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Consumer Alert

Job scams that start on social media: Appointment Setters

Colleen Tressler
Here’s a new scam spotted on social media: appointment setting jobs. They claim you can work from home and make big money. But just what does an appointment setter do? And how can you tell the difference between a legit job offer and a scam?
Consumer Alert

Adobe used hidden fee to trap people into paying for subscription plans, FTC says

Andrew Rayo
Maybe you want to try out a product for a little while before you make a long-term decision. So, you sign up for a monthly subscription plan. Everything is fine until you want to cancel and it turns out to be a yearly subscription with monthly payments. Surprise! That’s what the FTC says happened to people who signed up for monthly subscriptions with Adobe.
Consumer Alert

What to do if your online love interest offers to teach you how to invest your money

Colleen Tressler
No one thinks their online love interest is going to scam them, but scammers are good at what they do. They establish an emotional connection with you so you’re more likely to believe that they’re an expert in cryptocurrency investing, for example. But that online love interest is a scammer. People have lost tens of thousands ― sometimes millions — of dollars to romance scammers.
Consumer Alert

Hurricane season 2024: How to avoid scams before and after a weather emergency

Colleen Tressler
Weather forecasters are predicting an active hurricane season, but if you live in large parts of the country — including those hit by tornadoes over Memorial Day Weekend — you’ve probably noticed more active storms of all types. To get started preparing for hurricane season or any storm, while avoiding scams, check ftc.gov/WeatherEmergencies for new information to help you spot, avoid, and report scams as you prepare for, deal with, and recover from extreme weather and natural disasters.
Consumer Alert

No one is using your Social Security number to commit crimes. It’s a scam.

Alvaro Puig
The phone rings. Your caller ID says it’s the Social Security Administration. You hesitate. You’re not expecting a call from them, and you’ve heard about impersonation scams. But something inside you makes you pick up. And everything you’re about to hear is designed to scare you into doing whatever the caller says.
Consumer Alert

That text about overdue toll charges is probably a scam

Andrew Rayo
When you go through a toll, you know you’ll need to pay a fee to use that road or bridge. But scammers are targeting drivers with text messages pretending to be from the tolling agency collecting “overdue toll charges.” Here’s what to know about this text scam.
Consumer Alert

Let’s talk about spam texts and emails

Andrew Rayo
Another day, another round of spam texts and emails trying to sell you things. At best, spam is annoying. At worst, it’s pushing scams or trying to install malware on your device. If you’re tired of getting spam, there are some ways to help.
Consumer Alert

Spot scammers looking to profit from Midwest tornadoes

Gema de las Heras
Just as people in Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, and other Midwestern states are reeling from the catastrophic damage caused by tornadoes and other severe weather, scammers are rolling in. They use all kinds of stories to try to trick not just those doing their best to recover, but also anyone who tries to help. The best way to steer clear of these disaster-chasing scammers? Know what their tactics have in common.
Consumer Alert

Pay your bills, not impersonators

Andrew Rayo
If you’re paying a medical, utility, or other bill online, you probably expect to wind up on the company’s website. What might you not expect? An impersonator tricking you into paying them instead. But that’s what the FTC says a company called Doxo did. Here’s what you need to know.
Consumer Alert

Skip the scams as you look for options to avoid foreclosure

Gema de las Heras
Are you having a hard time paying your mortgage? Even if you’ve missed payments or you’re already facing foreclosure, you still might have options. You really do, but that’s the same thing scammers will tell you. Fortunately, there are ways to spot mortgage relief scams while you focus on saving your home.
Consumer Alert

Mystery shopping, (fake) checks, and gift cards

Andrew Rayo
If you’re looking for a new job, getting paid to shop might sound like a dream. Companies hire mystery shoppers to try products or services and share experiences about things like buying or returning something, or their overall customer experience. But while some mystery shopping jobs are legitimate, many aren’t. So how do you spot the scams?
Consumer Alert

Scammers follow the news about student loan forgiveness

Terri Miller
Hearing a lot about federal student loan forgiveness in the news? You’re not alone — scammers are, too. You might get a call from someone saying they’re affiliated with Federal Student Aid (FSA) or the Department of Education. (They’re not.) They’ll say they’re following up on your eligibility for a new loan forgiveness program, and might even know things about your loan, like the balance or your account number. They’ll try to rush you into acting by saying the program is available for a limited time. But this is all a scam. What else do you need to know to spot scams like this?
Consumer Alert

Looking for a postal job? Also look out for job scams

Kira Krown
Thinking about applying for a job with the United States Postal Service (USPS)? Make sure you’re dealing with the real thing. Scammers advertise jobs that don’t actually exist to try to steal your money and personal information — and one way they do that is by pretending to be USPS. So how do you know if that postal ad or offer you get is a scam?
Consumer Alert

If someone you care about paid a scammer, here’s how to help

Jennifer Leach
Sharing a scam experience with someone you know takes courage. If someone trusts you enough to share their scam story, especially if the scammer is still in touch with them, here’s some advice to help guide you.
Consumer Alert

College students are targeted with jobs scams, too

Terri Miller
Getting hired might feel like the ultimate high. But finding out it was just a scammer trying to steal your money will bring you — and your bank balance — right back down. Many college students look for virtual jobs they can do while going to school, but if a new employer mails your first paycheck before you even start working, that’s your cue to stop — it’s a scam.
Consumer Alert

Fighting back against harmful voice cloning

Alvaro Puig
If a call sounds like your boss (asking for bank account numbers) or your family member (begging for help in an emergency), you’re more likely to act. That’s why scammers use voice cloning to make their requests for money or information more believable. And the FTC is fighting back.
Consumer Alert

Influencers: Spot a job scam

Carol Kando-Pineda
Maybe you — or even your pet — are an influencer. But did you know that scammers might target you with phony job opportunities? You might get a message on social media, supposedly from a recruiter or “brand ambassador manager” of a national company. They say they’ll send you free products and pay you big bucks to promote and tag their stuff on social media. All you need to do, they say, is give them your banking information so they can pay you. But this isn’t a job opportunity. It’s a scam, and here’s how to avoid it.
Consumer Alert

FTC Data Spotlight: New insights about imposter scams

Alvaro Puig
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that every year we report on the top scams people tell us about. And that we take a deeper dive into the data through our Data Spotlight reports. A new Data Spotlight about business and government imposters shines a light on the top imposter scams.
Consumer Alert

How to avoid getting wrapped up in a car wrap scam

Ari Lazarus
You’re looking to make some extra money and you get a text or email, or see an ad on social media: get paid to wrap your car and drive around. And the offers can sound good: $600-700 a week to drive around with an ad for some well-known company (usually an energy drink). Many times, these offers are scams — here’s how to spot them.