Consumer Awareness & Privacy Standard 3, Objective 4 Describe the rights and responsibilities of buyers and sellers under consumer protection laws. a) Describe ways to avoid "Identity Theft" and fraud (e.g., keep Social Security numbers secure, properly dispose of outdated documents). b) Explain the importance of understanding financial contracts (e.g., disclosure information, grace period, payment penalties, method of interest calculation). c) List possible actions a consumer can take in
response to excessive debt and collection practices (e.g., sell assets, negotiate a repayment schedule). d) Describe ways to avoid financial scams and schemes designed to defraud consumers (e.g., Ponzi and pyramid schemes, affinity fraud). why is privacy an important issue in the information age? Public information Demographic information (U.S. census) Telephone directories
Birth, marriage, and divorce records Voter registration records Campaign contributions Drivers licenses/vehicle registrations Licenses and permits (hunting, fishing, etc.) Legal information (judgments, bankruptcies, real estate titles, etc.) Info only accessed with a legitimate reason Employment information
Credit reports Tax information (IRS/ state tax boards) Criminal records Social service records (welfare, Medicaid, etc.) School records Medical records privacy act: requires each federal agency that maintains
records to permit individuals to request fair credit reporting act: gives consumers the right to dispute inaccurate information and permits them to insert their own version of disputed information into a credit report amendment of his or her record.
Privacy And Your Social Security Number Now commonly used as a personal identifier You can obtain a number at no charge. Everyone should have one What Is It Used For? Originally used to identify personal tax collection and Social Security benefit payment accounts. Now also used for record-keeping
purposes by many types of institutions, including: financial institutions universities voter registration boards credit bureaus
employers government agencies. What You Can Do: Do not write Social Security number on personal checks. Do not use as a password or PIN for ATM, building security, or other sensitive uses. Do not provide your Social Security number unless required by a requester such as your employer, bank, etc. Safety Tips for Shopping Online
1. Know the real deal 2. Look for clues about security 3. Use a credit card 4. Keep proof handy 5. Get the scoop on the seller Common Frauds a. Foreign Scams b. Telemarketing Scams c. Advance Fee Loans
d. Credit Repairs g. Magazine Subscriptions Scams h. Toll Free Scams i. International Phone Scams j. Prepaid Phone Card Scams l. Ponzi Scheme m. Pyramid Scheme n. Affinity Fraud http://saltlakecity.fbi.gov/multimedia/fraud052410/ fraud052410.htm Identity Theft
VIDEOS! What to do if Identity Theft happens No matter how careful a person may be, identity theft can happen. If a person believes he or she may be a victim, they must follow these basic rules. 1. Act immediately. 2. Keep a detailed record of correspondence and phone records. These records should include the date, contact person, and any specific comments made or actions which will occur. 3. Contact the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert on file. Write a letter requesting no new accounts are opened without written permission. In addition, request a
credit report from each bureau. Carefully review the reports to ensure they are accurate. 4. Close all accounts which have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. When opening new accounts, use different passwords and pin numbers. 5. File a police report with the local police or in the local community where the theft took place. 6. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1.877.ID.THEFT. Agencies & Sources of Assistance Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
www.fda.gov Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) www.cpsc.gov Federal Trade Commission (FTC) www.ftc.gov Better Business Bureau (BBB)
www.bbb.org Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) www.ftc.gov Consumer Unions (Consumer Product-Testing Organizations) Consumer Report Consumer Research
Changing Times Source: USOE Adult Roles & Responsibilities Curriculum Debt & Collections Collection Tips 1. Prioritize your bills 2. Dont offer anything you cant afford 3. Dont tell them your life story 4. Stay calm and focused
5. Keep notes of the call 6. Get proof of pymt in writing 7. Negotiate at the end of the month Contest Cons a. What They Are 1. Promotions that use deceptively advertised prices b. What To Watch For 1. Offers or notices
announcing fabulous prizes 2. High Pressure sales techniques c. How To Avoid Being A Victim 1. Consider any purchases carefully before signing a contract 2. Dont be deceived by letters that look official or urgent 3. Read the letter carefully 4. Think carefully before you attend a sales meeting 5. If you attend a sales
meeting, dont sign a contract or give a sales person a deposit right away Work-At-Home Schemes a. Common Schemes 1. Envelope Stuffing 2. Assembly or Craft Wok 3. Reading Books b. To Avoid Being A Victim, Find Out 1. What task you will be required to perform
2. If you will be paid on salary or commission 3. Who will pay you 4. When will you get your first pay check 5. The total cost of the work- at-home program 6. The companys reputation why consumers dont pay loss of income (48%) Unemployment (24%)
Illness (16%) Other (divorce, death) (8%) overextension (25%) Poor money management Emergencies Materialism Need for instant gratification defective goods and services (20%) fraudulent use of credit (4%) other (3%) Teens Lesson 13 - Slide 13-A
warning signs of trouble You dont know how much you owe. You often pay bills late. You get a new loan to pay old loans. You pay only the minimum balance due each month. You spend more then 20% of your net income (after paying rent or mortgage) on debt maintenance. You would have an immediate financial problem if you lost your job. Youre spending more than you earn, using your savings to pay for day-to-day expenses. Teens Lesson 13 - Slide 13-B first steps to take if you cant pay your
bills take another (close) look at your budget Trim your expenses. Be realistic about what you can afford. contact your creditors Tell them why you cant pay, that you intend to pay, and when/how much you will be able to pay. You may be able to work out a new payment schedule. If possible, continue to make the minimum payments. Teens Lesson 13 - Slide 13-C wage garnishment what is garnishment?
A legal procedure that withholds a portion of your earnings for the payment of debt. the limits of garnishment The lesser of 25% of your disposable income or 30 times the federal hourly minimum wage. You may be able to get a Claim of Exemption. claim of exemption (only if you meet all of the following conditions) Your family is living in the state. All the money you earn is needed to provide necessities. Debt was for a necessity (food, housing, medical care). Garnishment has already been started. what protection you have You cannot be fired for any one garnishment. how the law is enforced
Enforced by the Secretary of Labor through the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Teens Lesson 13 - Slide 13-H straight bankruptcy duration on your credit record Up to 10 years what you may still owe Taxes Child support Alimony College loans Fines
Illegal debts Co-signer obligations what you no longer owe Retail store charges Bank credit card charges Unsecured loans Unpaid hospital or physician bills Teens Lesson 13 - Slide 13-L
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