Consumer Tips

"The surge in complaints is a signal of the strain the pandemic put on consumers, and of the minefield of tricks and traps they face in the financial marketplace."

With $1,400 payments on the way, here's what to do, and not do

By | Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

85 percent of Americans are expected to get money -- without the need for you do anything, including clicking any email links, providing any information by phone or paying any fees.

Freezing your files protects you not just from someone fraudulently opening a credit card or applying for a loan in your name. It also can prevent someone from accessing your tax records with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or opening a Social Security account using your information or potentially launching a slew of other problems. 

How to freeze your credit files by phone or online

By | Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

How to freeze your credit files by phone or online

By | Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

Fraud/ identity theft is the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, with 2.2 million complaints last year. Consumers reported losing $3.3 billion last year, up from $1.8 billion in 2019.

Fraudulent unemployment claims: You could be next -- here's what to do

By | Jacob van Cleef
Consumer Watchdog, Associate

Fraudulent unemployment claims have been on the rise during the pandemic. Scammers received more than $36 billion by fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits last year, with millions of cases of fraud suspected. You could be next.

Some of your friends or relatives have received two COVID-19 relief/ stimulus payments in the past year. And a third may be on the way soon. If you haven’t received anything yet and believe you should have, don’t fret.

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