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Author Archives: Research Department

FTC Returns More Than $2.9 Million to Inc21 Cramming Victims In Second Round of Refunds to Consumers

ftc

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing a second round of 58,239 checks totaling more than $2.9 million to consumers and businesses who were victimized by a massive fraudulent operation that placed unwanted charges on their telephone bills. In 2010, the FTC stopped the scam, which was led by Inc21, an internet services company. Inc21 had third-party billing aggregators place charges ... Read More »

    The Only 3 Travel Credit Cards Worth Carrying

    travel_credit_card

    Spring Break is fast approaching. If you’re planning a spring break trip, you won’t be alone in hitting the open road, or open skies, en route to vacation. American Express reports in a “Spending & Saving Tracker” summer travel survey that 75 percent of respondents plan to take a vacation, and the average expected costs for those trips are at $ 1,145 ... Read More »

      Should You Freeze Your Credit After a Data Breach?

      Ball Freezer jars

      With the news of different data breaches coming out on practically a weekly basis, consumers have become increasingly sensitive to the threat of identity theft, often asking how they can avoid it. There is no foolproof defense against identity theft, so one of the best things consumers can do is know how to quickly discover and stop the crime. You ... Read More »

        FTC Sends More Than $2.4 Million in Refunds to Consumers Harmed by Premier Precious Metals Scam

        tax_scams

        The Federal Trade Commission has sent more than $2.4 million in refund checks to just over a hundred consumers harmed by the Premier Precious Metals scheme, which bilked millions of dollars from investors, including many senior citizens. In February 2014, the defendants were permanently banned from selling any investment opportunities under a settlement with the FTC. They conned consumers into ... Read More »

          Poverty Is Quicksand

          Sagging Economy

          It’s hard to believe that anyone thinks the poor, in this country, have an easy, work-free life. There’s an assumption among a certain segment of the population that government benefits are enough to enable someone to ease back and voluntarily give up looking for a job. The reality is that poverty, especially now, is more like quicksand. Once you fall ... Read More »

            Justice Department Announces Settlement with Plaza Bank of Irvine for Knowingly Facilitating Consumer Fraud

            Bank

            The United States filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today against Plaza Bank of Irvine, California, for knowingly facilitating consumer fraud by permitting a third-party payment processor to make millions of dollars of unauthorized withdrawals from consumer bank accounts on behalf of fraudulent merchants.  To resolve the case, Plaza Bank has ... Read More »

              FTC Charges DIRECTV with Deceptively Advertising the Cost of Its Satellite Television Service

              Frustration

              Company Advertises Discounted Monthly Prices, Fails to Tell Consumers about Two-Year Contract Obligation, Significant Price Increase in the Second Year, and Need to Cancel “Free” Premium Movie Channels The Federal Trade Commission has charged DIRECTV, the country’s largest provider of satellite television services, with deceptively advertising a discounted 12-month programming package because it fails to clearly disclose that the package ... Read More »

                Do I Qualify for College Tax Breaks?

                casual woman saving money

                Q. My son is a high school junior, and he’s going to a summer college program. I have college money saved in a 529 plan and an UTMA. Can I use those funds for tuition? Also, can I take any of the college tax breaks on my return? A. You can use UTMA funds for your son’s college class, but ... Read More »

                  6 Ways Chasing Credit Card Rewards Can Backfire

                  credit-cards

                  There is a lot to like about credit card rewards. Cardholders can earn valuable points, miles and cash back just for spending money on things that they would normally buy. But at the same time, the temptation of rewards can lead cardholders to make unwise decisions that will ultimately cost them more money than any rewards earned were worth. Here are ... Read More »

                    You Can Refinance Your Car Loan to Save Money Each Month

                    car-loan

                    If investing 15 minutes would save you $50 a month for the next three years, would you do it? That seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people are passing up a similar deal. That would be a total savings of $1,800 or, put another way, that 15 minutes would be an opportunity to make $7,200 an hour. ... Read More »

                      5 Ways to Save More Money This Spring

                      checking_account_promotions1

                      As the weather (finally) warms up, most of us are ready to leave hibernation and enjoy some activities the winter weather may have discouraged us from doing. You may think it is time to get out and spend, but really, the better weather and your renewal of positive energy can help you save. As you shed the winter coat, consider ... Read More »

                        Help! I Don’t Have Enough Money to Pay My Taxes

                        deductions-tax-refund

                        About three-quarters of taxpayers receive a refund, according to 2014 data from the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re among the roughly 27% whose returns are processed and you owe money, you have an important question to answer: How will you pay? Perhaps more important: Can you afford to pay? If you have the cash on hand, you have the option ... Read More »

                          5 Bad Money Habits You Can Break Today

                          cut-monthly-fees

                          Bad habits. They’re pesky, aren’t they? Every once in awhile I catch myself in a bad habit. They almost seem inevitable. But I’m always determined to squash them as soon as I recognize them. I’m sure you’re in the same boat. When it comes to bad financial habits, there are some serious ones that can cost you thousands of dollars. Which of ... Read More »

                            6 Student Loan Mistakes You’re Going to Make

                            whatuphealth

                            Student debt comes in all shapes and sizes, but everyone should be concerned with their student loans, whether their balances are big or small. It doesn’t matter if you have competitive rates and will be free of debt with very little effort, or if decades of monthly payments stand in the way of your financial freedom — staying proactive and ... Read More »

                              Congress Should Act to Mitigate Child Identity Theft

                              crime scene

                              Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 11, 2015 SubscriberWise, the leading provider of analytics-driven subscriber decision management technology and the nation’s first issuing consumer reporting agency for the communications industry, announced today that the company is again encouraging Congress to introduce and pass a legislative initiative that would require the creation of a national index of child social security numbers. The effort ... Read More »

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