Consumer Information Blog

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

Don't bank on that check

Scammers know how to design phony checks to make them look legitimate. In fact, the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ just released a list of the most “risky” scams, based on how likely people are to be targeted, how likely to lose money, and how much money they lost. Fake checks were number two.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Some invention-promotion firms do nothing for you

Are you ready to patent and market an invention? If so, you may be looking for help – and bogus invention-promotion firms may be looking for you. Today, the FTC announced that it filed a lawsuit against two companies and their owner for running an invention-promotion scam that took thousands of dollars from people and, in many cases, stole their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Scammers even impersonate kidnappers

Imposters will pretend to be anyone to get you to send them money. Recently, reports of virtual child kidnapping imposter scam have resurfaced.

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