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Consumer Information Blog - for 2017-September

Make your hurricane donations count

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are wreaking devastation from Texas to Florida to Puerto Rico, and beyond. Generous people across the country are doing what they can to help their neighbors in need. If you’re thinking about donating money to a charity, here’s how to make sure your dollars go to the causes you support.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Avoid hurricane clean-up scams

After natural disasters like Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, unlicensed contractors and scammers often come into the affected area promising immediate clean-up and debris removal. Some demand payment up-front for work they never do. Others simply lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work.

Here are some tips to protect yourself, your property, and your money.

Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

If influencers are paid, they must disclose it

My son loves to watch expert gamers playing video games on YouTube. Some of these online gamers have millions of followers who, like my son, watch them for hours, know all about them, and want to be just like them. They’re true online celebrities, influencers. I will never understand the fascination with watching others play a video game for hours, but I do understand that if online gamers are being paid to endorse a product in their videos or social media posts, they have to disclose that to their followers. It’s fair and it’s the law.

Help stop fraud this Hispanic Heritage Month

If you follow this blog, you probably have seen our fotonovelas. These are short graphic novels in Spanish that tell stories about scams prevalent in Latino communities. The fotonovelas are based on real stories from people who reported fraud to us. Who exactly are they? People just like you and me who reported a scam, and who want to share their stories to help others. Check out this video to meet some of them, and learn how you can take action to help stop fraud and scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

It’s National Preparedness Month: Time to make a plan

The devastation of Hurricane Harvey stresses the importance for all of us — regardless of where we live — to prepare as best we can for weather emergencies that can impact our lives and communities. The FTC has information to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from different aspects of a weather emergency.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Helping wounded warriors

David Winfrey was one of the excellent panelists at our recent military financial workshop in San Antonio. David is a financial counselor at Fort Sam Houston. He has a passion to help wounded warriors with the challenges they face. David says his clients were “sailing along and then there was a shipwreck... often they are on a rudderless raft, floating with the current… My immediate goal is to get them into a boat where they are rowing toward a goal.”

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Lenovo adware created security holes

If you bought a Lenovo laptop between August 2014 and June 2015, you might have heard about the VisualDiscovery software created by a company named Superfish. VisualDiscovery was a pre-installed adware program that showed comparable products when you shopped online. But there was more to the software than met the eye.