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Payday Lending Trade Group Promises To Clean Up Misleading Online Ads

Google dealt a big blow to the payday lending industry, when it recently decided to ban the short-term/high-cost lenders’ ads from search results. At the same time, federal regulators are pushing for stricter regulations on these controversial financial products. Now a payday lending trade group is hoping to do some damage control by creating a program to identify companies making misleading claims in online ads. [More]

Ninja M.

What Are SLAPPs And Anti-SLAPPs… And Why Should You Care?

We all know the stories about big companies and well-heeled individuals filing nuisance lawsuits against whistleblowers, competitors, or other troublemakers just to shut these less-resourceful parties up. There’s a name for that sort of lawsuit, and — at least in some states — there are ways for defendants to fight back. However, even the best available remedies are far from perfect. [More]

franieleon

Want Extra Legroom Or To Sit With Your Kids? Airlines Say ‘Pay Up’

If you’ve booked airline seats for your family or for another group that wants to sit together recently, you might have noticed how few seats were available to you if you’re not an elite member of a loyalty program. It’s not just you: airlines are making changes so that the privilege of deciding where to sit is reserved only for big-spending customers, or travelers willing to pay up for the privilege. [More]

(David Bivins)

MoneyGram To Pay $13M, Revamp Policies To Protect Against Wire Transfer Fraud

While advances in technology now allow us to zap money from our bank accounts to our friends and family members with the touch of a button, some people continue to rely on money transfer services. But as we’ve reported several times in the past, these companies are often the service of choice for scammers looking to get their hands on your hard-earned money. One such outfit, MoneyGram, today agreed to revamp its policies and provide $13 million in restitution to consumers who were harmed by fraudsters using the service.  [More]

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Feds Arrest Heads Of Two Massive Online Payday Loan Operations

Back in June 2014, Consumerist showed readers what might have been the scammiest payday loan we’d ever seen. Today, federal authorities arrested the man behind the company, AMG Services — along with his lawyer and another, unrelated, payday lender — for allegedly running online payday lending operations that exploited more than 5 million consumers.  [More]

Reminder: There Are No Fees To Claim Your Prize When You Win The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

Reminder: There Are No Fees To Claim Your Prize When You Win The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes

The day has finally come — you’ve won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes! At least, that’s what the guy on the phone is telling you. But don’t send your thanks to the ghost of Ed McMahon just yet: if someone is telling you to fork over huge wads of cash in order to claim your prize from PCH, it’s a scam and you should hang up the phone and start hoping anew. [More]

(Love Over Lenses)

Please Stop Spreading Pyramid Schemes Around Facebook

Gift exchanges can be super fun: it’s great to receive a present that you didn’t anticipate at all. However, an attempt by either a well-meaning person or a gift-hogging trickster began on Facebook recently, and zapped quickly around the world. One scheme, called the “Secret Sisters Gift Exchange,” promises thirty-six gifts in your mailbox after you mail out only one, but reality doesn’t work that way. [More]

This is the message sent by the scammer trying to explain why the dog had not been delivered, even though $490 had been sent.

Don’t Fall For The Mail-Order Puppy Scam

Getting a dog from a breeder can run you thousands of dollars, so it might be tempting when someone offers to sell you a baby puppy for a fraction of that. But if that seller is just some random person who demands that you wire them a cash payment, you’re probably getting rooked. [More]

(coffeego)

Why Can’t I Reach A Live Human Being At Uber When I Need To?

Although there are many things that used to require a phone to do that we can now accomplish with an e-mail, a swipe, a tap or a Tweet, there are customer service situations — compromised accounts, dangerous situations and other scenarios — where we still want to be able to reach out and actually talk to a live human being. But unlike many other consumer-facing companies, Uber doesn’t offer a contact phone number or a more immediate way to get in touch with the company besides a support e-mail address. [More]

(Enokson)

FTC Shuts Down Credit Repair Business Masquerading As The Federal Trade Commission

Fraudsters have been known to scam unsuspecting consumers by claiming to be agents with the federal government. So, in a bit of poetic justice, the Federal Trade Commission had a hand in shutting down a business calling itself the “FTC Credit Solutions.” [More]

(Adam Fagen)

CFPB Takes Action Against Two Alleged Student Debt Relief Scams

Student loan borrowers have enough to worry about, so they shouldn’t have to deal with being hounded by so-called debt relief companies promising to provide consumers with repayment benefits that actually come free of charge with federal loans. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action to put a stop to two such relief scams that reaped millions of dollars from thousands of consumers. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

That Amazing $70K Work-At-Home Job Probably Isn’t Real

If the following comes as a surprise to you, that’s okay. This is why Consumerist exists. Today, we’re here to remind you of the following: if someone e-mails you to offer a work-at-home job promising a nice middle-class income for only a few hours of work every week, it is probably a scam and you should run away. [More]

How Corporations Got The Same Rights As People (But Don’t Ever Go To Jail)

Josh Bassett

In every common-sense, everyday way, a corporation is not a person. Corporations don’t date, don’t have families, don’t go catch a movie on Friday night. They also don’t go to jail when they do something criminal. But in the eyes of the law, corporations enjoy many of the same rights — including free speech and religious expression — and protections afforded to individuals. [More]

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

Feds File 9 Lawsuits Against Alleged Mortgage Relief Scammers That Took Millions From Consumers

If the thought of losing one’s home wasn’t bad enough, finding out that you’ve been ripped off by the companies promising to help must be even worse. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, along with the Federal Trade Commission and 15 states announced a string of lawsuits and other actions against such deceptive companies. [More]

10 Answers To Credit Card Questions We Get Asked All The Time

frankieleon

Credit cards come with a lot of fine print. But the scene isn’t just complicated for cardholders; it’s complicated for the retailers that accept them, too. What needs signing, and what doesn’t? When can a store ask for ID? Are they allowed to charge different prices for cash and credit? [More]

(zeebah tronic)

Reminder: Cashing A Check From West Africa Is Not A Legitimate Job

Here’s a reminder to everyone looking for a job or for a side hustle in addition to their current job: as tempting as it may sound, receiving a check and depositing it is not a legitimate way to make money. You might have heard this before, but if no one fell for this scam, it would die out. [More]

Advance Fee Fraudsters Offended When I Use Junk Mail Nuclear Option

Advance Fee Fraudsters Offended When I Use Junk Mail Nuclear Option

For some years now, we’ve suggested a nuclear option when a company simply will not sending you unwanted mail. It’s called a prohibitory order, and officially intended for when someone sends you smutty material that you didn’t ask for. Junk mail is pretty offensive, though, right? Yet one company was offended when a reader used this option to end a torrent of junk mail. [More]

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Senator Asks Justice Department To Hold GM Responsible For Ignition Fire Lawsuits

Earlier this year, GM issued a massive recall of nearly 1.4 million vehicles due to problems with the ignition switch. GM apparently knew about those problems — which have caused several fatalities — for up to thirteen years before issuing the recall, and reportedly also ignored piles of consumer complaints in that timeframe. Consumers’ entirely predictable lawsuits against GM have already begun, but those lawsuits are facing a big potential snag. [More]