Consumer Watchdog

Don’t get April Fooled by scams and deceptive practices

We've got six consumer protection tips to help you avoid scams, rip-offs and deceptive practices today (and beyond).

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It can feel like you need an advanced degree just to shop around.

Today, we released our Don’t Be Fooled tips to help you avoid common rip-offs and other strategies designed to get your personal information and your money.

  1. Don’t respond to anyone you weren’t expecting to hear fromBad actors can, and do, spoof Caller ID or email addresses to make it look like a call or email is coming from a major bank, or Amazon, or the IRS. Instead, if you think a call, text, email or letter could be legitimate, hang up and call the relative, company or government office using contact information you look up independently and know is correct. More here.
  2. If your flight is canceled for any reason, you’re entitled to a prompt refund if you want it. You don’t have to accept just being rebooked. Know your legal rights.
  3. Don’t let medical debt bring your credit score down. Here’s how to make sure paid medical debt doesn’t lower your credit score. 
  4. Don’t spend hundreds on a laptop or cell phone only to find you can’t fix it. Our scorecard helps you choose a repairable phone or laptop.
  5. Don’t unknowingly buy a product that has been recalled. Check for recalls on cpsc.gov/recalls and check for complaints on saferproducts.gov especially if you are buying something expensive or for a child. We’ve got additional tips to avoid recalled products here.
  6. Don’t accept web cookies. Follow our steps to reject cookies and protect your data privacy.

You can find the complete list of Don’t Be Fooled tips here.

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