Sana Chriss , Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Lots of people are having difficulty paying their rent due to the pandemic. But today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released an eviction moratorium order. It protects people from being evicted for not paying their rent if they complete a declaration form and give it to their landlord. This protection lasts until June 30, 2021. If you qualify for this help, fill out and sign a declaration form (available in both English and Spanish) and...
Bridget Small, Division of Consumer & Business Education
The FTC is sending a total of almost $50 million to nearly 147,500 students of the University of Phoenix. The money comes from the University’s 2019 settlement with the FTC, when the FTC charged the school with using deceptive ads to attract students. According to the FTC, the ads gave the false impression that the University worked with companies like AT&T, Yahoo!, and Microsoft to create job opportunities for students and to shape its programs...
Cathlin Tully, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
If you’re feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you’re not alone. That’s why the three national credit reporting agencies, which last year gave people weekly access to monitor their credit report for free, are extending that benefit until April 20, 2022. This is some helpful news, because staying on top of your credit report is one important tool to help manage your financial data. Your credit report has...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
The pandemic is still taking a toll on every kind of well-being we have. The new American Rescue Plan, just signed into law, gets the ball rolling to help out on many people’s financial well-being. Payments will soon be coming by direct deposit, checks, or a debit card to people eligible for the payment. You can learn more about who’s eligible, and the timing, at IRS.gov/coronavirus. But let me tell you what will NOT happen, so you can spot and...
Emily Wu, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
Lots of people are having trouble sleeping, thanks to the pandemic and all the parts of our lives it’s affecting. And it doesn’t help when you get a call saying you owe the government money. Oh, and, they add, you’ll go to jail if you don’t pay up immediately. That’s a scam, and nothing to lose sleep over. For those who are a little more cut off from people than usual, these calls might feel more real and worrying than they are. If you know...
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) 2021 is coming up next week, and we’d love for you to join us for some virtual events. NCPW is a time when the FTC joins with local, state, and national partners to bring you information and advice on scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues. Here’s a preview of some events you can join: Monday, March 1 - Friday, March 5 Follow FTC and USAGov on social media for quick, shareable consumer...
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Just under a year ago, we told you that the U.S. Department of Education announced some flexibility to federal student loan borrowers. Understanding these options can help you make more informed decisions about paying your bills and prioritizing your debts. The benefits have been extended through September 30, 2021. So, just to recap, what does this mean for you if you have a federal student loan? This program gives temporary payment relief to...
Emily Wu, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
Winter often brings the blues, but when it brings Arctic blasts, burst pipes, power outages, and even icicles indoors, scammers aren’t far behind with weather-related scams. Scammers know severe weather may have shut off your electricity, heat, and water and might pose as your utility company. They might call to say that they’re sorry your power went out and offer a reimbursement, but first they need your bank account information. They might...
Emily Wu, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, so does its financial impact. For people who need help with rent or mortgage payments, or have student loans, there may be some good news about the federal relief response. Renters — The temporary stop on evictions for certain renters now runs through March 31, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on who is eligible and the steps to take. Homeowners — If you’re struggling to...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Valentine's Day will be here soon so we're talking about romance scams. Lots of people have profiles on dating apps to meet someone — maybe even more so in these virtual times. And many people have built successful relationships from an online start. But what if, instead of finding a potential partner, you find a scam? Romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses reported to the FTC in 2020. That’s up about 50% from 2019. So how can you...