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.

New Federal Law Protects Gift Card Users


Is the gift card that you received for your birthday last month burning a hole in your pocket? Do you still have an unused gift card from the holidays? Consumers often have had to worry about using gift cards before they lost their value. That will now begin to change for the better.

Until recently, many gift cards users had few legal rights to protect them from fees and expiration dates. Although some states had laws protecting gift card users, there was no federal law offering nationwide consumer protections. That has now changed with a new federal law (the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act) that provides important protections for gift cards sold on or after August 22, 2010.

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.

10 Tips for Safe and Private Holiday Shopping


As the holidays approach, consumers are more likely to be visiting crowded stores and malls.  Scam artists and fraudsters know this, so they are likely to be lurking there too.  Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is pleased to offer these helpful tips to protect yourself during this often hectic holiday season.

The Return Exchange: Q & A


The consumers who have contacted us have expressed a concern about having their drivers license swiped. Most indicate that they were not notified at the Point of Sale (POS) that their license or other form of goverment-issued ID would be required in order to make a return or exchange.

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