FTC Blogs

It’s showtime at the FTC!

Videos from the Federal Trade Commission may not feature a cast of celebrity actors, but they’re still entertaining. Produced by the nation’s consumer protection agency, these videos offer practical, useful, and memorable messages that can save you money, time, and aggravation. And they’re free.

FTC to law violators: Don’t bank on bankruptcy

A recent ruling by a Florida Bankruptcy Judge sheds light on a tenacious team within the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. But first, let’s set the time machine to 2008 when the FTC entered into a settlement with BlueHippo, a computer financing company that pitched electronics to consumers with “less than perfect credit, bad credit, no credit.”

We work to get your money back

The FTC brings lawsuits to stop unfair and deceptive business practices. One way we help right those wrongs is by getting refunds to people who lost money. And from July 2017 to June 2018, people got more than $2.3 billion in refunds from FTC cases. Earlier this week, the FTC released our annual report announcing these results. A new map shows how much money and how many checks the FTC mailed to each state, so you can see the FTC refunds sent to people in your area. You also can find out how the FTC knows who should get refunds and the steps we take to return as much money as possible.

Cybersecurity for small business: Hiring a web host

Your website is the online face of your business. Some companies have the in-house capability to manage their web presence. Others hire a web host to handle it for them. When launching a new business or upgrading their site, savvy business owners comparison shop for web hosting services. At the top of your shopping list should be the security features built into what you’re buying.

In Fat Giraffe Marketing’s ads, truth was the endangered species

The name of the case is FTC v. Fat Giraffe Marketing Group, but the lawsuit has nothing to do with obesity, giraffes, or obese giraffes. OK, perhaps there are some similarities in the sense that the defendants made oversized claims, told tales as tall as tree-topping ungulates, and used protective coloration – in this case, bogus endorsements – to camouflage what they were up to.

Romance scams will cost you

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. Last year, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams – a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC. And, according to a new FTC Data Spotlight, reports of romance scams are on the rise.

Romance scams rank number one on total reported losses

People looking for romance are hoping to be swept off their feet, not caught up in a scam. But tens of thousands of reports in Consumer Sentinel show that a scam is what many people find. In 2018, Sentinel had more than 21,000 reports about romance scams, and people reported losing a total of $143 million – that’s more than any other consumer fraud type identified in Sentinel.1 These reports are rising steadily. In 2015, by comparison, people filed 8,500 Sentinel reports with dollar losses of $33 million.