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Afraid to bank electronically? Read this

October 11, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Bank customers who are afraid or confused about banking electronically — using a debit card, the Internet, an ATM, telephone or similar device — could be missing out on some convenient, time-saving ways to handle their finances. Here's information that...

Mortgage company settles information security charges

October 11, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Mortgage

Superior Mortgage Corp., a lender with 40 branch offices in 10 states and multiple Web sites, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated federal law by failing to provide reasonable security for sensitive customer data and...

Thinking of victims of Hurricane Katrina? Here’s how to help

September 15, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, many Americans are searching for ways to help the victims. The federal government advises that the best way to help immediately is to donate money directly to established national relief organizations. In...

All consumers eligible for free annual credit reports

September 06, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Starting September 1, consumers in 14 East Coast states join the rest of the country in qualifying for a free annual credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The free reports...

Marketer of “Free Credit Reports” settles FTC charges

August 23, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Consumerinfo.com, Inc., doing business as Experian Consumer Direct, has settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceptively marketed “free credit reports” by not adequately disclosing that consumers automatically would be signed up for a credit report monitoring service and charged...

Identifying and fighting consumer fraud against older Americans

August 02, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

The Federal Trade Commission today provided the Senate Special Committee on Aging with a report detailing patterns of complaints regarding fraud and identity theft from consumers age 50 and older. Testifying for the Commission, Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the...

FTC wins $10 million judgment against fraudulent debt collectors

August 02, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

The Federal Trade Commission has won a $10.2 million judgment against a debt- collection operation, National Check Control, and its principals – the estimated amount of consumer injury they caused. The amount represents the largest judgment in FTC history for...

OCC encourages National Banks to work with customers affected by hurricane Dennis

July 16, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Financial News

WASHINGTON - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has outlined measures to assist national banks and their customers affected by Hurricane Dennis. The OCC regulates national banks. The OCC recognizes that the effects of natural disasters on...

Collection company settles unauthorized billing charges

July 16, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Financial News

A company that sent bills to consumers for services consumers did not order has agreed to settle FTC charges that the billing scheme violated federal law. The company is barred from billing consumers without their express consent and is required...

FOMC board discount rate action

July 08, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Financial News

The Federal Open Market Committee decided today (6/30/2005) to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 3-1/4 percent. The Committee believes that, even after this action, the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and,...

SEC charges individuals with fraudulent scheme to obtain stock in NewAlliance Bankshares IPO

July 08, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Financial News

Washington, D.C., June 28, 2005 - The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the filing of civil fraud charges against five individuals in connection with the initial public offering of NewAlliance Bancshares, Inc. The fraud arises out of a scheme...

Help new grads be wise consumers

June 29, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Graduation from high school or college is an exciting time when students focus on the future and the new responsibilities and opportunities it brings. The Federal Trade Commission has issued a new consumer alert, “How to Be the Class ‘Value-dictorian,’”...

Paying extra for ID theft protection?

June 23, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

The private sector is promoting new products to help people detect identity theft or cover certain losses. But are these products right for you? We can't endorse or recommend a particular product, but we can give you information to help...

Ten simple things you can do to fight fraud

June 23, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

1. Protect your Social Security number, credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords and other personal information. A thief can use these details to order checks or credit cards, apply for loans or otherwise commit fraud...

New studies highlight different ID thefts

June 23, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Here's a look at some new studies that can help you better understand the common causes of identity theft —situations in which a crook uses someone else's personal information to commit fraud — and how the crime is committed. The...

Ads promising debt relief may be offering bankruptcy

June 18, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Debt Consolidation

Debt got you down? You’re not alone. Consumer debt is at an alltime high. What’s more, record numbers of consumers—nearly 1.6 million in 2003—are filing for bankruptcy. Whether your debt dilemma is the result of an illness, unemployment, or simply...

Stock market fraud "survivor" checklist

June 16, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Investment

Investor enthusiasm for the Internet has created tremendous financial opportunities in recent years – for stock market fraudsters! That's because they often use the Internet to lure innocent investors into their scams. But you can survive stock market fraud and...

Unclaimed funds

June 14, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides deposit insurance to financial institutions and depositors of these institutions. If a financial institution is closed, by a regulatory agency, the FDIC is appointed as Receiver and is responsible for the payment of...

Getting credit when you're over 62

June 09, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Credit is an important money management tool for both young and older consumers. Yet the elderly, particularly older women, may find it difficult to get credit. If you're an older consumer who has paid with cash all your life, you...

Credit and debit card blocking

June 09, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Credit Card

Have you ever been told you were over your credit card limit, or had your debit card declined, even though you knew you had available credit, or money in your bank account? If this happened shortly after you stayed in...

Special uses for trusts

June 06, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Investment

Before you set up a trust, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. Here are just a few of the many special uses for trusts: A charitable trust is used to make donations and realize tax savings for an...

Type of trust funds

June 06, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Investment

There are two basic forms of trusts: after-death (or testamentary) and living (or inter vivos). An after-death trust will come into existence, usually by virtue of a will, after a person's death. The assets to fund these trusts must usually...

Benefits of establishing a trust fund

June 06, 2005 EST | Consumer Info , Investment

People often associate trust funds only with the wealthy. But a trust fund ("trust") actually can be an effective financial tool for many people in many circumstances. A trust is a separate legal entity that holds property or assets of...

Don't be a victim of loan fraud

June 06, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Protect Yourself from Predatory Lenders Buying or refinancing your home may be one of the most important and complex financial decisions you'll ever make. Many lenders, appraisers, and real estate professionals stand ready to help you get a nice home...

Common mistakes young adults make with money & how to avoid them - part II

June 04, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

Having too many credit cards. Two to four cards (including any from department stores, oil companies and other retailers) is the right number for most adults. Why not more cards? The more credit cards you carry, the more inclined you...

Safe internet banking - II

June 03, 2005 EST | Banking/Trading , Consumer Info

Protect Your Privacy Some consumers may want to know how their personal information is used by their bank and whether it is shared with affiliates of the bank or other parties. Starting July 2001, banks are required to give you...

Safe internet banking - I

June 03, 2005 EST | Banking/Trading , Consumer Info

Tips for Safe Banking Over the Internet As use of the Internet continues to expand, more banks and thrifts are using the Web to offer products and services or otherwise enhance communications with consumers. The Internet offers the potential for...

Bogus credit repair operators banned

June 03, 2005 EST | Consumer Info

An operator who charged consumers for services he did not deliver and misrepresented customers’ credit worthiness to the credit reporting agencies has been banned for life from operating a credit repair business. Settlement of the charges also bars further...