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Reentering society with consumer savvy

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This is National Reentry Week, a time to recognize the work government agencies and others do to address the challenges facing formerly incarcerated people. Consumer knowledge helps with successful reentry, giving people the tools to better manage their finances, make informed buying decisions, and avoid scams.

If you or people you help are reentering society, here are just a few tips and free resources for you:

Get the basics. (in Spanish at offers easy-to-use information on managing your money, understanding credit and debt, avoiding job scams, and more. Also check out our series of graphic novels for Spanish-speakers.

Build your knowledge. The FTC’s consumer information and bulk order sites have a wealth of resources you can read, download, and order for free. Find topics like buying a car, safely using technology, avoiding scams related to getting a high school diploma or college degree, and much more.

Take back (and protect) your identity. People reentering society sometimes find that, while they were in prison, someone used their credit card, other accounts, or Social Security number. To get started, order free credit reports and look carefully for suspicious activity. Then, if there’s a problem, is a one-stop location to report and begin to recover from identity theft if it happens — and learn how to avoid it.

Know your rights when you apply for jobs. Potential employers have to get your permission to run background reports. If the employer might not hire you because of something in the report, they must give you a copy of the report and a summary of your rights. 

Let your voice be heard. If you spot a scam, report it to the FTC online, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. Also, subscribe to our consumer updates to keep up with the latest scams.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


What if it is a cashiers check? From East West Bank Pasadena Ca.

I wanna help but I need help. Please give me a better understanding on what to do. I can do a lot with the proper tools and guidance but I want me loved ones who I know are good people protected as well

This website has a lot of information to help people. Look at the topics on the left side of this page.

Click on a topic, like "Money & Credit." You will get a see of articles about money and credit.

If you want handouts to share, you can order free material at  You can order booklets or fotonovela or fact sheets to tell people about scams.

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