Consumer Information Blog

Don’t let utility scams overpower you

When your electricity goes out, you lose power in more ways than one. Daily necessities are out of reach without lights, warm water, and heat or air conditioning.

So if you get a call from someone threating to shut off your utilities because they say you owe money, you’re going pay attention – and you may even pay up. But not so fast. The caller might be an imposter running a utility scam.

Upcoming Twitter chats

We’ve got some Twitter chats planned for servicemembers, families, and anyone who works with the military community.

@MilConsumer and @DeptVetAffairs (Department of Veterans Affairs) will host a chat about avoiding and recovering from tax, child, and medical identity theft. Join in at #VeteranIDTheftChat: Wednesday, April 12, 11am ET (10am CT, 9am MT, 8am PT)

@MilConsumer, @CFPBMilitary (the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and @StopFraudCo (the Stop Fraud campaign of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office) will host a chat with tips about your rights concerning debt collection and how to deal with debt. Join in at #Milchat or #Milconsumer: Thursday, April 13, 3pm ET (2pm CT, 1pm MT, Noon PT)

Debt collector returns $2.7 million to victims

Just last week, the FTC mailed checks returning money to more than 5,200 people, thanks to the FTC’s settlement with Rincon Debt Management. People who lost money are getting back the full amount of the fraudulent fees they were charged – an average of $525 – which adds up to more than $2.7 million.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

A Western Union update

We told you earlier this year about the $586 million settlement with Western Union – where the company will return money to people who were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union. Those refunds are part of a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and our partners at DOJ are handling the refunds. Since many of you have been asking about where things stand, we wanted to give you an update on the Western Union refund process. Here’s what we can tell you so far.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Planting seeds for a financially literate future

April showers bring May flowers. April also is a good time to plant seeds for a financially fit future. After all, April is Financial Literacy Month.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Golf ball buyers landed in a “free trial” trap

If a company offers you a free trial, what have you got to lose? Maybe plenty. Hidden strings attached to a deal can tangle you up in hard-to-escape buying plans that charge you for products or services you don’t want.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Lies, threats, debt collection: Tale of a few cities

When a debt collector harasses and threatens you, it can be downright distressing – and illegal.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Scammers are not “friends” to small business owners

Scammers try to contact you in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you too.  Lately we’ve been hearing about scams through Facebook messages directed to small business owners.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Calls asking “Can you hear me now?”

Your phone rings and the caller ID shows a number you don’t know. You answer it anyway and hear, “Can you hear me now?” It’s a pre-recorded robocall – even though it sounds like a real person – and it’s illegal. We’ve heard from hundreds of people who have gotten calls like this.

Emissions modifications for some Volkswagens and Audis

In October 2016, a federal judge ordered Volkswagen to compensate people who own or lease certain Volkswagens or Audis with 2.0-liter TDI-engines. Through September 1, 2018, current owners can apply for a buyback from Volkswagen, and current lessees can apply for lease terminations. Or — if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorizes an approved emission modification (AEM) for their type of car — owners and lessees can have their cars modified and get an AEM payment instead of doing a buyback or lease termination.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

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