Cristina Miranda, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Over the summer, we told you about a mortgage relief scam that defrauded homeowners in financial distress. The case especially affected Spanish-speaking homeowners in Southern California. According to the FTC , Brookstone Law and Advantis Law firms convinced homeowners to make an upfront payment to join a mortgage lawsuit against banks and lenders, supposedly to help them avoid foreclosure, get rid of their mortgages, or get money from their...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

What’s one kind of scam targeting you and everyone you know? Imposter scams. They happen when scammers pretend to be a person, business, or government agency you trust, then try to convince you to send money. One of their latest targets: people who own tractor-trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles. According to the FTC’s lawsuit filed earlier this month, a company calling itself DOT Authority led commercial truck owners to believe they...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you’re just getting by, and someone offers you the chance to earn more money through a business opportunity , you might be willing to listen, right? Unfortunately, those offers often turn out to be just another scam. Today the FTC announced charges against three people and multiple companies behind a telemarketing scheme that targeted older people and veterans, and took millions of dollars from people with promises they would multiply their...

Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

It seems like manufacturers are coming out with new smartphones, tablets and other devices at a faster clip year after year. People who upgraded and were looking to get some money back for their old devices may have been tempted by some websites that promised to pay top dollar. As a result of the lawsuit filed by the FTC and the State of Georgia, a federal court just put a stop to one company running several buyback websites because it wasn’t...

Aditi Jhaveri, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you work for a business or a non-profit, you probably get lots of messages and mail about directory listings and upcoming trade shows. Just make sure you weed out for scams as you sift through these items. Here’s why. The FTC says a company, Fair Guide, tricked businesses and non-profits into paying millions of dollars for listings in an online directory — something these organizations never ordered nor wanted. The FTC recently announced a...

Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the contributions so many Latinos have made throughout history. It’s also a time for us to celebrate you for the vital role you’ve played in helping Latino communities avoid scams. In the past year, you: visited consumidor.ftc.gov almost 1.3 million times to do things like learn about financing a car ; look into the cost of funeral services ; find out how to order a free copy of your credit report...

Andrew Johnson, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

You get a call or voicemail from someone claiming to be from the IRS. You’re being sued and this your final notice, the caller says: Don’t panic. And don’t return the call. It’s a scam. Here are a few facts about the IRS to keep in mind if you get a similar call: If the IRS needs to contact you, they’ll do it by mail first. The IRS won’t demand personal information like credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone. The IRS won’t...

Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist

In 2010, the FTC sued Jeremy Johnson, his company IWorks, and nine others for allegedly taking more than $280 million from people with a deceptive “ free trial ” scheme. Now Johnson, his family members, and more than two dozen corporate defendants have settled FTC charges and will give up millions of dollars in cash, stock, jewelry, aircraft, real estate and other assets. In a separate criminal case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice,...

Jennifer Leach, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education

In pretty much every article and blog post we put out, you’ll find tips to help you avoid scams. The idea is that, if you can spot a scam, and know how to avoid it, you and your money are more likely to stay together. Today, we’re releasing a brochure that distills those tips down to the top 10 ways to avoid fraud. This brochure – available online and in print – is your one-stop resource to help you spot imposters, know what to do about...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

It’s heartbreaking to see people lose their lives, homes, and businesses to the ongoing flooding in Louisiana. 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...

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