Gema de las Heras, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Scammers often pretend to help, but they’re just following the money. And now that veterans and servicemembers exposed to toxic substances get expanded benefits and health care through the PACT Act, dishonest businesses and scammers are trying to get a cut.
Carol Kando-Pineda, Staff Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education
For Military Consumer Month, let’s talk a little about how romance scammers target people who support the troops — and sometimes servicemembers themselves. These scammers can be any age, gender, or sexual orientation and may approach you on dating sites or on social media platforms. In 2022, nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam to the FTC — and losses hit a staggering $1.3 billion.
Carol Kando-Pineda, Staff Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education
July is Military Consumer Month. Take a minute to consider the mottos of our military services: Always Faithful (Marine Corps), This We’ll Defend (Army), Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win (Air Force), Always Ready (Coast Guard), and Always Above (Space Force). They all convey a sense of pride and responsibility — and tell you a bit about the fighting spirit of the people in that branch. Honor and duty are drilled into servicemembers from the minute they start boot camp.
Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist
It’s illegal for a company to tell someone to pay to enter a sweepstakes contest, or that buying something increases their odds of winning. You might not be surprised if a fly-by-night contest promoter deceived people by saying these things. But would you expect a well-known company that’s been running sweepstakes for decades to deceive people?
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist
Congratulations — it’s time to graduate! Whether you or someone you know is off to college in the fall, already has a job lined up, or is still figuring out next steps, there’s a lot to do to prepare. The FTC’s Financial Adulting 101 webinars and materials offer advice to help protect you or your favorite recent graduate from scams. Keep reading to learn more.
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you get tons of scam text messages, you’re not alone. Lots of people have been reporting to the FTC that they’re getting texts from scammers impersonating people and organizations you know and trust — like your bank or companies like Amazon. An analysis of consumer reports reveals the top text scams from 2022. So, what are they? And how do you avoid them?
Carol Kando-Pineda, Staff Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education
During the pandemic, states had to keep people enrolled in Medicaid so they didn’t lose their insurance. Now that the health emergency declaration is over, that requirement has been phased out — which means people eligible for Medicaid have to re-enroll in their state’s program or find new insurance, if they’re not eligible. So, where do the scams come in?
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist
Say you’re struggling to pay off your credits cards — which is already difficult with high interest rates — and you hear about a company that promises to reduce or eliminate your credit card debt for a fee. Sounds great, right? But how can you tell if that offer is legitimate or a scam?
Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist
There’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence (AI) these days. And cybercriminals are taking advantage of people’s interest in AI to spread harmful malware through online ads. The criminals run bogus ads for AI tools and other software on social media sites and on search engines. These savvy cybercriminals can evade detection by systems designed to ferret out malicious advertising. They can also evade anti-virus software. If you click on a...