FTC Blogs

Tidying up: Decluttering the COPPA FAQs

Maybe it’s the influence of that best-selling book on home organization or perhaps the silos of stuff in our makeshift home offices are becoming more noticeable. Either way, people are in a decluttering mood – and we are, too. Our recent project: updating and streamlining Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions, known as the COPPA FAQs. But not to worry. The revisions don’t raise new policy issues and our COPPA Rule review continues.

Scammers prey on your kindness during disasters

Wildfires raging out West. The hurricane season. Civil unrest. And all of this happening during a global pandemic that has claimed its own devastating share of deaths and cost people their livelihoods. In response to these events, the season of giving is starting even before the usual holidays, since we all just want to help where and as we can. But shameless scammers want to help themselves to your money. And they’re competing with legitimate charities, taking advantage of your generosity. So, as you open your heart and wallet to help people and causes, be sure to consider these tips for safe giving:

Faith, hype, and charity: Settlement offers tips for charities and fundraisers

Fundraiser Outreach Calling’s telephone pitches were persuasive. Generous Americans opened their hearts and wallets to fund personal care packs for hospitalized veterans, support services for women with breast cancer, “financial assistance for families of officers killed in the line of duty,” and other charitable programs – or so they thought.

Online Trading Academy settles charges it made deceptive money-making claims and tried to gag consumers

In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, the FTC alleged that Online Trading Academy made unsubstantiated mega-bucks promises about their purported investment training programs. According to the complaint – and the defendants’ own data – for most OTA customers, the only time they saw big money was as it flew out of their hands and into the defendants’ pockets.

Getting stimulus payments to homeless communities

People who are homeless or transient may not know they qualify for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) — also called “stimulus checks" — that went out last Spring. They might also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child — and they don’t need an income to claim the payment. That’s why the FTC is working with the IRS to get the word out about how people can still collect their money — and we need your help.

Are you eligible for debt forgiveness from Online Training Academy?

Back in February, we wrote about Online Training Academy (OTA), a company that peddled a “patented” training program promising to help people earn big money by paying big money to OTA for trainings costing as much as $50,000. OTA’s lavish earnings claims often came with encouragement for people to go into debt to pay for OTA’s trainings. Today, we’re letting you know about a settlement that could mean big bucks in debt forgiveness for some people who owe consumer debts to OTA.

Did someone tell you to pay with gift cards? It’s a scam

Maybe someone said you’ve won the lottery, a prize or sweepstakes. Or they claim to be from the government and tell you there’s a problem with your Social Security number. And, to collect your winnings or solve your problem, you have to pay with gift cards. But here’s the thing: anyone who insists that you pay by gift card is always a scammer.

FTC releases agenda for Data To Go virtual workshop

“Take out” takes on a whole new meaning when it involves your data. Consumers and industry members are giving more thought to the issue of data portability – the ability of consumers to move data (such as emails, contacts, calendars, financial information, health information, favorites, friends, or content posted on social media) from one service to another or to their own files.