Money & Credit

Military consumers: Salutes to you!

Frequent relocation, separation from family and friends, the stresses of deployment and a steady paycheck from Uncle Sam can make military households an attractive target for scam artists. That’s why the Department of Defense, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs, and Military Saves have joined to sponsor Military Consumer — a campaign to empower military and veteran communities with tips and tools to be informed consumers. 

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Money & Credit

A new kind of low

We’ve written about notarios and scams in the immigration process time and time and time again. The story is nearly always along these lines:

  • Person needs immigration help.
  • Person finds “help” from someone claiming to be qualified – a notario, for example.
  • Person loses a whole lot of money – and possibly the chance to immigrate – because the notario charged them but did nothing. Or charged them and did everything wrong.

Unfortunately, it’s a story we hear often from legal services, attorneys general, other federal agencies, and community partners across the country.

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Money & Credit

Hiding in plain sight?

Could your mobile carrier be hiding third-party charges on your phone bill that you never authorized? The FTC has alleged that T-Mobile has done just that.

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Money & Credit

Is that debt collector for real?

It’s stressful enough getting calls from debt collectors for bills you actually owe. But if you’ve ever been harassed and threatened for debts you’ve never even heard about, let alone accrued, it can be downright harrowing – and quite possibly illegal.

Today, the FTC announced that a U.S. district court has temporarily halted a Georgia-based operation from using deception and threats to collect millions in phantom payday loan “debts.”  The FTC says Williams, Scott & Associates and company president John Williams lied and threatened people to pay on debts they didn’t owe – or debts the company didn’t have the authority to collect.

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Money & Credit

The hazards of hoteling

Booking a hotel stay for a summer vacation? Before you check in, check out how scammers try to take advantage of travelers.

Driving a deal on a used set of wheels

With the average price of a new car idling at over $31,000, you might be thinking about buying used. After all, the average price for a used car from a dealership is about $18,000. You can buy used cars through a variety of commercial outlets: franchise and independent dealers, rental car companies, leasing companies, used car superstores, and online. Of course, you can buy directly from an individual, too, but that route comes with limited consumer protections. Here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency.

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Money & Credit

A call to collect, loaded with lies

The law is clear: debt collectors can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices. Debt collectors who cross that line will end up in trouble with the FTC. That’s what happened to RTB Enterprises, Inc., a Houston company that collected debt as “Allied Data Corporation.” Collectors for Allied called people and pretended to be lawyers, made false threats to sue, and told lies to get people to pay unnecessary fees. Now Allied and its owner are the ones in court.

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Money & Credit

The latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers

You know those commercials you see on national TV selling everything from clothing to electronics, even weight-loss products? It’s tempting to call the number on the screen, many of us do. When you place an order, you trust that the company you call will send quality products. But the latest scam targeting Spanish-speaking consumers shows that isn’t always what happens.

A handy consumer resource

How does a fixed rate mortgage compare to a variable rate mortgage?
What can you do about a store that doesn’t honor its refund policy?

What if you have a complaint about an insurance company?

The world can be a tricky place for consumers. It takes time and energy to research companies, compare products, and stay up-to-date on the latest scams. At times, it might feel like a full time job. The 2014 Consumer Action Handbook can help, and it’s now available to order or download for free.

It’s getting hot out there…

It’s plenty warm in much of the country, signaling the official start of the summer. Need some ideas on how to make the price tag linked to hot weather burn a little less? We’ve got some tips for you. 

Image of thermostat

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