Free Publications from the FTC for Consumers About Email Scams, the Internet Frauds and How to Report a Fraud

Free Publications for Consumers and Businesses About Email Scams, the Internet Frauds, Identity Theft and How to Report Frauds

Now you can get free, useful consumer information in the form of guides, fact sheets, and how-to's from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  This information is direct from the FTC's website! Just scroll down the page (unless you want information to protect your business, then see this page, Publications and information for Businesses)

Popular Free Publications:

Adult Content and Gambling

Auctions Scams on eBay, Craig's List, etc.

  • Auction Guides: Not So Hot Properties [PDF] - Warns about ads for auction guides that promise vehicles for as little as $500 or foreclosed homes from $5,000, with no money down. How to avoid shelling out your hard-earned dollars for fraudulently marketed auction guides. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.

Automobiles and Truck buying

Financing, Leasing, or Renting

  • Car Ads: Reading Between the Lines [PDF] - Helps consumers determine whether a car dealer's special offer provides real savings. 8.5"x 11", 2 pages.
  • Keys to Vehicle Leasing] - Explains the differences between leasing and buying a car. Sample leasing form explains information required on a lease agreement, as well as buyer rights and responsibilities. 4"x9", 6 pages, color.
  • Renting A Car [PDF] - Outlines points to consider and questions to ask when you rent a car. Explains key terms: collision damage waiver, personal accident insurance, personal effects coverage, and fees such as mileage fees and airport surcharges. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Understanding Vehicle Financing [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Get the facts on dealership financing - what it is, how you apply, special financing offers, cash back and rebates you may be eligible for, and more. 8.5"x11", 10 pages, color.
  • Vehicle Repossession: Understanding the Rules of the Road [PDF] - Discusses your creditor's rights in seizing and reselling your car for nonpayment, and explains deficiency - the difference between what you owe on your loan and what your creditor gets for reselling your car. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Look Before You Lease [PDF]
  • Renting A Car: What Everyone Should Know [PDF] - The Federal Trade Commission urges parents and kids to talk about the risks involved in using social networking sites and offer tips for using them safely.

Auto and Truck Maintenance

Franchise Business Scams

Identity Theft

Investment Scams

Lottery Scams

Malware and viruses

Shopping Online

Social Networks and Online Gaming


Telemarketing and Phone Scams

Telephones - Unauthorized Charges

  • Automatic Debit Scams [PDF] - Cautions consumers not to give out checking account information, or any other personal information, over the phone unless they're familiar with the company and agree to pay for something. 8.5"x11", 2 pages.
  • Cramming: Mystery Phone Charges [PDF] - Discusses how unexplained charges can appear on your phone bill for services you never ordered, authorized, received, or used, and what to do if it happens to you. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • International Telephone Number Scams [PDF] - Urges consumers to be cautious when calling an unfamiliar telephone number - it could be a costly international telephone call. Tips to protect yourself. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Magazine Subscription Scams [PDF] - Lists common sales techniques used by unscrupulous sellers, offers tips to help you avoid a scam, and outlines your rights under the Telemarketing Sales Rule. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Toll Free Telephone Number Scams [PDF] - Explains the rules for companies who charge for calls to 800 or 888 numbers, and gives tips on lowering your risk of unauthorized charges. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Who's Calling? Recognize & Report Phone Fraud [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Explains how to recognize and report phone fraud and encourages consumers to register their number in the National Do Not Call Registry. Trifold brochure 3.67"x8.5", six panels, color.

