Consumer Tips

A week's worth of help and tips during Consumer Protection Week

Being a consumer is a tough job. Really tough. During National Consumer Protection Week, which runs through March 6, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff is offering a daily dose of tips and advice to help you navigate life’s biggest consumer challenges.

How to freeze your credit files by phone or online

by Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

March 2, 2021

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

How to get your stimulus payments when you file your tax return

by Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

March 3, 2021

Some of your friends or relatives have received two COVID-19 relief/ stimulus payments in the past year. And a third may be on the way soon. 

If you haven’t received anything yet and believe you should have, don’t fret. You will be able to recoup your money when you file your income tax return in the weeks ahead.

Credit freezes FAQ: You can prevent a fraud nightmare in 20 minutes

by Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog

March 2, 2021

Some of your worst fraud nightmares can be prevented in about 20 minutes. That’s roughly how long it takes total to freeze your credit files with the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. A credit freeze, also called a security freeze, prevents most entities from seeing your information in the credit bureaus’ databases.  

Here's how to report illegal robocalls, Do Not Call violations in all 50 states

March 4, 2021

by Jacob van Cleef, Consumer Watchdog Associate

Illegal robocalls and unwanted telemarketing calls can be annoying. If you want these calls to stop, you can take steps that could lead to consequences for offenders, including possible fines.

Dealing with the Texas storm: Protect yourself, your home and your finances

Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists:

  • Take photos: Here’s a good idea for all homeowners anytime, but especially those dealing with storm/ weather damage: Take photos and videos now of your home and belongings, if you can do it safely, so you can better document any losses.

 

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