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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

The NJLTA is pleased to present the latest news and advice from the Federal Trade Commission:

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FTC Warns Consumers about Vacation Rental Scams

With July 4th approaching, the FTC is warning consumers to watch out for vacation rental scams. The agency has published a blog post, Getting a vacation rental? Watch out for scams, with a message for consumers who are looking to book a summer rental: Scammers are ready with fake vacation rental ads, and their plan is to take your money and leave you with no place to stay.

The blog post explains how vacation rental scams operate and includes a list of tips on how to avoid them. The blog also encourages consumers who come across any scam rental ads to report them to the FTC.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook(link is external), follow us on Twitter(link is external), read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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FEMA impersonators and identity theft

If you’ve been affected by a recent natural disaster has someone called asking to verify your FEMA registration even though you didn’t apply? Or have you tried to claim FEMA benefits or assistance, but were told you had already applied?

 

After receiving multiple complaints from people living in these affected areas, the FTC wants you to know about a scam involving FEMA impersonators and identity theft. Here is what people are reporting:

 

  • Someone pretending to be from FEMA is calling to ask people for their personal information
  • People’s identities have been stolen after a recent natural disaster
  • Someone has filed for FEMA benefits using people’s names

 

FEMA has tips to help protect yourself from disaster fraud. This includes what to do if you try to register for FEMA assistance...

Click here for more information

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The FTC will never ask you to send money

by Andrew Johnson
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

 

If someone claiming to be with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) contacts you and asks you to send money, it’s a scam. Do not pay. Report it. Spread the word to your family and friends.

We’ve received reports that imposters are calling, emailing, even texting or faxing, and pretending to be with the FTC, in an attempt to gain your trust and to steal your hard-earned money. They’re contacting people about fake prize winnings, grants, or refunds, or saying you’re in trouble and need to pay delinquent accounts or fees. Their goal is to either excite or scare you into sending money. The truth is, the FTC does not call, email, text, or fax consumers to ask for payment. Those are scams. In fact, ...

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Know the risks before investing in cryptocurrencies

As a business person managing your personal portfolio, you do your best to keep up with the latest financial news. You’ve been hearing more about cryptocurrencies and asking yourself “Hmmm.” Of course, it’s not just bitcoin. There are now hundreds of cryptocurrencies, which are a type of digital currency, on the market. They’ve been publicized as a fast and inexpensive way to pay online, but many are now also being marketed as investment opportunities. But before you decide to purchase cryptocurrency as an investment, here are a few things to know:

  • Cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by a government or central bank. Unlike most traditional currencies, such as the dollar or yen, the value of a cryptocurrency is not tied to promises by a government or a central bank.
  • If you store your cryptocurrency online, you don’t have the same protections as a bank account.Holdings in online “wallets” are not insured by the government like U.S. bank deposits are.

Click here for more information
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Identity theft? Show me the records

By: Amanda Koulousias
Dec 18, 2017  

There’s been a lot of talk about identity theft lately. Maybe you’ve even heard from customers affected by it. Your help can make a big difference. In fact, did you know that your business is required to provide identity theft victims with copies of records relating to the theft?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Section 609(e) requires you to provide identity theft victims – or law enforcement at the victim’s request – with a copy of records relating to the theft. Following a written request from an identity theft victim, you must provide the records within 30 days, free of charge and without a subpoena. This is sometimes called “the business records turnover provision.”

Identity theft victims may need the records to document the crime or clear up their good name. You want to help them and you know you need to comply with the law. So, make sure you have policies in place for responding to victims’ requests for records.

Based on what we’ve learned, here are a few things to keep in mind when responding... 

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FTC Offers Information on Fraud Alerts, Credit Freezes and Locks

After the Equifax data breach, some people are considering placing a fraud alert, freeze, or lock on their credit file to help prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in their name...

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Deceptive Mortgage Ads

If you’re looking for a mortgage to buy a home or refinance an existing loan, you may see or hear ads with offers of low rates or payments. Whether you see them on the Internet, on television or in the paper, or whether they come by fax or mail, some of these ads look like they’re from your mortgage company or a government agency. Regardless of where you see the ads, remember that while the offers are tempting, some are terribly flawed:...

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Making Payments to Your Mortgage Servicer

 

When you get a mortgage, you may think that the lender will hold and service your loan until you pay it off or sell your home. That’s often not the case. In today’s market, loans and the rights to service them often are bought and sold. In many cases, the company that you send your payment to is not the company that owns your loan.

A home is one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make, so it’s important to know who is handling your payments...

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Getting Mortgage Offers?

If you apply for a mortgage, your inbox, answering machine, and mailbox may fill up quickly with competing offers from other mortgage companies. It’s not that the company you applied to is selling or sharing your information. Rather, it’s that creditors – including mortgage companies – are taking advantage of a federal law that allows them to identify potential customers for the products they offer, and then market to them. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know why your application for a mortgage may trigger...

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Let’s focus on cybersecurity for small businesses

 

If you own a small business or work for one, you’re probably concerned with protecting your business’ data. You want to make sure that sensitive information isn’t accidentally deleted, turned over to a scammer, or hacked. So this week, during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, let’s focus on making sure you know the resources the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)...

Click here for more information

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The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

 

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

Click here for more information

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Getting a Mortgage after a Short Sale

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has some tips to help short sellers avoid a potentially costly mistake: being kept out of the housing market because of difficulties...

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Deceptive Mortgage Ads

 

If you’re looking for a mortgage to buy a home or refinance an existing loan, you may see or hear ads with offers of low rates or payments. Whether you see them on the Internet, on television or in the paper, or whether they come by fax or mail, some of these ads look like they’re from your mortgage company or a government...

Click here for more information

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 FTC Six-Month Accomplishments

Significant progress for Economic Liberty, regulatory reform, small business, and more

 Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen released a summary of the agency’s major accomplishments since President Trump named her to the position in January. “I have pursued my long-held principles by promoting... 

 

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Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

 

Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places are convenient, but often they’re not secure.  If you connect to a Wi-Fi network, and send information through websites or mobil apps...

Click here for more information
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Homes & Mortgages

 

Buying or renting a home is a big financial decision. And whether it’s a condo, a townhouse, or a single family residence — new construction or a home with a history...

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