Andrew Johnson, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Scammers will do just about anything to rip you off. They will create fake websites, use fake endorsements from public figures, lie about the effectiveness of their products, and much more. We did some investigating and found that a number of shady companies selling “brain booster” pills are using these exact tactics to promote their products. Here’s how: They build spoofed websites that look like the news sites that we know and trust. The sites...

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

Renting an apartment online? First, let me tell you about the FTC’s case against Credit Bureau Center, LLC – a company that posted fake online rentals to lure people to their credit monitoring sites. How does this scam work? You’re looking at photos of rentals, on a site like Craigslist. You email the owner who says the apartment is still available but you need a credit check before seeing it. They direct you to their own websites, which say you...

Seena Gressin, Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

Here are two telemarketing scams with a familiar ring: In one, a caller says you’re eligible for a grant to pay for home repairs, medical costs, or other personal needs. She asks your age, income, and other questions, saying she needs to determine the amount you can receive. After she gets your information, she says you qualify for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in government or corporate grants. You’ll need to pay a few thousand...

Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you have a phone, you’ve probably heard from an IRS imposter — someone claiming you owe thousands of dollars and better pay up immediately, or else terrible things will happen. In the last nine months, more than 111,000 of you reported calls like that to the FTC, and dozens wrote blog comments about callers with South Asian accents posing as IRS agents. Your reports provide crucial information to law enforcement about scam tactics, trends and...

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...

Pages