Consumer Protection

Advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs, as well as tips on a wide variety of other consumer topics. Learn more about consumer protection.

Business Opportunities

Want to “be your own boss,” “work from home,” or just “make extra money”? Then you may be tempted by an ad for a business opportunity. However, make sure you research the opportunity to eliminate the risk of getting scammed. Fraudulent business opportunity promoters use the classifieds and the Internet to tout all kinds of offers, from pay phone and vending machine routes to work-at-home businesses like medical billing and envelope stuffing. Too often, these ads make promises about earnings, locations, merchandise, or marketability that sound great, but are not truthful. This often results in consumers getting ripped off and actually losing money. Learn more about considering a business opportunity.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), passed by Congress in October 1998, requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue and enforce rules concerning children’s online privacy. The FTC issued the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule in November 1999 and it has been in effect since April 21, 2000. The Rule’s primary goal: to place parents in control over what information is collected from their children online. Learn more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Credit and Loans

You are often forced to make financial decisions—whether you are shopping for a mortgage or auto loan, checking the accuracy of your credit report, dealing with debt collectors, or looking for ways to protect your personal financial information. Learn more about credit and loan information and the FTC’s prescreened offers of credit and insurance.

Cross-Border Fraud

Cross-border fraud is a serious issue – and it appears to be increasing. For example, consumers in the U.S. and other countries lose billions of dollars each year to telemarketers operating from “boiler rooms” across the border who pitch bogus products, services and investments. They also lose money to internet scam artists who operate anonymously from places outside the U.S. The most common cross-border frauds pushed by telemarketers, spam emailers or misleading advertisements involve phony prize promotions, foreign lottery schemes, advance-fee loan rip-offs, travel offer scams, and unnecessary credit card loss “protection.” Learn more about cross border fraud.

“Do Not Call” Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Learn more about the National Do Not Call Registry from the Federal Trade Commission.

Information Security

Are you taking steps to protect personal information? Safeguarding sensitive data on all technological devices and files could prevent you from being a victim of fraud or identity theft. Learn more about protecting personal information.

Investments

Get the facts on how to invest wisely and avoid fraud. Be wary of swindlers and scam artists. Learn more about investing wisely and avoiding fraud.

Mail Fraud

Phony job opportunities, postal scams, work-at-home schemes, and fake charities are only a few of the many types of postal fraud that exist today. Learn more about mail fraud schemes.

Spam

Do you receive a lot of junk email messages from people you don’t know? It’s no surprise if you do. As more people use email, marketers are increasingly using email messages to pitch their products and services. Some consumers find unsolicited commercial email—also known as “spam”—annoying and time consuming; others have lost money to bogus offers that arrived in their email in-box. Learn more about spam e-mail.