Telephone Services

Weight Loss Scams

  • Health Spas: Exercise Your Rights [PDF] - Although most consumers who join health clubs are pleased with their choices, others are not. To avoid the problems of high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of facilities and services, broken promises about cancellations and refunds, here are some suggestions from experts at the Federal Trade Commission. Tips to help you shop for a gym membership. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Indoor Tanning [PDF] - Cautions consumers about the risks associated with using indoor tanning devices, and how to protect yourself. Highlights claims commonly made about indoor tanning - and the facts. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Pump Fiction: Tips for Buying Exercise Equipment [PDF] - Helps consumers carefully evaluate advertising claims for exercise products, as well as questions to ask to find the right equipment for them. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Setting Goals for Weight Loss [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Explains that successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations, and how to determine your weight/health profile. Lists resources for more help. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Test Your Supplement Savvy [PDF] - A short quiz to find out how much you know about using dietary supplements safely. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Weighing the Evidence in Diet Ads [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Helps consumers evaluate claims for weight loss products by outlining several typical false claims. 8.5"x11", 2 pages.
  • Weight Loss: Finding a Weight Loss Program that Works for You [PDF] - Gives information to help the consumer evaluate weight loss products and services, including important questions to ask. 8.5"x11", 12 pages, color.
  • Avoiding the Muscle Hustle: Tips for Buying Exercise Equipment [PDF] [en espa'ol]
  • Amazing Claims Bookmark [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Promotional item. The facts about effective weight loss. 2.5"x9", 2-sided, color.

Work at Home / Work from Home Scams

  • Costly Coupon Scams [PDF] - Cautions the public about fraudulent promoters who claim consumers can earn big money clipping coupons, or selling "coupon certificate booklets." 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Medical Billing Opportunities: Worth a Second Opinion [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Medical billing opportunity promoters often misrepresent earnings potential and don't provde key, pre-investment information required by law. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Multilevel Marketing Plans [PDF] - Explains how MLM plans and illegal pyramiding works. Offers tips to help you decide whether to join a MLM plan. 8.5"x11", 2 pages.
  • Net Based Business Opportunities: Are Some Flop-portunities? [PDF] - Cautions consumers about web-based business opportunities that promise more than they can possibly deliver, and what you can do to protect yourself. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Read Up! How to be an Informed Consumer [PDF] [en espa'ol] - A comprehensive, bilingual guide for Hispanic consumers with information on managing personal finances, major purchases and investments, consumer rights, and identity theft. 7"x10", 44 pages, color.
  • Read Up and Reach Out: A Guide to Consumer Education and Outreach [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Mailer with CD for organizations with tips on how to conduct consumer education in the community and create partnerships. Includes calendar with suggested topics to speak about. Accompanies Read Up consumer guide. 7"x10", 6 pages, color.
  • Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball [PDF] - Warns consumers about solicitations and infomercials promoting seminars and conferences that promise to help consumers make a lot of money. Tips to avoid getting hit by the seminar pitch. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Work At Home Schemes [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Advises consumers interested in work-at-home opportunities (including medical billing, envelope stuffing , and craft or assembly work) to research these offers carefully. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.
  • Take This Scheme and Stuff It: Avoiding Envelope-Stuffing Rip-Offs [PDF] [en espa'ol]
  • Business Opportunity e-card

Your Rights and Laws to Protect Consumers

  • 66 Ways to Save Money [PDF] - Lists ways to save money on a range of consumer purchases, including housing, transportation, and insurance. 4"x9", 12, pages, color.

    All That Glitters... How to Buy Jewelry [PDF] [en espa'ol] - Information to help you get the best quality jewelry for your money, whether you're shopping in a traditional brick and mortar store by catalog or online. 8.5"x11", 4 pages.

Consumer Alerts

Promotional Items

  • Real Deal Book Cover [PDF] - Promotional item for young consumers. Covers standard size text book. 28"x12", 1 page, color.

Articles You can reprint these articles in your newsletter, magazine or website.

  • Is A Sale Price Your Best Deal? [PDF] - With consumers soon to be blanketed by pre-holiday sales, holiday sales and post-holiday sales, the trick is to make sure the deal you're getting is really the best deal. To help you get the most for you money, the Federal Trade Commission offers these tips.
  • Television Is Going Digital: Get The Picture [PDF] [en espa'ol] - If you get your programming on an analog television through a rooftop antenna or "rabbit ears," you will have to take action to keep your TV sets working after February 17, 2009. If you decide to connect your analog TV to a converter box that will get digital reception, you need to know about a special program from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. To learn more, visit
  • Tips for Buying and Using Gift Cards [PDF] - What to look for when buying and using gift cards, especially the terms and conditions of their use.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.