News From Our Blog

How to Report Tips Related to the Boston Explosions

Monday afternoon, two explosive devices detonated in Boston. Three people were killed and more than 150 people were wounded.

If you have any information or visual images related to the explosions, please contact the FBI by e-mailing or calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (prompt #3). No piece of information or detail is too small.

Get FBI updates on the investigation.

Read this post in Spanish.

Top FTC Complaints

Rank Category № of Complaints Percentage
1Identity Theft250,85419%
2Debt Collection144,15911%
3Internet Services65,5655%
4Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries64,0855%
5Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales60,2054%
6Imposter Scams60,1584%
7Internet Auctions56,1074%
8Foreign Money/Counterfeit Check Scams43,8663%
9Telephone and Mobile Services37,3883%
10Credit Cards33,2582%

Each year the Federal Trade Commission shares the list of the most common consumer complaints the agency receives.

For the 11th year in a row, identity theft has been the number one complaint.

You can read the full report (PDF) for more details on the complaints.

How to Safely Donate to Disaster Relief

Dept. of Defense photo of U.S. military members helping Japanese citizens clean up a park in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

Many places are taking donations to help the disaster relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11. As donations to help the victims flow in, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warns that con-artists are quick to try and scam generous givers.

Here are some tips from the IC3 to help you avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • Check to see if the charity is legitimate by visiting their website directly. Don’t use any questionable links you may have been sent.
  • Verify that the charity of your choice is a non-profit organization that will use your donation to help the cause.
  • Do not give out your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting contributions, or you could become a victim of identity theft. 

More tips for safe donating.

If you are looking to donate to the disaster relief efforts going on in Japan, use the tools recommended by the Federal Trade Commission to research your charity of choice.

How to be a Savvy Consumer

National Consumer Protection Week, which runs from March 6-12, is a nationwide campaign that encourages you to learn your rights as a consumer so you can spend your money wisely and protect yourself from scams and frauds.

The Federal Trade Commission and several other organizations are hosting events across the country where you can learn about consumer safety and shred old documents with sensitive information, like Social Security numbers, that you don’t need any more. Check out the list of events to see if there is one in your area.

If you can’t attend an in-person event, you can still learn how to be a savvy consumer with tips from the NCPW website:

  • Order a free copy of the Consumer Action Handbook. This guide is full of advice on buying products and services and what you should do if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase. It includes a sample complaint letter and lists the steps you need to take to file a complaint with a seller.
  • Protect your identity online. Using the tools from OnGuard Online, you’ll learn to identify common scams and get advice for keeping your personal information secure.
  • Take time to manage your money. Whether you’re trying to get out of debt or looking to boost your credit score, you’ll find out how to manage your money safely and avoid scams targeted toward people who are less experienced at handling their finances.

You can find more tips and advice for being a smart consumer at