Miles Plant, Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices, FTC
New health apps are popping up every day, promising to help you track your health conditions, count your calories, manage your medications, or predict your ovulation. These apps often ask for some of your most sensitive personal information, like your health history, medication list, or whether you have ever suffered a miscarriage. Some apps use that sensitive information only to give you services. But others may use it for their own research, to...
Jennifer Leach, Associate Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
Congress has just passed another bill to help the people whose finances are taking a beating from the pandemic. Once again, some of us will be getting money by check or direct deposit. The timing and details are still TBA, but here’s what we know: The government won’t ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. Anyone who does is a scammer. The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for your Social...
Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
You’ve probably spent a good part of 2020 doing some online shopping. Now that the holidays are here, you definitely want to be sure you — or your friends and family — actually get what you ordered. On this 11th day of Consumer Protection, take these steps to help Rudolph find his way to your house. Confirm that the seller is legit. Read reviews and recommendations about the product, seller, and warranties from sources you trust. Look for reviews...
Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you’ve explored alternative treatments for medical conditions, you’ve probably noticed that CBD products are pretty popular. But if an ad claims a CBD-based product is scientifically proven to cure or treat your symptoms, take that with a dose of caution to prevent losing money and, possibly, putting your health at risk. Today, the FTC announced six proposed complaints and settlement agreements as part of “Operation CBDeceit.” This operation...
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...