Michelle Grajales
With the recent announcement of the one-time federal student loan debt relief plan, we knew scammers were on their way. Well, they’re here. The application for debt relief is rolling out any day now, so focus on getting information directly from the Department of Education. But what do these student loan scams look like? You might get an offer that seems real because they say there’s an affiliation with the Department of Education or your loan...
Karen Hobbs Assistant Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education
The FTC is working to address deceptive advertising and unlawful add-on sales in the auto industry by considering changes to the law that would give the agency better tools to protect consumers and honest dealerships. Want to help? Don’t wait! Submit a comment on the rulemaking and make your voice heard. The FTC’s proposal would ban so-called junk fees and bait-and-switch tactics, and other practices affecting car buyers and honest dealerships...
K. Michelle Grajales, Attorney, Division of Financial Practices
You’ve probably already heard about the new government plan that will forgive some federal student loans, once it’s up and running. Also in the news: the federal student loan payment pause has been extended to December 31, 2022. But scammers are watching the news, too, so know this: you don’t need to do anything or pay anybody to sign up for the new program — or the pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee...
Kira Krown, Consumer Education Specialist
With the cost of groceries, housing, and many other things rising, you might be looking for ways to cut costs. You aren’t alone. Across the country, people are worried about high prices impacting their budgets. And scammers are taking notice. Scammers may zero in on your anxiety over money in several ways. They might say they’re from the government and giving away grant money for home repairs or unpaid bills. Or they have an investment that’s...
Gema de las Heras, Consumer Education Specialist
Sorry to burst your bubble. That unexpected text from the Postal Service (USPS), Costco, or The Home Depot telling you about an unclaimed package or a survey you can complete to claim a freebie is NOT from them. It’s a scam. The FTC has seen a spike in reports from people getting text messages that look like they’re from well-known names like USPS, Costco, or The Home Depot and others. Spoiler alert: they’re from impersonators. The details vary...
Kira Krown, FTC, Consumer Education Specialist
As Military Consumer Month comes to a close, the work doesn’t end here. While servicemembers, veterans, and their families do so much for our country, scammers continue to target their hard-earned salaries and benefits year-round. Find out about the latest frauds and scams this month and every month on MilitaryConsumer.gov. At this one-stop shop, you’ll find information from government agencies, consumer advocates, and military support groups...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist
One thing that comes with being in the military is almost constant change — new cities, new homes, new friends — and new cars. As part of Military Consumer Month, if you’re thinking about buying a new car or truck, know that servicemembers and their families are often targets of fraudulent car dealers. Some unscrupulous dealers will advertise for a particular vehicle, or as military friendly, lure you to the dealership, then claim the vehicle is...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC's Division of Consumer and Business Education
Many companies say they want to serve those who serve. But some companies take advantage of our military personnel and use unlawful practices to lure them into deceptive deals. That’s why the FTC and eighteen states have brought charges against Harris Jewelry for violating federal and state lending and consumer protection laws. This is also the FTC’s first case alleging violations of the Military Lending Act (MLA). Harris sold jewelry, watches...
Terri Miller, FTC, Consumer Education Specialist
July is Disability Pride Month — a time to celebrate the proud identities, contributions, and culture of 40.8 million people with disabilities in the U.S. It’s when we recognize how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed on July 26, 1990, protects so many people from discrimination in countless ways every day. Let’s also make it about helping the people you care about avoid scams. What we know from our Every Community work is that...
Terri Miller, Consumer Education Specialist
It’s summer, peak moving season for military servicemembers and their families. You’ve got enough on your plate without having to worry about identity theft. But the reality is scammers are getting more and more clever with their tactics to swindle members of the military community. In fact, five years of identity theft data reported to the FTC on IdentityTheft.gov shows that active duty servicemembers are 76% more likely to report that an...