Consumers lost about $770M to social media scams in 2021, FTC says
Consumers in 2021 reported losing about $770 million to fraud initiated on social media—about one-fourth of all reported fraud losses for the year and an 18-fold increase from 2017, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s latest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight.
Did you get billed for an SBA loan you didn’t apply for? Here’s what to do
Did you get a bill for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, but you didn’t apply for one? It’s possible that an identity thief applied for the loan using your personal or business information. The SBA has new guidance about reporting the fraud, and the FTC has tips to help you clear up any credit problems it may cause. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance has been issuing the loans under its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Keep these invoices until the SBA has finished reviewing your identity theft report.
FTC cracks down on ticket bots that leave you out in the cold
Think back, if you can, to the last time you tried to buy tickets online to go to a concert, a game, or a play. Ticket bots may also be a factor. They also might use bots to cheat the ticketing system and bypass ticket limits or to buy tickets using fake names and addresses. Congress passed the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act to address these problems. The Federal Trade Commission settled three cases with companies that violated the BOTS Act.
Non-filers should expect a letter about their stimulus check, FTC says
You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment by Oct. 15, 2020. If you get this letter from the IRS, it’s legit. Go only to the IRS’s real website at IRS.gov/EIP or call them directly at 800-919-9835 to register to claim your payment. But if someone claiming to be from the IRS calls, emails or texts about helping you get your stimulus payment, that person is running a government imposter scam on you. And be sure to tell the FTC if someone pretending to be from the government contacts you.
FTC warns consumers of bogus credit card interest rate reduction offers
Finding ways to lower those bills -- sometimes by simply calling your credit card company directly and asking for a lower rate -- can save you lots of cash. So what about those companies that call with a guaranteed credit card interest rate reduction offer (for a small fee) and a promise to save you thousands of dollars? Their goal, says the FTC, was to sell a bogus credit card interest rate reduction service. Heres how to protect yourself from this type of scam:The best way to get a lower credit card interest rate is to do it yourself for free. Did you spot a credit card interest rate reduction scam, or get a robocall?
FTC: Is a scammer getting unemployment benefits in your name?
People learn about the fraud when they get a notice from their state unemployment benefits office or their employer about their supposed application for benefits. Report the fraud to your state unemployment benefits agency. These include placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, getting your free credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name. These include placing a free, one-year fraud alert on your credit, getting your free credit reports, and closing any fraudulent accounts opened in your name. If you get benefits you never applied for, report it to your state unemployment agency and ask for instructions.
FTC warns of COVID-19 scams targeting college students
Hey college students: Even though you’re likely far from campus, scammers are still trying to find you, the Federal Trade Commission warns. Maybe you or your friends have gotten an email claiming to be from the “Financial Department” of your university. Don’t click on a link. Don’t click on a link. While some phishing emails look completely legit, bad grammar and spelling can be a tip-off to phishing.
Advice for finding a furry friend in the era of COVID-19
Most legitimate shelters and rescue leagues post their adoption fees online and they wont ask you to pay additional unexpected fees. If you stick with a local organization, you may not have to pay until you pick up your new pet. Most legitimate shelters and rescue leagues post their adoption fees online and they wont ask you to pay additional unexpected fees. Then research the seller online. Then research the seller online.
FTC: Credit reports are now free every week
Thats why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report -- for free. Your credit report has information about your credit history and payment history -- information that lenders, creditors, and other businesses use when giving you loans or credit. Thats because everyone is eligible to get free weekly credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. The credit reporting agencies are making these reports free for the next year. Notify the credit reporting agencies directly.
FTC warns of COVID-19 contact tracing text message scams
People who had contact with someone infected with COVID-19 may first get a text message from the health department, telling them theyll get a call from a specific number. But scammers, pretending to be contact tracers and taking advantage of how the process works, are also sending text messages. Unlike a legitimate text message from a health department, which only wants to let you know theyll be calling, this message includes a link to click. There are several ways you can filter unwanted text messages or stop them before they reach you. Your wireless provider may have a tool or service that lets you block text messages.
How to avoid scams while applying for small business loan
But, while you’re focused on getting a loan, scammers may be focused on you: hoping to trick you into giving them sensitive business information, like your bank account numbers, employees’ Social Security numbers, and even your money. Here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to help you stay clear of scammers as you apply for a small business loan. You don’t have to pay up front to get an SBA loan. The SBA won’t call unsolicited to find out information about you or your business, or to ask you to apply for a loan. It’s a The SBA won’t call unsolicited to find out information about you or your business, or to ask you to apply for a loan.
Spot hoaxes by playing FTC Scam Bingo
That’s why the FTC rolled out a fun, new way to help you spot scammers: scam bingo. The FTC wants you to share your bingo card on social media, so when you get a call from a scammer, you can recognize something sounds fishy and spread the word to help protect others in your community. And, when you have bingo, share it with the FTC on Facebook or Twitter, and with News4Jax. Even if you don’t play the game, the FTC asks you to report scams at ftc.gov/complaint. And remember, if you get a call or email offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Crooks will try to cash in on coronavirus fears, feds warn
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The new coronavirus has infected more than 40,000 people globally and killed over 900. Now, the U.S. government is concerned about scammers who want to take advantage of fears surrounding the virus. According to the FTC, the emails and posts may contain fake information about cases in your neighborhood or they may ask you to donate to patients. Here are some tips to protect yourself:If you receive any suspicious emails, phone calls or text messages about the coronavirus, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. As of Monday, according to the Office of Attorney General Ashley Moody, there have been no local coronavirus scams.
2020 Census: Fact vs. Fiction
The Federal Trade Commission is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help you guard against potential census scams. The ProcessIn mid-March 2020, the Census Bureau will start mailing out (and, in some areas, hand delivering) invitations to participate in the 2020 Census. Starting in May 2020, census takers will start visiting homes that haven’t responded to make sure everyone is counted. If you aren’t home or can’t come to the door, the census taker will come back up to six times. For the full list of questions on the 2020 Census, visit Questions Asked.