August 2014

Can you spot a government imposter?

Your caller ID says “FTC” or “IRS,” and the phone number has the “202” Washington, DC area code. You might even look the number up and see that it’s a real government phone number.

But the person calling isn’t really from the FTC, IRS, or any other agency. It’s a government imposter whose goal is to convince you to send money before you figure out it’s a scam. The big giveaway? The caller wants you to send money.

What imposters might tell you  Continue Reading >

Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts

Wow! Your baby can read? Really?

All parents think their babies rock. But when a company says its product will help a kid master reading Harry Potter during the potty-training years, it needs solid science to support those claims. Continue Reading >

Blog Topic: 
Technology

Order free consumer resources for your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration

The calendar says August: time for TV re-runs, back-to-school sales and the beginning of the futbol season. It’s also time to start planning for Hispanic Heritage Month.

The FTC has free resources to help people learn their rights and avoid fraud. Not sure where to start? Try some of our most popular publications. They’re about scams, online safety, identity theft, scams against immigrants, and managing your money. Continue Reading >

Order free consumer resources for your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration

The calendar says August: time for TV re-runs, back-to-school sales and the beginning of the futbol season. It’s also time to start planning for Hispanic Heritage Month.

The FTC has free resources to help people learn their rights and avoid fraud. Not sure where to start? Try some of our most popular publications. They’re about scams, online safety, identity theft, scams against immigrants, and managing your money. Continue Reading >

Think it’s E-Z?

Love breezing through tollbooths with your E-Z Pass? A new scam is taking advantage of that.  

Here’s how it works: You get an email that appears to be from E-Z Pass. It has the E-Z Pass logo, and says you owe money for driving on a toll road. It also provides a link to click for your invoice.  Continue Reading >

Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts

FTC to host workshop on big data and underserved communities

With today’s technology, organizations and companies can collect and analyze massive amounts of consumer data at lightning speed. What people search for online, buy in stores, and do and say on social media is information that helps companies market more efficiently. This era of "big data" may hold lots of promise — but also some pitfalls.

Next month, the FTC will explore the use of big data for marketing and other purposes. Continue Reading >

Blog Topic: 
Technology

Russian hackers might have your info — now what?

You may have heard about it in the news: reports that Russian hackers have stolen more than a billion unique username and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses, grabbed from thousands of websites. What should you do about it? We asked our resident expert, Maneesha Mithal, director of our Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.

Q. How do you know if your information was part of this hack?  Continue Reading >

What consumers are telling us

Are you tired of getting telemarketing calls even though your number is on the national Do-Not-Call registry, or of running to pick up the phone only to be greeted by a pre-recorded sales pitch? You’re not alone. Our annual survey of state and local consumer protection agencies revealed that Do-Not-Call violations and other telemarketing abuses were the fastest-growing complaints they received in 2013. Continue Reading >

Credit scores: The higher, the better

The World Cup may be over, but it’s still important to know the score…your credit score, that is.

Ever wonder how a lender decides whether to grant you credit? For years, creditors have been using credit scoring systems to determine if you’d be a good risk for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. These days, other types of businesses — including auto and homeowners insurance companies and phone companies — are using credit scores to decide whether to issue you a policy or provide you with a service, and on what terms. Continue Reading >