Toys R Us

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the iconic Toys"R"Us is winding down its business operations in the U.S., and closing its stores across the country, including stores in Puerto Rico.

At this time, according to Toys"R"Us, you have only until April 15 to use your Toys"R"Us gifts cards. Advice from Toys"R"Us customer service representatives is to use your gift cards as soon as possible, whether in-store or online. 

Something else to consider, purchases from a company that’s going out of business are usually “final sales.” That means you should choose wisely because you probably won’t be able to return the item for a refund. Even if store credit is an option – you’d want to use that quickly too. If you have questions about refund and return policies, ask before you make any purchase.

In addition, Toys"R"Us says its other customer programs, including Rewards dollars and Endless Earnings, are being honored for the next 30 days.

To learn more, see Gift Cards and Going out of business sales at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

– Colleen Tressler, consumer education specialist, FTC

The Secretary of State is not emailing you

There are many scammers who pretend to be government officials – from the IRS, Social Security, and even the FTC. The latest twist is an email from – supposedly – the Secretary of State. In the email, someone pretending to be then-Secretary Tillerson says you’re owed a payment – which he knows about because of an investigation by the FBI and CIA. The email goes on to say that you’ll get an ATM card with $1.85 million on it – and it even gives you the PIN code. But, to get the ATM card, you have to send in $320 and a bunch of information about you.

Except you don’t have to send either the money or the information. Because it’s not the Secretary of State emailing, nobody owes you $1.85 million dollars (just guessing), and no government agency will ever tell you to pay a fee to collect funds owed to you. Here’s what you can do the next time you get an email or call from someone claiming to be from the government.

Ask yourself these two questions:

Did they say you’ve won a prize, owe money, or might go to jail?

Did they say that you can get the prize – or get out of trouble – if you pay them money right away?

If the answer to these is “yes,” that’s going to be a scam. You don’t need to send money. You don’t need to give up your information by phone or email. You don’t need to worry. But what I hope you will do is tell people you know about the scam you spotted – and then tell the FTC at www.consumer.ftc.gov.

– Kati Daffan, assistant Director, Division of Marketing Practices, FTC

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