FTC Blogs

Don’t bank on a “cleared” check

Fake check scams take advantage of what we don’t know about how banks handle check deposits. Scammers do know, and they trick people into sending them money before the bank spots the fake. The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network database shows that people reported more than 27,000 fake check scams in 2019, with reported losses topping $28 million dollars. And the data suggest that fake check scams disproportionately harm young adults – especially people in their twenties.

FTC releases agenda for Safeguards Rule virtual workshop

Financial institutions collect personal information from customers every day, from names and addresses to bank account and Social Security numbers. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’s Safeguards Rule requires those institutions to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program. As part of its regulatory review process, the FTC has proposed changes to the Rule.

Steer clear of work-at-home scams

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you may be looking for ways to make money without ever stepping foot outside your door. Maybe you saw an ad online for a business coaching program you can do from your living room. Or maybe you got a call about getting paid to stuff envelopes from your dining room table. While these might look like easy ways to earn quick money and stay safe at home – most of these jobs are scams.

It’s Military Consumer Month 2020

Military Consumer Month is here! In these unprecedented and challenging times, we’re focusing on consumer issues related to COVID-19. As of June 30, consumers have submitted more than 115,000 reports of fraud related to COVID-19, resulting in reported losses of  more than $74 million. Scammers follow the headlines to take advantage of current events. They’re doing the same now, exploiting people’s concerns about the virus, as well as ripping off those who are affected by the pandemic’s financial implications.

Pandemic purchases lead to record reports of unreceived goods

Online shopping has been a lifeline for many people hunkering down to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. But as online orders have increased, so too have reports to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network about sellers failing to deliver on promises — or just failing to deliver, period. During April and May of 2020, more people reported problems with online shopping than in any other months on record. More than half said they never got the items they ordered.1

Fake emails about fake money from a fake COVID-19 fund

Because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low. Scammers view these as ripe conditions to strike. They’ll stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information. That includes pretending to be a government official from the Federal Trade Commission to gain your trust.

COVID mask exemption cards are not from the government

To help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, many states are requiring people to wear face coverings in places open to the public. But there are cards circulating online and on social media that say the holder has a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, and that it’s illegal for any business to ask them to disclose their condition. Variations of the card include the seal of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), one of the federal agencies responsible for enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fact is, these cards aren’t issued or endorsed by DOJ, or any other federal agency.

Shopping online? Watch this video first

In this age of social distancing, more and more of our favorite stores now offer ways to score great deals online. Even as shops around the country open their doors again, buying online is still a great, useful tool for people to enjoy. It’s nice to know that with a simple web search, you can find, buy, and ship almost any item right to your front door. But, while you’re enjoying that convenience, you want to be sure that sharing your financial and personal data online is safe.