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...
Kira Krown, Consumer Education Specialist
The “IRS” is on the phone. They’re saying you owe back taxes and need to pay immediately using cryptocurrency, or you’ll be arrested. You reach for your wallet but then think — WAIT — is this really the IRS? Or is it someone impersonating the IRS? According to the latest FTC data , impersonation scams were the top reported scam in 2022. The FTC got more than 700,000 reports about impersonation scams, with one in five including loss of money. So...
Gema de las Heras, FTC, Consumer Education Specialist
Getting a call, letter, or a visit about the American Community Survey (ACS) — when so many scammers are trying to trick you into sharing personal information — might make you think twice. And it’s good to think twice. But the ACS is a legitimate survey to collect information used to make decisions about how federal funding is spent in your community. Want to know more? Read on. Annually, the U.S. Census Bureau — which is part of the Department...
Kira Krown, FTC, Consumer Education Specialist
When big things in your home break — like your dishwasher or air conditioning system — they can cost lots of money to fix. Some people buy “ home warranties ” (which are really service contracts) to help cover these costs. But what exactly is a so-called home warranty? There are different types and options depending on the company and amount you pay, but home warranties typically cover replacements and repairs for things like appliances or air...
Whitney Moore, Staff Attorney, FTC, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection
According to U.S. Census data, more than one third of U.S. households rent their home — that’s more renters than at any point in the last 50 years. Every year, millions of people go through the process of looking for and renting a home. The application process can be expensive and not so transparent, and often requires prospective tenants to undergo a background screening process. Tenant screening reports often include criminal and eviction...
Andrew Rayo, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
What are scammers up to these days? Every day, people just like you tell the FTC what they’ve spotted, and maybe even lost money to. Then, every year, the FTC rolls up all those millions of reports about fraud, scams, and bad business practices to tell the story: what ARE scammers up to these days? The 2022 headline is this: scammers took a LOT of money. The latest FTC data book says people reported losing $8.8 billion to scams. That’s $2.6...