FTC: Top blog posts of 2014

FTC: Top blog posts of 2014

It’s that time of year when everyone’s compiling their Best of 2014 list. We didn’t want to miss the fun so here’s our own list of the 10 Most Read Consumer Blog Posts of 2014.

10. Is that debt collector for real? told you about a company the courts shuttered for duping consumers into paying $3.5 million in debts they didn’t owe.

9. Did you get a call from area code (876)? warned you about an international lottery scam and told you why you should never pay for a prize.

8. The fraudsters in An Online Payday Loan Or Window To A Scam? stole people’s bank account information and charged them for unwanted memberships. The court imposed a charge of its own: a $14.75 million judgment.

7. Fake feds get people to pay told of bogus debt collectors. They lied about being with the government and threatened to have people arrested if they didn’t pay. The court shut down the imposters.

6. Weeks after tax season had ended, scammers posing as IRS officials were still telling consumers they owed taxes and threatening them with arrest or deportation if they didn’t pay.

5. Phantom debts and fake collection notices is a scary tale of bogus debt collectors pretending to be judges and court officials who intimidated people into paying debts they didn’t owe.

4. The fraudsters in Tech Support Scams: Part 2 offered refunds to people who had already fallen for their bogus tech support scam. Instead of giving refunds, the con artists took money from consumers’ accounts.

3. We told you about a $105 million settlement with AT&T for allegedly charging customers for third-party subscriptions or services they didn’t order or authorize. You can still apply for a refund at ftc.gov/att.

2. A week before tax day, we told you about fake IRS collectors who posed as IRS agents and told people they owed taxes.

1. “One-ring” cell phone scam can ding your wallet told you about scammers who called cell phone numbers and hung up after one ring. If you called them back, they slammed you with big charges on your next bill.

These blog posts reveal several things to remember as the year comes to an end.

  • Debt collectors are not allowed to threaten you.
  • Never pay to claim winnings from a lottery or sweepstakes.
  • If you pay a scammer with a prepaid debit card, reloadable debit card, or wire transfer, you can’t get the money back.
  • The IRS won’t call or email you about a debt and they won’t tell you to pay taxes with a prepaid debit card or by wiring money.
  • Read your monthly account statements and look for charges you didn’t authorize or make.

Thanks for reading this space and for all your comments this year. Help us spread the word by sharing this blog with your friends and colleagues and let them know they can sign up to get free tips by email.

Alana Golden for CAFLM

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