The Federal Trade Commission’s annual National Consumer Protection Week is upon us (March 6 – 12, 2011) and that means it’s a great time to brush up on information about money, credit and the consumer protections available to you – just because you happen to live in the United States.
You can get handy tips for personal finance and money management at the NCPW blog, which is updated regularly with tips for topics including these (and more!):
- Avoiding foreclosure rescue and other mortgage-related scams;
- Knowing how to spot employment opportunity scams;
- Making the most of your money in the early stages of your career;
- Building and maintaining a budget to improve financial stability;
- Avoiding time-share and credit-card scams offered via text messages; and
- Learning what steps to take to save your home from foreclosure.
In short, whether you’re rebuilding from a bankruptcy filing or just starting to establish yourself in the world of credit and wealth, there are excellent, free resources available for your enjoyment and education.
FTC Targets Scammers Preying on the Cash-Strapped
In other FTC news, the commission announced this week new efforts to halt scams that target people in need of work – in other words, those who can least afford to lose money to dishonest schemes.
According to the FTC’s web site, Operation Empty Promises has taken legal action against the following scammers:
- Ivy Capital Inc., a company that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $40 million with promises of helping them to establish lucrative, Internet-based businesses from their homes. The scam reportedly worked by first asking victims about their available credit and then pushing them to use that credit to buy worthless products and services.
- National Sales Group, Executive Sales Network and Certified Sales Jobs, three names of the same company that allegedly posted fake sales jobs on job-search web sties including CareerBuilder.com. The group, it seems, falsely promised sales positions with Fortune 1000 companies and charged victims money for what they claimed were costs related to background checks – often, this company reportedly overcharged and charged unapproved recurring fees to victims’ credit cards.
- Business Recovery Services LLC, a company that the FTC claims misrepresented the potential effectiveness of its work-at-home wealth recovery “kits,” which sold for $499 each. All told, the FTC reports that this group managed to snag $1.5 million from victims.
Take Advantage of FTC Protections!
The FTC is constantly patrolling for scammers and those violating existing consumer protection rules. If you’ve caught wind of a scam or have been victimized by a scammer, you may want to file a complaint with the FTC as well as consult with an attorney to see whether you might be entitled to any compensation.