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  • What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a House?

    When the time comes to buy a house, the first thing on your to-do list should be to obtain a copy of your credit report and credit score in order to get a clear picture of where...

    • Posted July 10, 2018
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  • The Reason Housing Confidence Is Hitting Record Highs

    As millennials begin reluctantly crossing the bridge from youth into adulthood, conversations about buying a home become more and more frequent. Concerns about the cost of rental fees and general living expenses –– especially in expensive metropolitan...

    • Posted July 10, 2018
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  • Is Home Automation Worth the Extra Cost?

    Home security systems have been around for decades, but home automation has begun to be more commonplace with the introduction of smartphones. With the exception of a few companies, home automation features don’t come standard with most...

    • Posted July 10, 2018
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  • 7 Reasons Younger Workers Need More Savings

    When we’re young, it’s easy to convince ourselves that saving is something we’ll get to “later.” In fact, data show that building a healthy savings is even less of a priority for those under 35. The median...

    • Posted July 9, 2018
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  • Credit card processing “deals” may be scams

    If you’re in a small business, you probably need a way for people to pay you – and ways to lower your costs. Scammers have been working both of those angles, promising businesses that they can save...

    • Posted July 9, 2018
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  • 401k Plans Explained

    Hi Gary, My uncle is very upset because he doesn’t understand how his 401k works. He thinks they are trying to tell him what he can do with his retirement money and so forth. I don’t know...

    • Posted July 6, 2018
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  • No prizes from the FTC

    Recently, someone showed up at the door of the FTC to ask about his prize. He had a mailing saying he’d won $5 million – and the FTC had “certified and verified” it. The letter told him...

    • Posted July 6, 2018
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  • Second Defendant Sentenced in Multimillion Dollar Telemarketing Scam Targeting Elderly Victims

    An individual who managed a multimillion dollar fraudulent telemarketing scam was sentenced on June 25, 2018, to serve 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Department of Justice announced. Michael Rossi,...

    • Posted July 5, 2018
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  • What you need to know to get money from the settlement with BancorpSouth Bank for alleged discrimination

    As part of a settlement with the Bureau and the Department of Justice, BancorpSouth Bank (BancorpSouth) agreed to provide redress to African-American consumers identified as harmed by its alleged discrimination in mortgage lending between 2011 and 2015....

    • Posted July 5, 2018
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  • Do I Need a Will?

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, My husband and I do not currently have wills. How important is it to actually have everything legally documented? We have very little savings but we do have one child and want to be...

    • Posted July 5, 2018
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  • Operators of Get-Rich-With-Amazon Scheme Settle with the FTC

    The operators of a scheme that sold “secrets for making money on Amazon” are banned from marketing and selling business opportunities and business coaching services under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, and they will surrender...

    • Posted July 4, 2018
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  • Former Chief Financial Officer of Bankrate Inc. Pleads Guilty to Orchestrating Complex $25 Million Accounting and Securities Fraud Scheme

    The former chief financial officer of Bankrate Inc., a publicly traded financial services and marketing company formerly headquartered in North Palm Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty today for his role in orchestrating an accounting and securities fraud scheme...

    • Posted July 4, 2018
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  • Two Colorado Financial Services Executives Sentenced in Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Scheme

    A former CEO and a former corporate counsel of a Colorado financial services company were sentenced on June 19 and June 20, in Denver, Colorado, for their participation in a multimillion-dollar investment scheme in which they falsely...

    • Posted July 3, 2018
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  • Defendants Settle Allegations They Deceived Consumers Through Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

    Operators of a get-rich-quick scheme have agreed to a permanent ban on marketing or selling certain types of software as part of settlements with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that the defendants deceived consumers by falsely...

    • Posted July 2, 2018
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  • The Autopay Dilemma — the Pros and Cons of Automated Bill Pay

    Ever since I became an adult (on paper) and started paying my own bills, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the concept of autopay. On the one hand, services that allow you to easily schedule on-going payments...

    • Posted July 2, 2018
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  • Choosing the Best Savings Strategy for Your Financial Goals

    Do you have any advice for a young adult with a steady job who would like her savings to grow? I have paid for my college education without taking out student loans. I contribute to an RRSP...

