Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
Many people around the world dream of getting a “Green Card” that allows them to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. People from certain countries who apply and are selected in a lottery drawing could qualify to be “Lawful Permanent Residents.” Unfortunately, the FTC has seen websites that claim to be affiliated with the program, but are not.
Companies have left people’s sensitive personal and financial information in all the wrong places — in dumpsters, on car seats, and even in employees’ backpacks.
Now, the FTC has sued two debt sellers for posting spreadsheets with the sensitive information of more than 70,000 people on a public website, making it — along with information about a debt they might owe — available to anyone who happened on the site.
Okay, so you had some reservations, but you finally decide to try this online dating thing. Your cousin met the love of her life online, so it’s worth a try right? You find a site that offers free membership so you can browse for possible dates without paying up front.
“Unlimited data” sounds great, right? Browse the Internet, stream videos, use GPS, even make video calls – all to your heart’s content. But what if you bought an unlimited data plan and then weren’t able to do all those things? That’s what happened to some AT&T customers.
When you want free consumer information — for yourself or a group — the FTC is ready to take your order. Looking for identity theft brochures to share with your book club? We’ve got them. Online safety handouts to use in the classroom? Right here. Bookmarks about charity fraud to distribute at a community fair? Absolutely. Our new and better bulkorder site is your gateway to almost 200 free publications for consumers and businesses.
Ongoing efforts by the FTC and its federal and state partners to stop mobile cramming have resulted in a whopping $105 million dollar settlement with AT&T – the biggest to date with a prominent mobile phone carrier. Even better news for affected AT&T customers? They might be eligible for a refund.
You just bought the latest smartphone. You loaded all your favorite apps — online banking, GPS, even an app to track your health.
But now your phone is full of information about you — how much money you have, where you are and whether you’ve gained a little weight. Your information can cause problems if it’s in the wrong hands. Want to protect it? These tips are for you.
Happy October! Along with fall foliage, sweater weather, and shorter days, you’ve probably noticed Halloween-themed candy and décor lining store shelves. While the start of October may remind us that the spookiest day of the year is just around the corner, it also kicks off National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).
National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds everyone to practice safe online habits — not just this month, but throughout the year. We have resources to help.
If you’re interested in technological, financial or social innovation, you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. It’s a virtual currency used by people around the world to make purchases online, or in person using a mobile app. As more merchants accept the currency — and more companies pitch Bitcoin investments — more people are curious about how it works.
Unlike dollars, pesos or yen, bitcoins are not backed by a government or distributed by a central bank. Instead, bitcoins are created on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network through a process called “mining.”
You may have heard about them in the news, through one of your favorite online shopping sites, or from a friend who always has the latest scoop on technology trends: cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are a way to buy things online — or in person, using a mobile app — with sellers who agree to accept them.