Government cracks down on text and computer scams

For years, I've come down on the Federal Trade Commission for not doing more to protect us against scammers.

Not today.

Today, I give a rare high-five to that government agency for taking actions involving two of the biggest scams I've seen recently.

One of them involves texts promising $1,000 gift cards from Best Buy and Walmart.

It was a huge scam about a year ago, though people still tell me they get them occasionally.

Well, the FTC has gone after some website operators they say are responsible for some of the problem.

They claim the operators sent the links promising the cards, but instead, consumers were taken to websites wanting personal information and sign-ups for other offers.

A number of these website operators settled charges with the FTC.

One paid $2.5 million.

It's great to see because this was a huge scam.

But that's not all.

The FTC also took on people calling and wanting to "fix" your computer problem.

I still get complaints about it.

In this case, the FTC went after an operation they say tricked consumers into thinking their computers were infected with malicious malware.

Then they say the operators conned them into buying software to remove these non-existent problems.

They got a judgment of $163 million against one of them.

So, don't click on links you don't know.

Hang up on any callers saying you have a computer problem.

And continue filing complaints with the FTC because some do pay off.

E-mail me with any consumer issue you see or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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