    • Posted June 29, 2018
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  • Protecting Your Devices From Cryptojacking

    v> Instead of min(d)ing their own business, are scammers using your computer as their virtual ATM? Three years ago, the FTC warned the public and took action against cryptojacking. That’s where scammers use your device’s processing power...

    • Posted June 28, 2018
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  • Work from Home Business Scam Sidelined

    Would you be tempted by an online business training program that promises you could earn thousands of dollars a month working from home? I wouldn’t blame you if you were. But don’t believe the hype. Promises like...

    • Posted June 27, 2018
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  • Free credit freezes are coming soon

    Looking for stronger ways to protect your credit? Thanks to a new federal law, soon you can get free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts. Here’s what to look forward to when the law takes effect on...

    • Posted June 27, 2018
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  • Student Loan Debt Relief Scam Operators Agree to Settle FTC Charges

    The operators of a Los Angeles-based student loan debt relief scam have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Department of Education, charged consumers illegal upfront fees, and...

    • Posted June 27, 2018
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  • Tips for Scam-Free Travel

    Planning a summer vacation? You may be looking for deals on cheap flights or discounts at hotels and resorts – but some promotions may come with strings attached, and others can be downright scams. Before you pack...

    • Posted June 26, 2018
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  • More Than 2,300 Suspected Online Child Sex Offenders Arrested During Operation “Broken Heart”

    The Department of Justice announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide, operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. The task forces identified 195 offenders who...

    • Posted June 26, 2018
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  • FTC Returns Money to Consumers Deceived into Buying Business Coaching Program

    The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 3,633 checks totaling more than $969,000 to people who lost money to a deceptive telemarketing scheme that promoted business coaching services to people who wanted to start internet businesses. In January...

    • Posted June 25, 2018
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  • FTC Sues to Stop Two Operations Responsible for Making Billions of Illegal Robocalls

    Technology companies and owner knowingly facilitated neighbor-spoofed robocalls The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint in federal district court seeking to stop two related operations and their principals who allegedly facilitated billions of illegal robocalls to...

    • Posted June 25, 2018
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  • Millennials: Don’t Let Money Studies and Suggestions Dishearten You

    For Millennials like myself, the past few weeks have brought some bad news. The latest round of eye-opening stats started with a MarketWatch piece that declared that individuals should have twice their salary stashed away by the time...

    • Posted June 25, 2018
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  • Untangling a Robocaller Web

    Sick of getting robocalls and other unwanted calls? You can learn more about how to block them at ftc.gov/calls. You also might know that the FTC continues to go after the people and companies behind these calls....

    • Posted June 22, 2018
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  • Phantom Debt Collectors Settle FTC Charges of Deceiving Consumers

    A North Carolina debt collection operation, Lombardo, Daniels & Moss, and its principals, Dion Barron and Charles R. Montgomery III, will be banned from the debt collection business under settlements resolving Federal Trade Commission charges that they...

    • Posted June 22, 2018
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  • Strengthening the Financial Future of America’s Young Workers

    Each year, millions of young adults enter the workforce and take the first steps toward building their financial futures. Since 2014, the Bureau has worked to help job training programs prepare young adults for the key financial...

    • Posted June 22, 2018
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  • The Ten States With the Most Credit Card Debt

      The New York state comptroller’s office just released information about credit card debt in the United States. The four states with the highest populations had the most overall credit card debt in 2017. California, the most...

    • Posted June 21, 2018
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  • Winners are Losers in Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams

    You get a card, call, or email telling you that you won! Maybe it’s a lottery, sweepstakes, or some other prize. The person calling is excited and can’t wait for you to get your winnings. But here’s...

    • Posted June 21, 2018
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  • What You Should Know About ID Theft After Death

    Imagine your grandmother calling you and saying she thinks your grandfather who passed away two months ago is still alive. She explains that she keeps getting credit card bills in his name and wants to know if...

    • Posted June 21, 2018
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  • Online Giving Portals: What Should You Know?

    A common phrase in the world of charities is that there are many ways to give. Making an online donation is one way, and using an “online giving portal” is becoming a popular option. Check out our...

    • Posted June 20, 2018
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  • No Gift Cards for Tech Support Scammers

    Hey computer users, it’s time for a pop quiz. A) You get an urgent call or email from a tech support company, saying your computer has a problem. Should you give the company remote access to your...

