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...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Using your own vehicle to deliver packages for Amazon and earn extra money. Sounds good, right? But has Amazon been keeping the tips its drivers are making when delivering for its Amazon Flex program? According to the complaint the FTC issued today, the answer is yes. In its app and numerous marketing materials, Amazon advertises that drivers can earn $18 to $25 per hour — plus 100% of customer tips. According to the FTC, during a two-and-a-half...
Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you’re facing eviction for any reason, there are organizations out there who can help you. But there are also fake “organizations” and “charities” who can hurt you. COVID-19 has created an even greater opportunity for scammers to target people — people who are just trying to get help with paying their rent or taking care of other financial needs. Scammers may call, email, or text, saying you can get money for rent. Or they may say they can get...
Colleen Tressler, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
With every passing day, the news on COVID-19 vaccine distribution seems to change. One reason is that distribution varies by state and territory. And scammers, always at the ready, are taking advantage of the confusion. Besides a big dose of patience, here are some tips to help you avoid a vaccine-related scam, no matter where you live: Contact a trusted source for information. Check with state or local health departments to learn when and how to...
Cristina Miranda, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
The US Department of the Treasury and the IRS are working hard to get a second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to people. You might have already gotten your payment direct deposited into your bank account. That started on December 29th. You might have gotten a check in the mail. But, like last time, some people will get their payment in the mail on an EIP VISA debit card. Don’t be surprised if the way you get this second round of payments...
Miles Plant, Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices, FTC
New health apps are popping up every day, promising to help you track your health conditions, count your calories, manage your medications, or predict your ovulation. These apps often ask for some of your most sensitive personal information, like your health history, medication list, or whether you have ever suffered a miscarriage. Some apps use that sensitive information only to give you services. But others may use it for their own research, to...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Congress has just passed another bill to help the people whose finances are taking a beating from the pandemic. Once again, some of us will be getting money by check or direct deposit. The timing and details are still TBA, but here’s what we know: The government won’t ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. Anyone who does is a scammer. The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for your Social...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
You’ve probably spent a good part of 2020 doing some online shopping. Now that the holidays are here, you definitely want to be sure you — or your friends and family — actually get what you ordered. On this 11th day of Consumer Protection, take these steps to help Rudolph find his way to your house. Confirm that the seller is legit. Read reviews and recommendations about the product, seller, and warranties from sources you trust. Look for reviews...
Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you’ve explored alternative treatments for medical conditions, you’ve probably noticed that CBD products are pretty popular. But if an ad claims a CBD-based product is scientifically proven to cure or treat your symptoms, take that with a dose of caution to prevent losing money and, possibly, putting your health at risk. Today, the FTC announced six proposed complaints and settlement agreements as part of “Operation CBDeceit.” This operation...