Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director, FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection
June is Pride Month, an important time of year when we get to celebrate and show our support for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Here at the FTC, “pride” is more than a month-long celebration. We’re proud of the work we’re doing throughout the year to help protect the LGBTQ+ community from fraud — especially our work to help the community learn how to spot, avoid, and report scams and bad business practices. This week, we want to talk with you about...
Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible families will get monthly payments from the government from July 15 through December 2021. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send these monthly payments directly to people through direct deposit, paper checks, or debit cards. Unlike economic impact payments, these payments are an advance on families’ child tax credit. People who are eligible will get up to half of their child tax credit in...
Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Government imposters may have hit a new low with a scheme that targets the grieving survivors of people who died of COVID-19 by offering them help paying for their loved one’s funeral expenses. A real government relief program will pay up to $9,000 for funeral expenses that people have paid since January 20, 2020 for loved ones who died of COVID-19. Survivors can apply for benefits by contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at...
Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
After more than a year of pandemic-related devastating losses — including job losses – you may be one of millions looking to get back on your feet with a new job. This Financial Literacy Month, as always, the FTC wants to help keep you on track with ways to avoid job scams. Scammers post ads online or in print for a variety of jobs, including work-at-home jobs. They sometimes even pretend to represent well-known companies or the government. But...
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you’re a college student, faculty, or staff member, you’re going to want to pay attention to this one. IRS imposters are sending phishing emails to people with “.edu” email addresses, saying they have information about your “tax refund payment.” What do they really want? Your personal information. Scammers are sending emails with subject lines like, “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of your tax refund payment.” The email asks you to click...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
This April is Financial Literacy Month, so this week we’re talking about financial resiliency. The Coronavirus has been devastating for many people’s financial lives. Through no fault of their own, millions have lost jobs, businesses, and savings due to the financial impact of the pandemic. Many folks are simply trying to decide how to put food on the table and keep their housing. Some, who were able to keep their jobs, are hanging in there. And...
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...