Tips & Advice

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Avoid scams and know your rights.

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Consumer Blog

If someone you don’t know sends you a check and asks for money back, that’s a scam. But what if you’re a small business owner and someone “overpays” you and asks you to refund the balance? That’s still a scam — a fake check scam, to be exact.

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:

What’s worse than a bogus charity? A bogus charity with a dishonest fundraiser. That’s what we saw today in a case announced today against Outreach Calling, Inc., its founder Mark Gelvan, and others.
The defendants in this FTC case are fundraisers that called millions of Americans on behalf of bogus charities.

Business Blog

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....

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....

“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. That’s the...