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Protect Yourself and Your Money Every Day

Date: February 26, 2018
The Consumer Action Handbook

You’re in the middle of your day and you receive a call. A collection agency is asking you to pay for a service or product they claim you acquired long ago. They’re insistent on you paying immediately, in some cases, they threaten with arrests or jail. Despite having doubts about the call, you proceed and give them your personal information. It seemed legitimate, all of it, but then you wonder, maybe it's a scam?

Everyone knows checking your bank account, paying bills, and saving are vital to your financial well-being. But how should you deal with scammers who come after you and your wallet?

Routinely checking your credit report is a good way to ensure you are on the right track. However, many other resources are available to help you protect yourself and your money every day.

Beware of the Tell Tale Signs of Fraud

Every day, scammers develop more sophisticated and convincing schemes, but these tricks usually share something in common - urgency and veiled threats. Scammers find ways to intimidate victims by calling them posing as government representatives and always ask for personal information or some kind of payment. Below are a few steps to consider when you receive a call you believe is a scam:

  • Don't send money

  • Do not share any personal information

  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

You can report someone falsely claiming to be from the government, a business or other entity, or if you have privacy concerns to the Federal Trade Commission.

Free Help for Consumers

The Consumer Action Handbook (CAH) is a free guide that provides general information on shopping for goods and services, and tips about your consumer rights. The Handbook has information to help you file a complaint about a purchase and includes a sample letter to help you file an official complaint to a company.

The CAH also includes a consumer assistance directory, with contact information for consumer protection offices across the country, and customer service departments at many national corporations. Order or download a free copy for you, a family member, or a local organization. This free resource is also available in Spanish.

Stay safe and informed, know what to do when a purchase or service goes wrong, and how to address it by visiting

  • 0:00 [Music]

    00:02 You are in the middle of your day and you

    00:04 receive an email. A company or

    00:06 organization asking you to go to a

    00:08 website to enter your personal

    00:10 information to verify your account. 

    00:13 It seems legitimate, but you wonder... is it a

    00:15 scam? While some scams seem obvious

    00:18 others can be confusing to anyone

    00:20 without the proper information. Having

    00:23 that trusted official information on the

    00:25 latest scams and how to report them is

    00:27 one of the best ways to protect your

    00:29 hard-earned money and safeguard your

    00:31 private information. The Consumer Action

    00:34 Handbook is a free guide that provides

    00:37 general tips resources and advice to

    00:40 protect your consumer rights. The

    00:42 handbook has information to help you

    00:44 file a complaint about a purchase and

    00:46 even includes a sample complaint letter

    00:48 among many other resources. Order or

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    00:55 family member or a local organization at

    00:58 forward slash handbook

    01:00  You can also subscribe to us a USAGov free

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