Articles

Prevent SIM-Swapping Hackers From Stealing Your Phone Number—and the Rest of Your Identity

You know what’s worse than having your password stolen? Having your phone number stolen. SIM-swapping, a type of identity theft, is a means for scammers to get access to your phone number and all of the personal accounts secured through it. The attacker calls a phone provider, pretending to be a customer, and asks to port the number they’re trying to steal to a new SIM card, possibly on a new provider. With your phone number, the attacker can access any personal information secured with your phone, including any platforms that send two-factor Authentication codes via SMS. Since these “cyberattacks” involve good old fashioned cons over the phone, the usual digital security measures we recommend will not save you.

Apex Capital Group Internet Marketers Settle FTC Allegations They Deceived Consumers With False Claims of “Free Trial” Offers and Unauthorized Continuity Plans

The two principals of the Apex Capital Group Internet marketing operation and the 12 corporate defendants they controlled (the Apex Capital defendants) have agreed to court orders settling the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations related to their alleged operation of a multi-national scheme to defraud consumers via deceptive “free trial” offers and negative option continuity plans.

State AG, others, want proposed debt collection regs revised

New York Attorney General Letitia James and 28 of her counterparts from other states banded together to let a federal agency know they want a proposed debt collection rule revised. James and other attorney generals said the rule undermines protections and overwhelmingly take advantage consumers in a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rule, which was proposed by the bureau in May on behalf of President Donald Trump’s administration, has been met with mixed reviews.

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES SUCCESS OF NEW YORK’S LANDMARK OUT-OF-NETWORK LAW PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a new report detailing the successes of New York’s first-in-the-nation out-of-network law, which protects consumers from emergency and surprise bills from out-of-network doctors and other healthcare providers, including an increasing number of dispute resolution requests. The law, which takes consumers out of the dispute process, has saved New Yorkers more than $400 million with respect to emergency services alone.

Over 200 Organizations Call for Protection From Debt Collection Industry

Washington, DC – Late yesterday, a coalition of 232 nonprofit organizations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to its proposal that protects abusive debt collectors more than consumers. Instead of giving the debt collection industry more weapons to harass and abuse consumers, the coalition urges the consumer bureau to limit the number of phone calls per week, require consent of the person before sending emails or text messages, allow people to opt-out of electronic messages, hold debt collection attorneys responsible for misrepresentations, and prohibit the collection of “zombie debt.”

Payday Lending Laws Drive Traffic To Pawn Shops

While short-term lending in general has a pretty rough reputation, the pawn loan is the most ill-regarded arena in an already unloved category of consumer lending. By definition, a pawnbroker offers loans on items that are not accepted as collateral by traditional banks or lenders. Items that typically show up in pawn shops include jewelry, electronics and collectible items. The loan amount a borrower can get from a pawnbroker is determined solely by the value of the item itself; as in most forms of short-term lending, there is no credit check. As a general rule, pawnbrokers are willing to lend 20 percent to 50 percent of what they assess an item to be worth, the borrower then has 30 days to pay the loan back, and the borrower can also opt to pay an additional fee (usually $100) to extend their loan for 30 days.

NAFCU-sought fix for SBA fees in short-term funding bill

In a win for credit unions, the short-term funding bill passed by the House Thursday includes a NAFCU-sought appropriation for the Small Business Administration (SBA) that would avert a potential shutdown of the 7(a) program and eliminate the need to raise fees. NAFCU witness Gail Jansen raised concerns about the increased fees during congressional testimony earlier this year.

Student Debt Levels Rise, but More Slowly

Student loan borrowers who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2018 had an average debt of $29,200, up 2 percent from their peers in the Class of 2017, the Institute for College Access & Success said in its annual student debt report Thursday. That represents a slight slowing in the rate of borrowing, as the average debt level for borrowers rose at a steady average of 4 percent a year between 1996 and 2012 and slowed after that between 2012 and 2016 before reaching the 2 percent it rests at now.

AG James Leads Bipartisan Coalition Urging CFPB To Place Consumers’ Interests Over Debt Collectors’

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced she has led a bipartisan coalition of 28 attorneys general from around the nation in sending a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) urging the agency to revise its proposed debt collection rule and place the interests of consumers over those of debt collectors.

In a blow to financial-services industry, the CFPB will keep consumer complaints database public

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is keeping its consumer complaints database public, in a surprising move that may assuage advocates’ concerns. The agency said Wednesday that it will continue to publish consumer complaints publicly, but that it was also make significant changes to the database. The move comes after the agency put out a call for public input on its consumer inquiry and complaint database in 2018 while it was under the direction of Mick Mulvaney, who now serves as the acting White House chief of staff. The move was seen as a sign that the agency would make the database private, a change that would be welcomed by many in the financial-services industry.