Blog

Before You Hire a Contractor

by Federal Trade Commission

contractor handshake

Once you’ve narrowed your options, get written estimates from several firms. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Ask for an explanation to see if there’s a reason for the difference in price. … Continue Reading

Finding a Contractor

by Federal Trade Commission

contractor

Adding a room, renovating a basement, or doing some much-needed repairs? Finding a good contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you. A good ad isn’t proof a contractor does quality work. Find out for yourself. … Continue Reading

Mortgage Brokers put Client Data at risk

by Robert Siciliano

door knocker

Your private information may not be safe with your own mortgage lender, even a small one, says cybersecurity firm HALOCK Security Labs. The leak may occur when data goes from applicant to lender. … Continue Reading

Mortgage Identity Theft

by ITRC

door knocker

Identity theft is a scary occurrence for any victim. Theft of your social security number or other personally identifying information is traumatizing. It is very disconcerting when identity theft victims discover that thieves have purchased electronics, clothing, or even cars using the stolen identity, but what if someone were to purchase an entire home in your name? … Continue Reading

A Grim Fairytale of Elder Abuse: The Straw Buyer and Reverse Mortgage Scam

by Robin Slade

Elder hand on wheelchair

Once upon a time a con named Don wanted to purchase a foreclosed, depressed property but was unable to obtain a mortgage. Don enlisted the help of a greedy son-of-a-b*&^% named Mitch to act as a “straw buyer.” They were able to secure a loan because Mitch fraudulently led the bank to believe the property would be used as his primary residence. … Continue Reading

More from our blog

hanging up phone
It’s the IRS calling…or is it?

Here at the FTC, we think about scams all day long. What are the scammers’ new angles? How can we keep ahead of them? We hear from people about the scams they see, and we turn that into tips people use to spot and avoid scams. … Continue Reading

Virus
This is what Spy Software looks like

If you’ve ever watched virtually any spy flick or James Bond movie you’re familiar with “bugs” – those little dime-sized metallic things that the bad guys would secretly stick under someone’s desk to record any conversation in the room—picked up by a receiver in their car. Or, the phone was “tapped” – the device was inside the receiver. … Continue Reading

Malware-Virus 2
Scammers Use Facebook Tags to Spread Malware

If you use Facebook, watch out for suspicious posts tagged with dozens of names. This new scam is called “malicious tagging,” and it’s tricking victims into downloading malware. … Continue Reading

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