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Money & Credit

Non-filers: Expect a letter about your stimulus check

If you don’t usually file a tax return, or didn’t file a return for 2018 or 2019, you might not know you could qualify for an economic impact payment. You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment by October 15, 2020.

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Money & Credit

$147 million in second group of Western Union refunds

Refund checks worth about $147 million are going out to almost 33,000 people who sent money to scammers through Western Union wire transfers. This is the second group of payments related to the Western Union settlement. These refunds are going to people in the US and other countries, including many older adults who lost money to grandparent, lottery, sweepstakes, or romance scams.

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Money & Credit

Free trials can be costly

Getting free stuff is cool…until it isn’t free. It is decidedly uncool when, after luring you in with “free trials” for products you might like, a company hits you with surprise charges during the supposedly “free” trial period.

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Money & Credit

Tips to help you prepare for — and recover from — natural disasters

More than 85 large wildfires are ripping across the West Coast, from California to Oregon and Washington. In the Southeast, people are just beginning to recover from Hurricane Sally, while more storms are brewing in the Atlantic. And the Midwest continues to recover from the recent derecho. Severe weather and natural disasters can occur anywhere — sometimes with little warning. The FTC’s site, Dealing with Weather Emergencies, has practical tips to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from a weather emergency. It’s mobile-friendly, so easy to get to when and where you need it.

Fake check scams and your small business

If someone you don’t know sends you a check and asks for money back, that’s a scam. But what if you’re a small business owner and someone “overpays” you and asks you to refund the balance? That’s still a scam — a fake check scam, to be exact.

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Money & Credit

Scammers prey on your kindness during disasters

Wildfires raging out West. The hurricane season. Civil unrest. And all of this happening during a global pandemic that has claimed its own devastating share of deaths and cost people their livelihoods. In response to these events, the season of giving is starting even before the usual holidays, since we all just want to help where and as we can.

But shameless scammers want to help themselves to your money. And they’re competing with legitimate charities, taking advantage of your generosity. So, as you open your heart and wallet to help people and causes, be sure to consider these tips for safe giving:

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Money & Credit

Spot and stop dishonest charity fundraisers

What’s worse than a bogus charity? A bogus charity with a dishonest fundraiser. That’s what we saw today in a case announced today against Outreach Calling, Inc., its founder Mark Gelvan, and others.
The defendants in this FTC case are fundraisers that called millions of Americans on behalf of bogus charities.

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Money & Credit

Getting stimulus payments to homeless communities

People who are homeless or transient may not know they qualify for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) — also called “stimulus checks" — that went out last Spring. They might also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child — and they don’t need an income to claim the payment. That’s why the FTC is working with the IRS to get the word out about how people can still collect their money — and we need your help.

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Money & Credit

Are you eligible for debt forgiveness from Online Trading Academy?

Back in February, we wrote about Online Trading Academy (OTA), a company that peddled a “patented” training program promising to help people earn big money by paying big money to OTA for trainings costing as much as $50,000. OTA’s lavish earnings claims often came with encouragement for people to go into debt to pay for OTA’s trainings. Today, we’re letting you know about a settlement that could mean big bucks in debt forgiveness for some people who owe consumer debts to OTA.

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Money & Credit

If you have federal student loans, read this

A few months ago, we told you that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act gave some flexibility to federal student loan borrowers. Understanding these options can help you make more informed decisions about paying your bills and prioritizing your debts. These benefits have been extended until December 31, 2020.

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