    • Posted June 20, 2018
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  • Saving for a House: Ideas From People Who Have Done It

    Saving for a house can be a daunting task, but is one of adulthood’s most exciting milestones. You’re settling down into a new home, but you’re also giving up a large sum of your money in the...

    • Posted June 20, 2018
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  • Google is NOT Calling You

    Have you gotten a robocall at work, telling you that you have to take action or your Google business listing will be removed? Or maybe even marked as permanently closed? That kind of thing could be tough...

    • Posted June 19, 2018
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  • Share Financial Information with Your Spouse Now to Avoid Problems Later

    It’s common for couples to share their financial lives but not the responsibility for managing household finances. It might be time-consuming for both of you to review your bills, as well as spending and savings plans each...

    • Posted June 19, 2018
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  • 7 Easy-To-Start Side Hustles Ideas You Might Not Have Thought Of

    These days it seems like just about everyone is talking about the need for a side hustle. As a result, you may be pondering what extra earning opportunities are out there for you. Unfortunately, when looking for...

    • Posted June 18, 2018
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  • 401k Loans: Borrowing Your Money

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, We’re going to buy a newer car. We’ll need to borrow about $12,000 to pay for it. Our friends have suggested that the best way to finance it is by ‘borrowing’ from our 401k...

    • Posted June 18, 2018
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  • Operators of Student Loan Debt Relief Schemes Settle FTC Charges

    The settlements stem from an FTC-led enforcement sweep announced last year The defendants in two student loan debt relief cases have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission claims that they charged consumers illegal upfront fees and falsely...

    • Posted June 15, 2018
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  • Asked to pay by gift card? Don’t.

    Has someone asked you to go get a gift card to pay for something? Lots of people have told us they’ve been asked to pay with gift cards – by a caller claiming to be with the...

    • Posted June 15, 2018
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  • Complaint snapshot: An analysis of debt collection complaints

    > In our latest Complaint Snapshot, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection examines complaint trends, with a focused look at complaints about debt collection.  Since July 2011, the Bureau has received approximately 400,500 debt collection complaints, which...

    • Posted June 15, 2018
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  • New List Identifies More Ways to Access Credit Scores—for Free

    Did you know that checking your credit scores and credit reports is one of the first steps toward learning more about your credit history? You can request your credit reports for free every 12 months from each...

    • Posted June 14, 2018
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  • Writing a Craigslist Ad That Sells

    Craigslist is by far the easiest (and cheapest) way to sell all that junk cluttering your house. It’s as simple as posting a listing for the item(s) you are trying to sell, and then waiting for the...

    • Posted June 14, 2018
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  • Things My Dad Taught Me About Money

    Some of the fondest moments memories in my life are of helping my Dad around the house and listening to him explain why he did and didn’t do things. Although I didn’t know it at the time,...

    • Posted June 13, 2018
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  • 4 Tips for Eating Healthy While Still Saving Money

    A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that maintaining your health was more important than saving money. While retaining insurance is one example of that, the same concept can often apply to the foods we buy and...

    • Posted June 13, 2018
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  • Work-at-Home Scams Lead to Business Coaching Schemes

    In the business world, “leads” refer to the contact information of potential customers. In the scam world, it means the same thing. While scammers find their targets in all kinds of ways, one method is to go...

    • Posted June 13, 2018
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  • Compound Interest for Poor People

    Please don’t tell me that if I had $1,000 and invested it for 10 years at 10% interest I’d have a big pile of money. I don’t have $1,000 and paying next month’s bills is my biggest...

    • Posted June 12, 2018
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  • A Management Tool for Expenses

    Dear Dollar Stretcher, I want to make a grocery budget but I am not sure what to include on that list. Do you include your household items such as light bulbs and laundry needs? Regular household needs...

    • Posted June 12, 2018
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  • FTC Action Halts Deceptive Robocalls Aimed at Small Business Owners

    The Federal Trade Commission has charged a Florida-based scheme with deceiving small business owners by falsely claiming to represent Google, falsely threatening businesses with removal from Google search results, and falsely promising first-place or first-page placement in...

    • Posted June 12, 2018
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  • Estate Planning in the Digital Age

    Complete Estate Planning Guide In The Digital Age An important note: This Estate Planning article highlights many legal elements and is not meant to offer advice. See disclosure. It is important to talk with a lawyer when...

    • Posted June 7, 2018
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