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Consumer Protection


  • moving

    Moving: A Dangerous Time for Your IdentityConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Summertime offers an endless list of ways you can take it easy, unless it’s doesn’t. It’s also moving time. Whether we’re talking about college kids coming home for a few months or simple relocation, there’s nothing relaxing about a move — or simple. Get it wrong, and you become vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud. For most people, moving is sufficiently stressful, without any complications or threats of crime, but what most […]

  • Debt forgiveness

    Want to Buy & Forgive Debt Like John Oliver? Not So Fasthealth care, Consumer Protection

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    When John Oliver announced Sunday night that he’d purchased medical debts as a faux collector and forgiven those debts, the Last Week Tonight host’s actions led to a serious question: Couldn’t this strategy be used on a wide scale? After all, Oliver managed to forgive about $15 million in debt for only $60,000. It’s a clever idea that has its roots in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Back in 2012, a group calling itself Rolling Jubilee […]

  • Scam Alert

    iTunes Gift Card Scams Are FlourishingConsumer Protection

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    iTunes gift cards have become a common tool for online scammers to wring money out of victims, according to new warnings from Apple and U.S. federal authorities. One agency received a deluge of complaints during a recent weekend, including word from one victim who lost $31,000 in a recent iTunes payment scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The agency said the problem has grown so bad that Apple recently posted a notice on its […]

  • Student Loan Debt Relief

    FTC Cracks Down on Student Loan Debt Relief SchemesConsumer Protection, student loans

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    Some student loan borrowers having trouble repaying their loans are getting desperate, causing them to look for help in the wrong places. Federal regulators announced another crackdown this week on firms that charge illegal up-front fees, and ongoing monthly fees, selling debt relief services to these borrowers that are generally available for free. Three cases announced this week by the Federal Trade Commission add to similar cases already announced by other federal regulators, revealing the extent […]

  • Social Security Identity Theft

    Oops. I Gave My Social Security Number to a StrangerConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Life can get hectic and, while media attention on big data breaches has certainly put folks on high alert, there are times when you slip and give some of your personal information away. Lots of this info, like your credit card account and health insurance ID, can be changed with relative ease. There are nine little digits you’re stuck with, however, that can cause a whole lot of headaches when they fall into the wrong hands. Those digits, of course, are […]

  • Election Scam

    One More Thing to Hate About Election Season: ScamsPolitics, Consumer Protection

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    In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s an election year, and with that comes the onslaught of election-related phone calls, emails, snail mail, campaign signs, TV ads, radio ads … yeah, it’s enough to make you stop paying attention. But within that onslaught are things you do need to pay attention to: The scammers that are hoping you’re too fatigued or too naive to notice that they’re not on the up-and-up. They want to lift your […]

  • Beware: Scammers Love Valentine’s Day, TooConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Valentine’s Day can certainly be stressful. Whether you’re at a loss for what to buy your love or you’re the lamenting the lack of one, you also have to watch out for scammers this time of year. “Scammers play on emotion … and romance is certainly a strong emotion,” the Better Business Bureau said in a recent scam alert. “Any time people are vulnerable, scammers will find opportunity.” Here are a few ways to avoid […]

  • Scam Alert

    The Top Scams of 2015Consumer Protection, Review

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    Scams cost consumers more than $1 million this year, according to a roundup of reports by the Better Business Bureau. Since that figure only accounts for incidents reported to the BBB, actual losses may be even greater. The good news is 85% of consumers who reported these scams realized what was going on before it was too late. Then again, the best defense against scams is to know the signs. Most scams on the BBB’s list happened over the phone and involved asking consumers to […]

  • Credit Card

    Why Gift Cards Aren’t As Secure As Your Credit CardsConsumer Protection, credit, Technology

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    It’s holiday season, which means you are almost certainly going to receive (and give) a plastic gift card during the next few weeks. When you (or they) try to spend it, a familiar process will occur: You will swipe the card’s magnetic stripe, even if you are shopping at a major retailer like Target or Walmart. This action might give you pause to ask a question: “Where’s the chip?” The past several months have been dominated by talk […]

  • Debt

    There Are 6 Kinds of Borrowers: Which One Are You?Consumer Protection, credit, Personal Finance

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    Most Americans have only one kind of debt, if they have any at all, according to a new report from the Urban Institute. By analyzing five years of credit-report data of more than 5 million Americans, researchers identified many trends among U.S. debtors, including the most common kinds of borrowers. About 89% of consumers with credit reports fell into one of the following six categories. 1. No Debt This is the most common type of consumer. […]

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