Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

There are only 7 days to go until the opening match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and World Cup fever is in the air! In just a few days, soccer fans from around the world will descend on Brazil to watch their squad take the pitch to play “el jogo bonito” – the beautiful game. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who already scored tickets. But if you’re still looking to buy tickets to see your team play in Brazil, you might feel like it’s the 90...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Tax season may be over, but scammers posing as IRS officials continue to call, saying people owe taxes and better pay up. They threaten to arrest or deport people, revoke a license, or even shut down a business. How do they do it? By rigging caller ID information to appear as if the IRS is calling, and sometimes even making a follow-up call claiming to be the police or the DMV. We posted about this last month , and got a tremendous response from...

Nicole Fleming, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

As news about the eBay hack hits the media, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. First, change your eBay password . When you create your new password, keep these tips in mind. If you used your eBay ID or password for other accounts, change them, too. Hackers sometimes try stolen IDs and passwords on different websites to gain control of other accounts. Don’t confirm or provide personal information in response to...

Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission

The FTC and state consumer protection agencies have shut down dishonest timeshare resellers for bilking timeshare owners out of millions of dollars. If you’re selling a timeshare, listen carefully for the promise of lots of money quickly and a request for an upfront fee. Those are two key signs of timeshare resale scam — and someone you don’t want to do business with. In one recent case , Vacation Property Services claimed to represent big-name...

Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

The caller sounds convincing: If you don’t pay your utility bills immediately, your gas, electricity or water will be shut off. They ask you to pay using a specific — and unusual — method. Be warned: The call probably is a trick to steal your money. The Federal Trade Commission, state and local consumer protection agencies, and utility companies have gotten a slew of complaints from consumers about utility bill scams. Here are a few signs you...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist

Spring has sprung, the grass is green, just watch out for scammers selling home improvement dreams. If you’re thinking about building a deck, getting new windows , redoing the kitchen (like me!), repaving the driveway, or adding a fresh coat of paint to your home’s interior, it might makes sense to hire a pro rather than take on the job yourself. Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you big time...

Harold Kirtz, Attorney, FTC Southeast Region

In June 2013, the FTC sued several companies that scammed timeshare owners . The companies claimed they had interested buyers for timeshare properties. In fact, if timeshare owners paid, they found out there was no buyer — and they couldn’t get a refund. Now, somebody is trying to rip off those timeshare owners again. Several people who previously paid Resort Solution Trust have reported to the FTC that someone recently called them claiming to...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist

The recent outbreak of tornadoes and other violent weather that took lives and pulverized homes and businesses from the Midwest to the Deep South is a sad reminder that extreme weather can occur with little warning. As we know, when a disaster strikes, bogus charities aren’t far behind. The FTC urges you to be on guard against scam artists who try to take advantage of someone else’s tragedy. If you’re donating money to a charity, here’s how to...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

The Senate Special Committee on Aging is holding a hearing today to examine deception associated with retail precious metals investments and their effect on people’s retirement nest eggs. The FTC, which has a track record of stopping deceptive practices in the marketing of precious metals as investments, will testify . According to the FTC, the deceptive practices have included telemarketing operators posing as “brokers” and offering precious...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Have you gotten an email with the subject line “Pending consumer complaint” that looks like it came from the FTC? The email warns that a complaint against you has been filed with the FTC. It asks you to click on a link or attachment for more information or to contact the FTC. These emails pull out all the stops to look official: They have an FTC seal, references to the “Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)” and a “formal investigation,” and...

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