Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Robocalls can be more annoying than a lingering head cold. Recently, some people got robocalls that seemed to be about health insurance and the Health Insurance Marketplace , but the calls were a con. The callers were phishing for personal information. People who work in the Marketplace don’t make cold calls, and they never ask for personal information. If you get a call like this, hang up. The phone numbers showed up with a local area code. The...

Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

We’re hearing from our colleagues that those pesky government imposters are at it again, using the FTC’s name to try to con people into paying them for something. Whether it’s to clean up your credit report, give you a prize, resolve a complaint against you, or pay off a debt you owe, they’re all lies. The message may be a call or an email, but it isn’t from the Federal Trade Commission, or any other federal agency. Here’s the bottom line: if...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

There are plenty of good reasons to get your high school diploma as an adult. It can open doors to a new job or promotion, or help you get into college or the military. But before you start looking into your options, make sure you know how to spot a diploma scam. The FTC has filed charges against two fake high school diploma operations : Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs (CNDLP) and Stepping Stonez Development. Doing business as Lincoln...

Cristina Miranda, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Snowed in? Here’s a cabin-fever buster – catch up on FTC videos , games, and audio tips! It’s the quickest way to learn how to protect yourself, and your family, from fraud and scams. Our videos can tell you how to detect identity theft , spot money-wiring scams , or deal with debt collectors . You can also learn how to evaluate online reviews and recommendations when shopping, or gather tips for dealing with robocalls . In the mood for...

Amy Hebert, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.” It sounds real, but it’s all made-up. It’s a phishing email to get you to click on a scammer’s link. If you do, a scammer can install...

Aditi Jhaveri, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Pop quiz: If someone calls you asking for your bank account number, should you give it to them? Answer: Never. Hang up — it’s a scam. We’ve heard about different kinds of imposter scams on the rise. In one scenario, scammers call, pretending to work for Medicare. They say they need to verify your bank account number — and it might sound convincing. Some callers may even know the first few numbers of your account, and say you just need to verify...

Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Severe weather and historic flooding have left people in many parts of the U.S. battling to save lives, homes and businesses. The last thing anyone needs are scam artists who prey on the misfortune of others. Common natural disaster scams include debris removal and clean-up, shoddy repairs and construction, charity fraud, and imposter scams. Here are some ways to arm yourself against scammers who use weather emergencies to cheat people: Be...

Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

It’s time to dust off the red carpet—actually, it’s more of a government-issued gray, but we’re dusting it off nonetheless—to bring you our top 10 consumer blog posts of the year. 10. Do those incessant, unwanted phone calls and text messages drive you bonkers? You’re not alone. And this blog post gave you tips to stop them. 9. We charged that TracFone Wireless’ promises of unlimited data were off-trac and customers didn’t get what they paid for...

Mónica Vaca, Assistant Director, Division of Marketing Practices, FTC

Who isn’t looking for a little extra cash at the holidays? An offer for an easy – and fun – job could seem like just what you need. That’s the email offer I got from a major retailer (or so it said) last week: “Holidays are coming we need you in our team. We are hiring holiday shoppers. No experience needed, just an honest opinion. The job requires you to shop and evaluate our employees. You will get paid to shop and keep the products.” While...

Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

What’s going on with you? Concerned about data breaches and identity theft? Living on your own for the first time and thinking about budgeting, credit, renting an apartment or buying a car? Were you the victim of a scam? Misled by false advertising claims? Or do you just want to get smarter about products and services you’re considering? Whatever’s happening in your world, when it comes to protecting your money and guarding your information,...

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