Cristina Miranda, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Two disturbing phone scams have popped up on the FTC’s radar. Both scams have one thing in common: they want to trick (and scare) you out of money. If you live on Staten Island, pay close attention, since these two scams seem to be targeting people in your area. But we know that scammers don’t often stick with one area, so they could expand their target area any time now. Phone scam extorting parents This scam starts with someone texting you a...
Karen Hobbs, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC Bureau of Consumer
If you saw an email from FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, it wasn’t. From him, that is. Scammers pretending to be him are emailing, though. They’re trying to trick you into turning over personal information, like your birth date and home address, which could help them scam you. So: if you get an email from the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission about getting money because of an inheritance or relief funds related to the impact of the COVID-19...
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Nobody likes getting debt collection calls. But have you ever gotten one for a debt you already paid — or you know isn’t yours? Or have you been threatened and harassed by a debt collector until you paid up? If so, we want you to know how to protect yourself. Today, in partnership with federal and state law enforcement partners, the FTC announces Operation Corrupt Collector, a federal-state law enforcement sweep against fake and abusive debt...
Traci Armani, Consumer Education Specialist, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Did someone use your personal information to open up a new mobile account or credit card? Or maybe buy stuff with one of your existing accounts? Or did they file for unemployment or taxes in your name? That’s identity theft. If any of this happened to you, the FTC wants to help you stop the damage and start recovering. Learn more by watching this video: Not sure whether someone has stolen your identity? Check out these clues that someone is using...
Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Phishing scams can be hard to spot. For example, we’ve been hearing about one where people get a text message saying that there’s a package waiting for them, and asking them to click a link to learn more. Sounds innocent enough, right? Unfortunately not. The messages are coming from scammers. In some cases, they’re targeted at college students. In that version, scammers text returning students to say there’s a package waiting for them — sometimes...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
If you have kids in school, there’s a good chance they’re kicking off their school year…in your living room. All the while, you might be working away, yourself, in some carved out corner at home. The start of a new school year is a good time to double-check your online set-up at home, since lots of people might depend on it. Here are a few things to check or consider. Secure your router. Does it still have the same default name and password that...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Being broke is expensive. Right now, so many people are scrambling to figure out how to make rent, cover utilities, pick up some work, get their unemployment checks, and keep body and soul together. When it’s getting down to the end of the month, if people have exhausted personal loans through their bank or credit union, they may be putting more on their credit card, or getting a cash advance. And then they might turn to payday loans. Payday...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
With more people seeking delivery services during the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies are looking for drivers to shuttle meals, medicine, groceries, and other items to people at home. Before you think about making some extra cash as a delivery driver using your own vehicle, you need to be aware of the insurance pitfalls. You might think the company you work for will cover the costs of an accident while you’re on duty. Right? Wrong. If you’re...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
As we publish this post, a second stimulus package has not yet been finalized by Congress. While there’s a lot we don’t know, we DO know a few things about what scammers do when this kind of uncertainty is in the headlines. If there’s another stimulus payment, you won’t have to pay to get it. Just like last time. Nobody will call to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Expect any stimulus program to look a lot like...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. There could be a few things going on, so let’s start unraveling the Great Unwanted Goods Mystery of 2020. First, DON’T PLANT MYSTERY SEEDS. And don’t throw them away. Instead, follow the USDA’s advice on what to do. Did you order something and get seeds or other junk instead? If...