Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you’ve got student loan debt, you’ve probably seen ads or been contacted by companies promising they can help. Some are scams – and the FTC is going after them. Today the FTC announced Operation Game of Loans , a joint FTC and state law enforcement sweep against student loan debt relief scammers. The operation includes seven actions filed by the FTC, with five new cases announced today . In the FTC cases, the companies claimed to be...

Emma Fletcher, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Tugging at your heartstrings is a tried and true method scammers use to get to your wallet. When tragedy strikes, they take advantage. Sadly, the Las Vegas shooting is no exception. The FTC has heard from people about suspicious requests for donations. A little research will help you avoid a scam and ensure that your gift goes to a reputable charity that will use the money as you intend. To avoid charity scams , consider these tips before you...

Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer and Business Education

Ring, ring. "This is Equifax calling to verify your account information." Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal information. Here are some tips for recognizing and preventing phone scams and imposter scams : Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

One thing we’ve learned at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is that scams often follow the news – especially when there’s a natural disaster, like Hurricane Harvey, in the headlines. Case in point: Colleagues at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tell us homeowners and renters are getting robocalls telling them their flood premiums are past due. In order to have coverage for Hurricane Harvey, consumers are told they need to submit...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Getting a call from a debt collector can be stressful. But it can be downright frightening when the caller uses lies, profanity and threats to try to get you to pay. In a case announced today , the FTC says a debt collection operation in Charlotte, NC pretended to be lawyers. Really, they were not lawyers and had no authority to collect debts. The FTC says the “collectors” used a variety of names to make people think they were dealing with a law...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, and businesses to the ongoing flooding in Texas. But it’s despicable when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity. If you’re looking for a way to give, the FTC urges you to be cautious of potential charity scams . Do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised. Consider these tips when...

Andrew Johnson, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

It’s hard to pass up a job opportunity that promises a large income and the flexibility of working entirely from home. Especially when the opportunity appears at the top of your online search results and includes video testimonials of success stories, making it seem legitimate. The problem is, most of these job opportunities are scams and won’t deliver on their promises. Today, the FTC announced that a federal court put a temporary stop to a...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Another day, another scam. Case in point: the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that scammers are telling people they can pay their bills using so-called “secret accounts” or “Social Security trust accounts” and routing numbers at Federal Reserve Banks. In exchange for personal information, like Social Security numbers, people get what they think is a bank account number at a Federal Reserve Bank. But this really is just a way to get your...

Rosario Méndez, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

Usually, when I pay with a check, I write it out and sign it, or I direct my bank to send it on my behalf. But what if a check is drawn on my account but I didn’t write it, sign it, or tell my bank to send it? It can happen if someone has your bank account number: they can use your number to create a check that takes money out of your account. Now, if you’d already agreed to the charges, there’s no problem. But what if you didn’t? That means...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

You’re online, ready to buy concert tickets the second they go on sale, and then … they’re sold out. Were you beaten by a ticket bot? Here’s what you need to know. What are ticket bots? They’re computer programs that quickly buy up the best seats so the tickets can be resold elsewhere for more money. The Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016 makes it illegal to use computer software like ticket bots to game the ticket system for public concerts...

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