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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.

Blog Topics: 
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:

Blog Topics: 
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.

Blog Topics: 
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.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Are you eligible for debt forgiveness from Online Training Academy?

Back in February, we wrote about Online Training 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.

Blog Topics: 
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.

Did someone tell you to pay with gift cards? It’s a scam

Maybe someone said you’ve won the lottery, a prize or sweepstakes. Or they claim to be from the government and tell you there’s a problem with your Social Security number. And, to collect your winnings or solve your problem, you have to pay with gift cards. But here’s the thing: anyone who insists that you pay by gift card is always a scammer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

How can you spot a tech support scam?

Are you getting pop-up warning messages on your computer screen? Or maybe a phone call that your computer has a virus? That may well be a tech support scam. But how do you know? And what do you do?

Economic impact payment fix for 50,000 eligible spouses

Are you married to someone who owes past-due child support? Was your portion of the economic impact payment (“EIP”) mistakenly applied to pay your spouse’s debt? If so, you’re not alone. In mid-September, the IRS will automatically send “catch-up” payments to eligible spouses whose EIP was diverted to pay their spouses’ child support obligations.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Trouble with your ABCmouse membership? You’re not alone

Juggling life at home with kids? Like many parents, you might’ve looked into different ways your kids can learn from home online. Maybe you’ve even signed up and paid for a program.

But say over time you find your kids have lost interest in the program or moved on to something else. You think that when your year-long membership is up, you’re done — until you see you’ve been charged for another year, this time without your permission. And when you try to cancel, you find it’s not easy because there are a lot of steps. Sounds frustrating, right? Many parents who enrolled their kids in ABCmouse programs found themselves in a similar situation.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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