July 2013

Can the Spam Texts (And Robocalls)

TXT MSG:
U won a FREE gift card!! Go 2 TXMSGSPAM, enter
code $$$ to claim card within 24 hrs.

RU getting the MSG? Recently, the FTC moved to shut down a network of scammers who sent spam texts that promised  “free” gifts, prizes, electronics, or gift cards. The catch? Clicking on the links in the texts sent recipients on a wild goose chase: a confusing and elaborate process that required them to pay for subscription services, apply for credit, or enter sensitive personal information – including their phone numbers. There were no free gifts or gift cards, but there were plenty of follow-up illegal robocalls. 

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

A-partment Hunting We Will Go

Apartment hunting for the perfect place to live? As you scan rental ads in newspapers, or on websites or listservs, remember that some ads may not be legit.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Can We Talk?

Identity theft is an unfortunate fact of modern life. Do you know what to do if your identity is stolen? How can you make identity protection part of your routine? Get answers to these and other identity theft questions during our Twitter Chat July 10 at 2 pm (EDT). FTC staff will host a one-hour session with our partners at DoD’s Military One Source and Military Saves.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Got Kids Under 13?

It’s summertime. For kids, that might mean days at the pool, sleep-away camp, summer school…and hours on some computer or mobile device, if they can possibly get away with it.

Starting today, parents might feel a little better about their younger kids’ privacy online. That’s because changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rule take effect today. The act requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to give notice to parents — and get their verifiable consent — before collecting, using, or disclosing a kid’s personal information. The rule also applies to general audience sites that know they’re collecting information from kids under 13, and to sites and online services that have actual knowledge they’re collecting information from sites directed to children. The rule applies to apps, too, not just to websites.