Winter/Spring 2011

10 Things you can do to avoid fraud International scam artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people across the globe each year, threatening financial security and generating substantial profits for criminal organizations and common crooks. They use phone, email, postal mail, and the Internet to cross geographic boundaries and trick victims into sending money or giving out personal information. While con artists can be clever, many can be foiled by knowledgeable — and equally canny — consumers. Here are 10 things you can do to stop a scam. READ MORE

Could free trial offers be ‘fee’ trial offers in disguise? Free trial offers can be an efficient way to sample a new product or service without paying for a membership, subscription or extended service contract. Sometimes, though, if you accept a free trial offer and don’t cancel on time or according to the stated policy, you may be unintentionally agreeing to a contract to buy additional products and services. READ MORE

Understand the risks and costs of borrowing with a reverse mortgage A reverse mortgage is essentially a loan against your home that you do not have to pay back for as long as you live there. It allows homeowners age 62 or older to borrow cash from the equity in their homes without having to make monthly payments. A reverse mortgage is often advertised as a great source of easy money for older homeowners to supplement their income, pay healthcare expenses or use the money as they please. But as FDIC Consumer News has reported in the past, while there are potential benefits to a reverse mortgage, it may not be the best option for everyone. With the number of potential borrowers growing with the aging population, it’s important that homeowners fully understand the risks involved. Here are our latest tips. READ MORE

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