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In a July 23 blog, Federal Trade Commission Consumer Education Specialist Nicole Vincent Fleming offers consumers tips for avoiding bad mortgage-modification transactions (“Six things you can do to avoid a mortgage mis-modification,” available at www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/six-things-you-can-…
In July, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Consumer Advisory titled, “Tips for Protecting Your Mobile Device from Theft,” which urges consumers to record mobile device identification information “before you go out.”
The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Education Specialist, Amy Hebert, offers consumers interesting tips for avoiding scams related to hotel stays (“The hazards of hoteling,” July 1, 2014, available online at www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/hazards-hoteling).
USA.gov provides consumers with a checklist for planning major purchases (“Tips for Being a Savvy Consumer,” available online at www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/smart-shopping/tips.shtml).
While the Federal Trade Commission does not resolve individual consumer complaints, taking the time to file a complaint with the FTC can, nevertheless, be useful.
One way the federal government seeks to tap into the public knowledge base to help it solve problems is with challenge or prize competitions.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), working with other organizations, has developed a retirement planning publication, “Taking the Mystery out of Retirement Planning.”
Have you heard of credit muling? According to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer education specialist, Colleen Tressler, this is yet another way to exploit people who need money fast.
Credit score models used by businesses may vary and are usually complex. However, according to the Federal Trade Commission, credit scores can be affected by many factors, including the following:
In the Spring 2014 issue of FDIC Consumer News, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. presents consumers with strategies to make saving easier.
If you are considering the purchase of a timeshare or vacation interval plan, you may find the Federal Trade Commission’s “Timeshares and Vacation Plans” publication useful.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Nora Dowd Eisenhower reports in a May 7 blog (“Consumer advisory: 3 things to keep your retirement plan on track”) that fewer older homeowners own their homes free of mortgages now than a decade ago.
The second annual Military Consumer Protection Day will take place July 16. The event is a joint initiative of various federal, state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations.
The Federal Trade Commission cautions consumers to be careful of refund and recovery scams. These scams are designed to target those who have already been the victims of scams by others.
If you are considering buying a new clothes washer, you may want to review the buying guidance available from the EPA and Department of Energy at the EnergyStar.gov website.
In a March 20 Federal Trade Commission blog, Colleen Tressler, a FTC Consumer Education Specialist, offers tips for shopping at outlet stores.
In an April 10 Federal Trade Commission blog, Colleen Tressler, a FTC consumer education specialist, wrote “Now’s the time to start a savings plan.”
In a March 28 IRS Newswire publication (IR-2014-39), the Internal Revenue Service warned consumers of a new email-based phishing scheme.
The U.S. Department of Justice maintains the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) community policing topics series on its website. One topic discussed is financial crimes against the elderly.
If you own or are thinking of owning U.S. Savings Bonds or other U.S. Treasury securities, you may want to check out tools available through the Treasury Department’s website, TreasuryDirect (www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/tools/tools.htm).
Identity theft complaints once again are the top consumer complaints for 2013, as published in the “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2013.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Eisenhower and Yang write in a Feb. 6 blog about deferred interest rate credit cards and health care providers sometimes suggesting the cards as patient payment options (“What’s the deal with health care credit cards?” at www.consumerfinance.gov).
Many consumers are familiar with the big three national consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (through its www.energystar.gov website), Energy Star certified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), pay for themselves through energy savings in about six months.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the winter edition of its Consumer News reminds consumers to check their credit reports for errors and potential fraud.
The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers things to consider when reviewing advertisements promoting vehicle sales at great deals (www.ftc.gov, “Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride?”).
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) involves a partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center and the FBI.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the Fall 2013 issue of FDIC Consumer News cautions consumers to be wary of mortgage scams (“Protect Yourself from Mortgage Scams,” www.fdic.gov).
On Dec. 24, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved a U.S. Postal Service request for an exigent price increase.
The following new year’s resolutions could help you become a more informed consumer in 2014.
January 13 through 17 is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. The week will include national and regional events designed to raise awareness of the tax identity theft problem and provide guidance for victims dealing with the occurrence.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical American family spends about $2,000 annually on the cost of home utility bills.
The Federal Communications Commission provides suggestions for consumers to protect data contained on a wireless device in the event of its theft or loss (“Stolen and Lost Wireless Devices,” available at http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lostwirelessdevices.pdf).
With the arrival of the holiday shopping season, it’s again time to refer consumers to the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Safe Shopping” web publication, available at www.ncpc.org.
With the holiday shopping season approaching, the Federal Trade Commission offers consumers tips for shopping online.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, average household lighting costs represent about 10 percent of a homeowner’s energy budget.
Jennifer Leach, Consumer Education Specialist with the Federal Trade Commission, writes in a Sept. 30 blog, “Paying for a Threat,” of scam artists increasingly directing consumers to use online money transfer services, prepaid cards or gift cards to pay them.
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General maintains IndianaUnclaimed.gov as part of the Attorney General’s efforts to return unclaimed property to its rightful owners.
The Eldercare Locator, www.eldercare.gov, is a website designed to offer information to seniors, their families, and the caregivers of older adults.
The national Do Not Call registry had its 10th anniversary in June. According to the Federal Trade Commission, which manages the registry, more than 220 million consumers have registered over the 10-year period.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, 25,000 bond payments are returned each year to the department as undeliverable.
The Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s Mymoney.gov website offers consumers access to an impressive grouping of online tools from federal government agencies designed to assist consumers in making their financial decisions.
September is National Preparedness Month. Do not let the month slip away without at least visiting the Ready.gov website at www.ready.gov.
The Federal Trade Commission offers shopping tips to help consumers get better deals.
Individuals will be able to apply for and enroll in health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act through the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1.
On Aug. 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a new regulation defining the term “gluten-free.” The purpose of the rule is to provide a uniform standard definition for voluntary food labeling.
If you are planning for an interstate move of your household belongings, you first may want to check out the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Protect Your Move” website at www.protectyourmove.gov.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggests in the Spring 2013 issue of the FDIC’s Consumer News that consumers needing small, short-term loans include information about their local banks’ loan products when comparison shopping for loans.
FTC Division of Consumer & Business Education Attorney Rosario Méndez, wrote in a July 3 agency blog about a new form of check scam making the rounds (“The Rap on Car Wrap Scams,” found at www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/rss).
Cost savings can occur through the use of energy-efficient products in your home.
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