You can shop online for years without ever having your information compromised, but not everyone can be so lucky. There are ways to guard yourself against thieves looking to swipe your money and personal information. [More]
The FTC has designated this week National Consumer Protection Week, so all scams will be put on hold and businesses won’t overcharge you until next Sunday. What, no? That’s now how it works? Ah… it looks like it’s more about consumer education, which is also a good thing since that will help consumers protect themselves year round. For adults, here’s a whole page of various scam prevention tips, fact sheets, and videos. If you’re an educator, you can enroll in the National Financial Capability Challenge and get an “educator toolkit” to help you teach students how to be smart consumers. There’s a section for businesses too, with information on how to protect customers’ personal info and deter ID theft. [More]
We all like to think we’re basically scam-proof, and that our reason and skepticism will protect us from even the most talented hustlers. More likely, we just haven’t encountered those hustlers yet. [More]
If a retailer doesn’t protect your credit card data and it gets stolen, should you be compensated? Not for any unauthorized charges, which are already covered under banks’ zero-liability protection, but for the time lost dealing with the problem, for the anxiety it causes, and for any future credit history/score issues it might cause?
Chase and Bank of America aren’t the only ones suddenly growing pseudo-human faces and reducing their money-sucking overdraft policies. Today Wells Fargo squirted out a press release that says they “will eliminate overdraft fees for customers when they overdraw their accounts by $5 or less and will charge no more than four overdraft fees per day.”
We’re not sure why a company would bother with offering a password feature on their customer accounts if they disable them without warning 3 months later as a matter of policy, but that’s how Southern California Gas Company rolls. Does it really matter, you ask? It might if you’re a victim of domestic violence.
If you’re still not shredding, locking, and canceling, maybe a giant graphic will get the point across. Follow these five tips and you’ll be well on your way to securing your side of things when it comes to ID theft.
HD Guru took a deeper look at the extended warranties and service plans Best Buy pushes on customers who buy expensive electronics like hi-def TVs. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that the fine print negates a lot of what the person or pamphlet on the sales floor will try to promise you—but you might be surprised at just how useless these plans can be when you get right down to it.
So you’ve got a Kindle, and you have books on it, and you want to keep those books—no matter what Amazon or a publisher decides you deserve in the future. Your legal options are limited, but you do have some.
Brian bought a new bike lock recently. What led him to purchase a nice, expensive lock from On Guard was the package’s promise that the lock came with insurance—if his bike was stolen while using the lock, the company would pay for a replacement. He asked a salesperson, who verified the information. Sweet! Then he went online to register his new lock, and learned how the bike lock “protection” really works.
Any sort of federal agency to protect consumers from abuse from the financial industry is months, or possibly years, away, notes Linda Stern of Reuters. That’s why you shouldn’t depend on such an agency to protect you in the meantime. In fact, you can take her advice and use it no matter what happens at the federal level.
Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to call for the creation of a new watchdog agency that would help protect consumers from abusive credit card, mortgage, banking practices. The banking industry is not happy about the idea, reports CNN. But hey, they’re just looking out for us: “It’s bad for consumers,” a banking industry lobbyist told the network. Oh, well, never mind then, and pass me some more delicious subprime!
Buying the right sunscreen could mean the difference between a pleasant day at the beach and a nightmare of splotchy pain. Consumer Reports conducted a poll to see how you people use sunscreen, and even dunked a bunch of volunteers in a tub for forty minutes to see how different sunscreens held up. Inside, the sunscreens that earned Consumer Reports’ praise, and a few tips for avoiding the dreaded summer sunburn.
Losing access to your GMail account is tantamount to banishment from the internet, but Google’s non-existent customer support makes it nearly impossible for rightful owners to regain control of their accounts. The New York Times asked Google why they couldn’t afford to offer phone-based customer support, a simple question Google needed three people to answer.
If you’re concerned about your RFID-chipped credit cards being skimmed, you might want to consider shielding them. DIFRwear makes a wallet with the shielding already included, and now roguewallet in Maine has introduced its own RFID-shielded version, with a fin-shaped design so it fits better in your front pocket to thwart pickpockets. Unfortunately, it’s also $50, compared to $20 for the more conventional looking DIFRwear hip-pocket design. (Both are FIPS 201 compliant, if that means anything to you.)