Consumer Tips

With the new federal law that takes effect June 30, we should start seeing a decline in illegal robocalls. But the scams certainly won't halt overnight. Here are some tips to live by.

News Release | CoPIRG Foundation | Consumer Tips

New report: the hidden costs of peer-to-peer payment apps

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. CoPIRG Foundation analyzed this growing problem for Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints, a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Consumer Tips

Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints

Consumers are increasingly using digital payment apps -- Venmo, Cash App and Zelle are a few --  for convenience. A 2020 Nerdwallet survey found that “[r]oughly 4 in 5 Americans (79%) use mobile payment apps.” The apps were originally marketed as a way for friends to split expenses. However, the ease of opening peer-to-peer (P2P) accounts, the ease of obtaining information about other users and a variety of ways to trick consumers have created new fraud risks to users.

Man lost $124,000 in Amazon scam. Here are 10 ways to keep it from happening to you

June 17, 2021

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

In the last few weeks, two residents from Greater Cleveland have been ripped off for thousands of dollars by con-artists claiming to be from Amazon. In one case, an elderly man lost more than $100,000.

While businesses are permitted to charge higher prices in response to market forces, they aren’t allowed in states with price gouging laws to increase prices excessively to take advantage of a emergency such as the pipeline shutdown, a hurricane or the pandemic. 

Gas prices on the rise in your state? Here's how to report price gouging

May 12, 2021

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

Gas prices shot up this week to their highest levels in seven years, largely because of the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline last weekend following a cyber attack.

The national average for gasoline has jumped 8 cents per gallon in the last week, to $3.01, according to AAA. It’s the first time the national average hit $3 since 2014.

A scorecard released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that many popular cosmetic brands score poorly on ingredient safety and disclosure. While companies and governments need to take action to protect consumers, in the meantime, you can take steps to keep your personal care routine safe.

After Facebook data breach, consumers need to go on defense

April 4, 2021 
By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

Consumers who have accounts on Facebook need to be extra vigilant in the weeks and months ahead as identity thieves could use stolen information to try and commit fraud.

A free Chrome extension and mobile app created by a passionate couple helps customers easily find non-toxic consumer products as they shop online.

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