Credit Cards vs Debit Cards: Know Your Rights.


Credit Cards vs Debit Cards: Know Your Rights.

Your Credit Score: How It All Adds Up


Fact Sheet 6cYour Credit Score:
How It All Adds Up

For a three-digit number, your credit score packs a big wallop. A low score can thrust you into the financial abyss of the sub-prime market, costing you thousands of dollars in added interest over the life of a car loan or mortgage. Consumers who have a very low score --or no score at all-- may not get credit on any terms.

A quick glance at this single bit of information gives creditors all they feel they need to make judgments about whether you will repay a car loan, mortgage or credit card debt. Your score is a snapshot of your credit report, giving creditors instant clues about how you pay your bills, how you've handled credit over the years and even whether financial troubles have led you into the courts.

Coping with Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud


Fact Sheet 17Coping with Identity Theft:
Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Paper or Plastic: What Have You Got to Lose?


Fact Sheet 32Paper or Plastic:
What Have You Got to Lose?

Once you decide to buy something, you then must determine how to pay for it. Do you hand over cash? Write a check? Pay with a credit card? Or use a debit card and have the payment automatically deducted from your bank account?

If you’re like most people, you use a combination of paper, plastic and electronic payments. Pros and cons exist to whichever payment method you choose. Many of us decide quickly about the method of payment and spend too little time thinking about the potential costs or consumer protections of each method.

But you should be aware that thieves are inventing new ways to steal consumers’ account information. For example, some crooks have learned to use “skimming” devices to steal credit card or debit card information off card-swipe machines. This guide seeks to inform you about your rights as well as outline the potential risks and benefits of different payment methods.

YouTube Video on Debit Cards: Know the Risks


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is pleased to announce the release of the fourth short film in a six-part series. The film, Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: Know Your Rights, demonstrates the risks in using a debit card.

The 4-minute film is about a single mom named Sabine who learns that her debit card has been compromised; a fraudulent $312 purchase was made in a different state.  With only a few hundred dollars left in her account, Sabine has barely enough money left to pay bills while the bank investigates the fraudulent activity.

What could Sabine have done differently? Is there a happy ending in store for Sabine? Watch the video to find out. If you like it, we hope you will share it with friends and family.

California Court Ruling Strengthens Consumer Privacy


On Feb. 10, 2011, the California Supreme Court ruled that retail stores are not allowed to request and record a consumer's zip code as part of a credit card transaction. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and the Consumer Federation of California, that jointly filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on this case, the ruling gives further protection to California consumers and helps prevent unlawful use of personal identification information (PII).

Holiday Shopping? Ten Timely Tips


During the holiday season, you may be shopping more frequently and under more crowded and frantic conditions.   Follow these tips to help avoid scams and rip-offs.   Be a privacy-smart consumer!  Wherever you happen to shop this holiday season--the mall, online, or on Main Street--following these tips will help you have a safer and more private holiday season.

Want to Buy a $37 Soda?


Pay with a debit card and that refreshing soda on a hot day may give your wallet chills. Because of the way that most banks process debit card transactions, a $2.00 soda can generate $35 in bank fees. In this alert, we’ll highlight basic steps consumers should take to avoid the pernicious cycle of overdrafts and bank fees

Planning a Summer Vacation? Be a Privacy-Smart Traveler


Identity theft is often a crime of opportunity. Don’t be a vacationer who presents a crook with that opportunity. Your personal information, credit and debit cards, driver’s license, passport, and other personal information are the fraudster’s target. A few minutes spent planning before you travel can help reduce the risk that a fraudster will ruin your vacation. Read this alert for tips to help you avoid any nasty surprises.

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