OnGuard Online Blog

Six things you can do to avoid a mortgage mis-modification

If you’re a homeowner who is struggling to pay the mortgage, a website, phone call or mailer that offers to reduce your mortgage payment by several hundred dollars a month sounds awfully tempting. Unfortunately, it could turn out to be just plain awful.

Today, the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Operation Mortgage Mis-Modification, a group of lawsuits that charged companies with taking hundreds — sometimes thousands — of dollars for loan modifications, and then leaving homeowners worse off.

mortgage statement and calculator

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

A contest to combat robocalls

“Rachel from Cardholder Services” is one of the most notorious — and most annoying — robocallers ever. Advances in technology have made it cheap and easy for Rachel and her buddies to send out thousands of calls every minute — and to spoof caller ID information, hiding their true location and identity. It’s the perfect environment for telephone spam.

Because technology is the crux of the problem, the FTC is tapping one of the world’s largest hacking conferences for some high-caliber technical support. The FTC is sponsoring a contest at DEF CON 22 in Las Vegas, Aug. 7-10, to inspire innovative tech solutions in the fight against illegal robocalls.

Zapping Rachel from Cardholder Services

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

The business directory scam strikes again

You work at a small business, nonprofit, church or local government agency, and you get a call:  Someone wants you to confirm your contact information for a directory. Sure, no problem.  

But there is a problem:  Soon, you’re opening an invoice for hundreds of dollars for a listing in an online business directory — something you never asked for or wanted.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Playing with Fire

Ready for a discussion that’s likely to upset the whole family? First, explain these concepts to your four-year-old: online shopping accounts that are linked to your credit card, unlimited in-app charges, and store policies that state all sales final. Then, explain how the virtual coins your child uses in a game can cost real money charged instantly to your account. Sounds like fun, right?

The experience has been anything but fun for parents whose children racked up hundreds of dollars playing “free” games on the Kindle Fire.

kids playing on tablet

Hiding in plain sight?

Could your mobile carrier be hiding third-party charges on your phone bill that you never authorized? The FTC has alleged that T-Mobile has done just that.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

The hazards of hoteling

Booking a hotel stay for a summer vacation? Before you check in, check out how scammers try to take advantage of travelers.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

A scam-free vacation

Heading out of town? Make sure you come back with a nice post-vacation glow and not a case of identity theft. Here are some things you can do to lessen the chances you’ll be a victim.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Librarians gather in Vegas, and the FTC is there

Next week, the city known for high-rolling gamblers, world famous entertainers, and The Mob Museum will host another fascinating and diverse group of people – librarians. Librarians serving students, scientists, historians, the military and communities across the country will be at the American Library Association’s 2014 Annual Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

It’s Game Over for Gameover Zeus

The Department of Justice recently announced a multinational law enforcement effort to disrupt the Gameover Zeus Botnet.

What is it and why care about it? Gameover Zeus is malware designed to steal banking and other credentials from home and business computers.

A Word of Caution about World Cup Ticket Scams

There are only 7 days to go until the opening match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and World Cup fever is in the air! In just a few days, soccer fans from around the world will descend on Brazil to watch their squad take the pitch to play “el jogo bonito” – the beautiful game.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who already scored tickets. But if you’re still looking to buy tickets to see your team play in Brazil, you might feel like it’s the 90th minute and you're down a goal. If you’re in the market for World Cup tickets, the Federal Trade Commission has some words of caution for you about ticket scams.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

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