Paying off student loans is bad enough without being ripped off by a dishonest company. Some companies pretend to be affiliated with the Department of Education, charge illegal junk fees, and lure students with repayment programs and loan forgiveness that don’t exist. The FTC is banning two student loan debt relief companies for these illegal activities
It’s not surprising what last year’s top consumer complaint was. I’ve seen it many times as No. 1 on annual consumer complaint lists. It’s auto sales and repair. “Consumers rely on cars to get to work, school, doctors’ appointments and more,” said Erin Witte, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America.
Have you ever had a problem because of data a company has collected on you? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching an inquiry into companies that track and collect information on the details of people’s personal lives. It’s seeking input on data brokers and how their business practices impact people’s daily life.
Things are busy, here in my corner of the USA. I’m behind in reporting on what’s happening for National Consumer Protection Week. A lot of my time has been taken up since the first of the year taking part in the Dean Ornish heart health program. It ends Wednesday. I’ll be reporting on its many benefits soon.
Identity theft is terrible. It’s ruins your day, week, month, and probably more. The average data breach in 2022 cost a company $9.44 million and took 277 days to contain. To determine where Americans are most susceptible to such crimes, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 14 key items.
Refunds are still available to consumers who were tricked into wiring money to scammers through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017. The deadline to file a claim has been extended. If you haven’t file a claim for a refund yet, you now have until Aug. 31 to file.
National Consumer Protection Week March 6-12 is a time to help people understand their consumer rights and avoid frauds and scams. The Federal Trade Commission leads the national outreach for the week of events. It’s focusing on how fraud affects every community.
Since everyone is online more during the pandemic, there’s an increased urgency about fixing computers if there’s a problem. Scammers, as always, are lurking around just looking for a new opportunity to strike. They’re offering even more phony tech support services.
It’s a big problem. Companies promising to help with student loan debt advertise widely, using misinformation and high-pressure sales. However, consumers need to know that there’s nothing a student loan debt relief company can do for them that they can’t do for themselves for free.
Many of things you may buy for the holidays, such as toys, laptops, and phones, have chips in them. Since there’s a global chip shortage, prices are going up, and items with chips will probably be harder to find. Scammers are taking advantage of these shortages and are trying to sell items in short supply.