Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
With the average price of a new car idling at over $31,000, you might be thinking about buying used . After all, the average price for a used car from a dealership is about $18,000. You can buy used cars through a variety of commercial outlets: franchise and independent dealers, rental car companies, leasing companies, used car superstores, and online. Of course, you can buy directly from an individual, too, but that route comes with limited consumer protections. Here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.
Nicole Vincent Fleming, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
How does a fixed rate mortgage compare to a variable rate mortgage?What can you do about a store that doesn’t honor its refund policy? What if you have a complaint about an insurance company? The world can be a tricky place for consumers. It takes time and energy to research companies, compare products, and stay up-to-date on the latest scams. At times, it might feel like a full time job. The 2014 Consumer Action Handbook can help, and it’s now available to order or download for free.
Nicole Vincent Fleming , Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Security researchers estimate that between 500,000 and 1 million computers worldwide are infected with Gameover Zeus, and that about 25 percent of them are in the US. The FBI estimates that Gameover Zeus is responsible for more than $100 million in losses. U.S. and international law enforcement disabled Gameover Zeus and brought charges against one of the people responsible.
Aditi Jhaveri , Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Learn how to tell fact from fiction when it comes to weight loss products. Play the FTC’s new Weight Loss Challenge game , and have fun getting the skinny on safe and effective weight loss!
Colleen Tressler , Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission
Scammers have found yet another way to exploit people who need money fast, including cash-strapped college students: Pay them to open wireless contracts that include new smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. The scammers target people to act as “credit mules.” That’s when a scammer uses someone else's identity, personal information and credit to get something of value. In this case, it’s a wireless device.
Bridget Small , Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission
Name a common health concern, and there’s probably a dietary supplement that promises a solution . But when advertised promises aren’t backed up with adequate proof, the Federal Trade Commission sees a problem.
FINRA Foundation
Investment scams can take many forms—and fraudsters can turn on a dime when it comes to developing new pitches or come-ons for the latest fraud. But while the hook might change, the underlying tactics remain the same. To stay on guard and avoid being drawn into an investment scam, look for these red flags:
Aditi Jhavery, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
What’s the difference between a multilevel marketing program and a pyramid scheme? Pyramid schemes are illegal. If the money you earn is based on your sales to the public, the company may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. Here are some signs that the company is operating a pyramid scheme:
Holly Petraeus, Director, Office of Servicemember Affairs, CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is hosting an online forum on veteran consumer issues on Friday, May 9 at 2 p.m. EDT. The event will focus on common consumer issues for veterans and military retirees. Highlights will include a review of tools that can help veterans capitalize on key benefits and information that can help them avoid consumer scams.
Andia Dinesen, AFC, VP Communications and Operations, Association of Military Banks of America
AMBA recently wrote a blog about the importance of knowing your credit score and knowing what information is in your credit report. This blog also referred to credit as a whole and how it affects the cost of good credit versus not so good credit when applying for loans and utilizing credit. The all-so-familiar slogan “cash is king” may not be the best phrase to live by. Not only can it be difficult to live in a world without credit, but it can also be problematic to not maintain any credit. The concept of sustaining and using credit wisely is the best option. The “credit conversation” is important to everyone. Most likely as a reader of this blog you will fit into one of three categories. A . You have credit, and use it wisely. B . You have credit, and are in over your head in debt. C . You don’t have any credit, or very little, but realize that you will need to use credit and build your credit. There are of course gray areas in each category but for the sake of this blog, we will assume you fit into one of these categories.