Carol Kando-Pineda, Counsel, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Today we’re focusing on how dishonest “advisers” may try to get your pension benefits and disability compensation, including benefits under the PACT Act. Applying for VA benefits is free and you can also get legitimate free help. How can you protect your benefits and get help filing your claim? If you want help with applying for benefits, use VA-accredited agents, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), or accredited attorneys. Start by confirming...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Counsel, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
As we approach Veterans Day, we thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice. But not everyone has a vet’s best interests in mind. Whether you left the service decades ago or you’re planning your transition to civilian life, scammers will try to get you to send money or share personal information. Scammers also want to get their hands on the valuable benefits you earned through military service. What are some ways to know you’re dealing...
Larissa Bungo, Senior Attorney
Did you get a message from a “brand ambassador manager” for a national company wanting to pay you to promote their products online? It could be a scam…but how will you know? If you’re an influencer or have lots of social media followers, scammers might target you with fake job offers aimed at getting your personal and financial information. Here’s what it looks like: a supposed recruiter contacts you out of the blue, claiming to be affiliated...
Andrew Rayo, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Halloween is almost here. What could be scarier than not having your costume ready? How about ordering a costume online and never getting what you paid for? Scammers are making this season extra spooky by pretending to be real companies like Spirit Halloween and Party City. But it’s all a trick. Here’s what to know. You see an ad on Facebook or Instagram that looks like it’s from a company like Spirit Halloween or Party City, promoting a huge...
Gema de las Heras, Consumer Education Specialist
It’s unfair and illegal to increase the amount someone ends up paying to buy or lease a car based on their race or how they look. But that’s how the FTC says a group of three auto dealerships in Rhinelander, Wisconsin allegedly overcharged some of their customers. Read on to learn more about the case — and what you can do to get a fair deal when buying a car. According to the FTC and the State of Wisconsin, the Rhinelander dealerships unfairly...
Lesley Fair, Senior Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
We’ve all heard the adage “Proper preparation prevents poor performance.” It’s been attributed to everyone from Vince Lombardi to Secretary of State James Baker. As we’ve discussed in the first four installments of our Franchise Fundamentals series, proper preparation – including a thorough pre-commitment investigation into the franchise – may help reduce the risk of painful problems later. But what if a franchisee is concerned that a subsequent business breakdown could be due to a franchisor’s precarious promises? Report it to the FTC through a dedicated link just for franchise issues.
Lesley Fair, Senior Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
You think a franchise may be for you. You can’t wait to cut that ribbon and get your business up and running. But to avoid a false start, it makes sense to spend more time in the starting block. This post – the fourth in the FTC’s Franchise Fundamental series – covers key steps to take before you’re off to the races: 1) carefully evaluating critical documents that may (or may not) be attached to the Franchise Disclosure Document; 2) scrutinizing the financial performance representations included in the Franchise Disclosure Document; and 3) and running through every detail of the deal with an experienced attorney and accountant.
Colleen Tressler, FTC, Division of Consumer and Business Education
Starting September 25, you can order four free test kits per household through COVIDtests.gov . The tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants and are intended for use through the end of 2023. The kits will include instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates . Many kits have had their expiration dates extended beyond what may be printed on the packaging. You don’t have to pay for shipping, and you’ll never be asked...
Lesley Fair, , Senior Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Love at first sight may (or may not) be a real thing, but when it comes to investing your money, it’s unwise to fall for a franchise without first subjecting it to tough-minded scrutiny. The third in the FTC’s Franchise Fundamentals blog series walks through an essential part of that evaluation: an in-depth review of the Financial Disclosure Document (FDD) required by the FTC’s Franchise Rule . You must receive the Franchise Disclosure Document...
Marissa Hopkins, Intern, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Finding and keeping health insurance for your family can be stressful and expensive. During the pandemic, your state’s Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) might have helped — but with the end of the pandemic, states may be reaching out to update your family Medicaid enrollments. Except scammers might try to get to you first. So how can you spot them? First, while the process to renew may differ from state to state, nobody legit...