Credit, Credit Cards & Debt

Tips for Cyber Monday success

Each year, Cyber Monday promises unbelievable savings – but before you start snagging deals, here are some tips to help you save money and protect your personal information:

Know the seller and the item. Put the company or product name in a search engine, along with “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” Read the reviews. Be sure you can contact the seller if you have a dispute. Continue Reading >

Another abusive debt collector bites the dust

As part of the FTC and New York Attorney General’s crackdown on abusive debt collectors, an operation doing business under several names, including National Check Registry, has agreed to settle charges that it allegedly used a slew of abusive and deceptive tactics to pressure people into making payments on questionable debts. Continue Reading >

A lesson in phantom debt collection

Haunted by debt collectors? Here’s a chilling thought: some debt collectors are calling about debts that aren’t real. The FTC says a company calling itself “Delaware Solutions” and “Clear Credit Solutions,” did just that. According to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New York Attorney General’s office, the company purchased what were supposed to be payday loan debts – only to find out that the debts were fake. Continue Reading >

Free phones for veterans? Not quite.

You walk out of a VA facility, and see a booth with people offering free phones and cell service for veterans, all thanks to a government program. It sounds compelling, right? Continue Reading >

Take notice: How your credit history can affect your monthly bill

When you apply for things like cable or satellite TV, mobile phone service, or internet service, the company might review your credit report. They can use the information in your credit report to give you less favorable terms, meaning they can charge you more for the service than someone with a better credit history. That’s called risk-based pricing. The law says it’s OK as long as the company lets you know about it by sending you a Risk-Based Pricing Notice. Continue Reading >

Scam du jour: Chip card scams

Recently, I told you about the new credit and debt chip cards designed to reduce fraud, including counterfeiting.

Now, I'm reporting on scammers who are trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven't yet received a chip card. Continue Reading >

What to know about the new credit and debit chip cards

Coming to a wallet near you: new credit and debit chip cards. They’re part of a nationwide shift by major card issuers to offer added security against fraud. The new cards look like your old cards with one exception: they have a small square metallic chip on the front. The chip holds your payment data — some of which is currently held on the magnetic stripe on your old cards — and provides a unique code for each purchase. The metallic chip is designed to reduce fraud, including counterfeiting. Continue Reading >

FTC celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the heritage and culture of Hispanic communities across the country, and recognize their many contributions to American life. At the FTC, we join the celebration as we work to combat deception and fraud in marketplaces targeting Hispanic communities. Continue Reading >

Tick-tock goes the clock on old debts

Here’s a fun way to think about a tricky topic. You know the scene in Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland when the white rabbit hops off saying “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”? Imagine the rabbit is a debt collector. The important date? It’s his last chance to legally make you pay money you owe. Why he’s late? The debt collector has run out of time to sue you for an old and unpaid, or time-barred, debt. For more, follow me down the rabbit hole... Continue Reading >

What’s the deal with “Rachel from Card Services”? Your top 3 questions answered.

“Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account. It appears that you are now eligible for a significantly lower interest rate on your account. However, this offer is about to expire, so please press 1 now to be transferred to a live representative who can assist you in securing your lower interest rate.” Continue Reading >