Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
“Hello? It’s me — Frosty. Look it’s a long story but without my top hat, I’m melting. Please, I need your help — send money now or I’ll be nothing but a puddle!” OK, so that’s a silly example and real imposters aren’t funny. But, on the 8th day of Consumer Protection, it’s definitely worth remembering that scammers can be really convincing. And they don’t take a break, even at this time of year. It’s surprisingly easy for a scammer to impersonate...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
It’s the 6th day of Consumer Protection, and maybe you’re in a giving spirit. ‘Tis the season, right? If you like to donate to charities at the end of the year, ‘tis also time to make sure your donations get to the places you mean them to go. Because this year, lots of charities could really use the help. As you’re getting those year-end emails and phone calls from charities: Don’t be rushed into giving. Yes, it’s the end of the year. But legit...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
On the 5th day of Consumer Protection, you get an email or text message that’s supposedly from UPS or FedEx, complete with one of their logos — and it seems legit. It says your item is ready to ship but you need to update your shipping preferences. But here’s the lump of coal: the message is bogus and there is no package. Scammers are phishing for your information. And if you click on a link or download the attachment, you’re likely to end up...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
It’s the 4th day of Consumer Protection and ’tis the season of…gift cards. Even in Santa’s workshop, it’s one of the most popular ways to give to family and friends for the holidays. But gift cards also are a favorite way for scammers to steal people’s money. Anyone who demands that you pay them with a gift card, for any reason, is always a scammer. Simply put, no matter what the story is, never pay with a gift card. Back to the fun stuff: Giving...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
On this 3rd day of Consumer Protection, we’re talking about earning some extra cash. For lots of us, the holiday season is a good time to pick up some part-time work. It’s when retailers and delivery services need extra help. And, especially during the pandemic, many of us could use the cash. So how can you spot and avoid a job scam, whether for a temporary or permanent position? Don’t pay to get the job. Scammers may say they have a job waiting...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
On this 2nd day of Consumer Protection, it’s all about online shopping. Because that’s what we can do this year, right? (OK, it’s a lot of what we do any year.) If you’re spending some of your hard-earned money online, make sure you know where it’s going. Because it’s pretty easy for scammers to put up a fake website that looks a lot like a real one. A scam website may show up in your search results, or scammers may send you a phishing email that...
Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Welcome to the FTC’s 12 Days of Consumer Protection, a holiday series to help you save money and avoid scams. Each day, we’ll cover a new topic — from shopping online and bogus shipping notifications to temporary job scams and fake charities. We’ll give you practical information you can use every day and share with your family, friends, and community so they can be safe too. This holiday season will look very different as we seek to spend...
Rosario Mendez, Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Thanks to COVID-19, many charitable organizations are faced with greater demand for their services, but less in donations as people have less to give. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure that your donation will be used wisely and well. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, and as you consider new places to send your donations, now and throughout the holiday season, don’t forget these four tips for giving wisely: Search online for the cause you...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
During the past four years, the FTC logged more than 378,000 reports from veterans — and nearly 161,000 were fraud-related. More than 24,000 of those reported a loss (with total losses of $205 million). Veterans had a median loss of $755, compared to active duty servicemembers who reported a median loss of $500 over the same period. For both veterans and active duty personnel, imposter scams were among the top five scams causing a loss. Imposters...
Andrew Smith, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
On Veterans Day, we celebrate our veterans — more than 18 million strong. We thank you for your service and sacrifice. It’s also a good time to arm yourself with some tips to avoid fraud. We know that scammers follow the headlines, and their schemes evolve to take advantage of the things catching our attention now. Knowing what to look for helps all of us steer clear of a con artist. Thinking of volunteering for a COVID-19 clinical trial? There...