In June of 2016, the Federal Trade Commission made it illegal for telemarketers to ask for money through money transfers from places like Western Union and MoneyGram. Telemarketers also cannot ask for PIN’s from cash re-load cards. Telemarketers also cannot call and ask for your bank account information to do a remote check that you never see or sign.
The Federal Trade Commission recently charged a Singapore based mobile advertising company with illegally tracking consumers’ locations without their permission. The company was tracking people’s locations even when people turned off their location notices. The company was even tracking the locations of children. The consumers did not consent to this tracking. The company has to delete all of the information it collected on children, in addition to paying fines.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently unveiled a shopping sheet that people can use when they are getting a car loan. The sheet will help you to figure out how much you pay in taxes, titles and fees. The sheet will also help to figure out how much you need to borrow, taking into account the down payment and the trade-in value of another vehicle. You can take this 2 page form with you when you get your car loan and “Know Before You Owe.” The name of the sheet is the CFPB Auto Loan Shopping Sheet.
According to a recent report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one in five car title borrowers get their cars seized when they don’t pay on the loan. Many of these people take out 7 or 8 loans on their cars and they stay in debt all year. The typical loan amount is about $700, and the typical annual percentage rate is 300%.
In May of 2016, the Federal Trade Commission issued information about scammers who are use fake caller ID’s. They use area codes like 202, so people think they are receiving calls from a government agency in Washington, D.C. The Caller ID may have the name of the IRS or your bank or the police department. Don’t give out your personal or financial information to someone who calls. Do not assume that the Caller ID information is legitimate if you have doubts. Hang up and call back the agency after looking up the correct phone number.
In May of 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action against a company that offered check cashing and payday loan services. This company would not tell consumers how much they were charging to cash checks. Also, when consumers would ask to cancel or reverse the check-cashing transaction, the company would have excuses as to why they could not cancel the transaction. When you get charged for cashing a check, know how much the fee is that you are being charged.
In April of 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled the student loan Payback Playbook. The Playbook gives borrowers personalized information from the student loan companies so people can get a monthly payment they can afford. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan assisted with the formation of the Payback Playbook. The proposed Playbook would have no fine print, making it easier for people to choose payment options. The Playbook would have real time up-to-date information so people can keep on top of their student loan payments.
Don’t carry your Social Security card or any other document that has your Social Security number on it. Check your credit report every 12 months. Review your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually. Change your passwords on internet accounts.
The Wall Street Journal reported that as of January 1st, 2016, 43% of the 22 million people with student loans were not making their student loan payments. About 3.6 million of that group are in default. There are some doubts as to whether these former students will ever repay their student loans. The borrowers tend to pay on other debts that they feel are more important, such as car loans and mortgages.
In March of 2016, the Federal Trade Commission settled with an Orlando based company that was making robo-calls to consumers. With the robo-calls, the company was able to make calls at less than one cent each in cost. The company used automated dialing machines with pre-recorded messages. Here is the principle which applies to robo-calls: if the call is a message from someone selling something and you have not given your permission to get calls from that company, the call could be illegal.