Consumer Information Blog

Fake promises offer no sigh of (debt) relief

An offer of reduced monthly payments — or complete forgiveness — on your student loan may make you want to sign up…and exhale. Unfortunately, though, some of those programs wind up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars for nothing in return. What’s more, you could’ve gotten real help for free.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Talking turkey

Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory – like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate – here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Happy holidays! Shopping tips from the FTC

The gift-giving season is just around the corner, and the gift-buying season starts, oh, any minute now. The FTC has an early gift for you — tips to help you shop wisely and protect your personal information.

Wise giving in the wake of California’s wildfires

California continues to be plagued by wildfires — including the Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles and the Camp Fire in Northern California, now one of the deadliest in the state’s history. Dozens of people have lost their lives, thousands of homes and business have been destroyed, and more than 250,000 Californians have been forced to leave their homes. If you’re looking for a way to help those in need, do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Picking up the pieces after a wildfire

Experiencing a destructive wildfire can be devastating and have long-term effects, but taking stock and developing a recovery plan can give you a sense of hope and purpose. Here are a few tips and links to resources to help make the task less burdensome.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

FTC: PR firm & publisher violated ad basics

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see a celebrity, star athlete, or other well-known person touting the benefits of some product or service. But glowing recommendations aren’t always what they appear to be.

Money back from MoneyGram?

We’ve all known for a long time that scammers ask people to pay by wiring money. Money wiring companies like MoneyGram and Western Union have also known that scammers have people wire money using their services. In fact, the FTC has sued both companies – which have paid a lot of money to settle those charges – over exactly that issue. When the FTC settled with those companies (MoneyGram in 2009, Western Union in 2017), they also agreed to make changes to protect people from fraud. Except MoneyGram didn’t actually take some of those important steps.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

FTC stops Sanctuary Belize land scheme

Every summer at the beach, we see billboards and flags advertising tours of sandy acres. The signs claim these empty stretches will become new communities, and that living here will be amazing — in a few years. Before you pay to build a castle in the sand, you need to do a lot of research and get some professional advice. The deal might not be as amazing as advertised, and, if a scammer is behind it, it’s not the deal for you.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Veterans: We thank you

November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to commemorate former servicemembers and recognize their service to the nation. In the U.S. today, there are more than 20 million veterans. Whether they’ve been out of the service for days or decades, they can benefit from Military Consumer’s tips on managing money, avoiding scams, and making the most of their service-related benefits.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Do you have a 2012, 2013, or 2014 VW Passat TDI?

If you have a 2012, 2013, or 2014 Passat 2.0L TDI and got the approved emissions modification, Volkswagen has identified a potential problem with the “fix” it installed on your car that needs your immediate attention. If you have one of those vehicles but haven’t gotten the modification, you must make an important decision very soon. You’ll be getting a detailed letter in the mail from VW about this, but in the meantime, here are some key facts.

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