1 day ago

A lot of us have student loans – and some of us have trouble paying them every month. Some companies claim to resolve that issue by saying they can help you pay them down quicker, cheaper or get them forgiven altogether. Be cautious – some of these companies are running scams.

Here are some tips to avoid student loan repayment scams:

Ari Lazarus

Welcome to National Consumer Protection Week 2018

2 weeks 4 days ago

As the nation’s consumer protection agency, the FTC stands up for consumer rights. Every day, we work to shut down scammers and protect consumers everywhere. But we care just as much about empowering you. That’s why National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), now in its 20th year, is so important. We hope you’ll join us to spread the word about consumer protection in your community. Read on to find out what you can do – and how we can help.

Tom Pahl

Tips for using peer-to-peer payment systems and apps

3 weeks 3 days ago

Online peer-to-peer, or P2P, payment systems let you send money to people quickly. I’ve used them to collect money from the parents on my daughter’s soccer team and to send money to my brothers when we’ve bought a gift for a friend. Personally, I almost always know where my phone is, but I can’t say the same for my checkbook.

The use of these services is a growing trend—I just read an article that estimates there will be more than $700 billion in peer-to-peer payments in the U.S. in 2018. There are several mobile peer-to-peer apps out there already and banks are also getting into the game. If you use a peer-to-peer payment system, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Alvaro Puig

Plan to tune in: #NCPW2018 Facebook Live chats

3 weeks 4 days ago

During National Consumer Protection Week 2018, March 4-10, the FTC will co-host four Facebook Live chats (including one in Spanish) with other federal partners. Tune in to find out how to avoid frauds and scams, including imposter scams, and what you can do about identity theft.

Cristina Miranda

Cancer patients: don’t make your side effects worse

1 month ago

If your friend or loved one has cancer, you may have searched online for products to help them manage side effects from treatment. Unfortunately, some products you find online don’t live up to the promises in their sales pitches. Learn about evaluating the claims you see when you shop for health-related products.

Bridget Small

Phishers send fake invoices

1 month ago

We’ve recently heard that scammers are recycling an old phishing attempt. In this version, scammers, posing as a well-known tech company, email a phony invoice showing that you’ve recently bought music or apps from them. The email tells you to click on a link if you did not authorize the purchase. Stop – do not click on the link. That’s the new twist on an old scam.

Ari Lazarus

Shopping for a VPN app? Read this.

1 month ago

You probably know by now that using your mobile device on the public Wi-Fi network of your local coffee shop or airport poses some risk. Public networks are not very secure – or, well, private – which makes it easy for others to intercept your data. So, what can you do to keep your mobile data private and secure while out and about? Some consumers have started using Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps to shield the information on their mobile devices from prying eyes on public networks. Before you download a VPN app, you should know that there are benefits and risks.  

Andrea Arias
34 minutes 19 seconds ago
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