Money – and the lack of it – is a source of stress and frustration. And while people the world over are working to stem the global financial situation we’re in, folks at home are trying to gain some control over their own financial situations, too. Practicing positive, tried and true money management techniques – and learning how to recognize and avoid some “ripped from the headlines” consumer scams and rip-offs – can help you weather tough economic times.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, created this website to help you tackle some money issues head-on. Use the menu to the right to find tips and resources on money matters.
The predators are coming out of the woodwork: scam artists follow the headlines, and news about tight credit, foreclosures, and layoffs has given them a new lease on life. Through ads in the newspapers, on the Internet and on TV and radio, they’re preying on people’s anxiety and working hard to get them to part with their money.
These crooks are really good liars: Their claims are just good enough to be believable; their services and products just practical enough to seem legitimate. Some even try to look like a government agency to enhance their credibility.
So how is someone supposed to know whether a product, service, or offer is legitimate? Count on the fact that the FTC is working the law enforcement front to stop them. At the same time, the agency is counting on consumers to know how to spot, stop and avoid them. Here’s a road map to recognizing the kinds of scams people have reported: