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.

50 years of the FCRA

1970 saw the ban of cigarette advertising on TV, the debut of Doonesbury, the inaugural flight of the Boeing 747, and the start of the New York City Marathon. Another notable 1970 first celebrating its 50th anniversary this week: the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the nation’s first consumer financial privacy statute. A review of 50 years of enforcement suggests that the law has been worth its weight in gold to consumers.

Online Trading Academy debt forgiveness notices are real

As we told you about in this recent post, Online Trading Academy (OTA) is sending letters and email notices to people who are eligible for debt forgiveness. These notices are real, so don’t delete or throw them away, and check your spam or junk folders in case the email notice was directed there. They have important instructions on how to ask for your debt forgiveness from OTA.

COVID-19 clinical trial: real or fake? Learn how to tell the difference.

There are thousands of trials underway as companies race to find effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Many of these research studies are legitimate, but some are not. So, if you’re thinking about volunteering for a COVID-19 trial, it’s important to know how to spot the real trials advancing medicine for everyone, versus the fake ones trying to steal your money and personal information.

Overpaid your utility bill? That’s probably a scam

You get a robocall saying you paid too much on a utility bill. To make up for this mistake, they say, you’ll get a cash refund and a discount on your future bills. All you have to do is press a number to get your money and discount. You say to yourself: “What luck!” You might think this strange surprise will help you save some much-needed money. Sorry but…not so fast. This is probably just another utility scam — or, at best, a marketing trick — to get your money.

“All Documents” means more than emails and files

Executives and employees of modern businesses communicate with one another, and with suppliers and customers, in a wide variety of ways. Especially with the current challenges of in-person meetings, electronic exchanges are now the norm for doing business. Emails, memoranda, voicemails, SMS/text messages, instant messages, hard copy notes and collaborative documents are all routinely created and circulated in the ordinary course.  

Reporting fraud helps everyone – and now it’s easier to do

You can help the FTC and its partners fight fraud in your community — and you don’t even need to wear a superhero cape (unless you want to). Your story is your superpower. When you tell the FTC about frauds, scams, and other kinds of bad business practices, you’re helping the FTC and our law enforcement partners spot and stop scams. To make it easier, the FTC just launched ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Reporting fraud helps everyone – including small businesses – and now it’s easier to do

Whether it’s a bogus message claiming your trademarks are about to expire unless you transfer money immediately or threats to ruin your credit if you don’t pay for unordered office supplies, scammers have small businesses in their sights. You can help the FTC and its partners fight fraud and you don’t even need to wear a superhero cape (unless you want to). Your story is your superpower. When you tell the FTC about frauds, scams, and other kinds of bad B2B practices, you’re helping the FTC and our law enforcement partners spot and stop scams.