Protect Yourself and Your Money Every Day

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 USA.gov.

Back to Top

You might also like …

  • The Gettysburg Address, 155 Years Later

    On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech during a ceremony to dedicate a cemetery to Union soldiers killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.

  • Find Veterans Day Volunteer Ideas

    Veterans are a major part of any American community and it's important to make sure they're not left behind. Volunteers help vets every day, and Veterans Day is the perfect occasion to give back.

  • USAGov’s Guide for Voters with a Disability

    This Election Day, millions of Americans will visit a polling location to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

  • Recovery after Hurricane Florence

    Hurricane Florence has brought heavy wind and rain to large parts of the East Coast. Stay informed on the latest warnings, advisories, and the path of Florence with bulletins from the National Weather Service.

  • Want to Become a Federal Government Contractor? Here are 3 Tips

    Bidding on and winning federal contracts can be a great way to expand and grow your small business. Check out these tips from USA.gov to help you perform market research, find helpful resources, and more.

Share This Page: Facebook Twitter Email

Back to Top

What you think matters!