When the phone rings and the caller identifies himself as a representative from Medicare, be suspicious. Medicare will not make unsolicited calls to update information, issue a new card, or offer free medical equipment. Hang up and call a trusted Medicare number if you have questions about your benefits.
As a consumer, it pays to be smart when choosing and using a credit card. This site--maintained by the Federal Reserve Board, whose goal is to protect the credit rights of consumers--provides a basic guide to navigating the credit card process.
Equifax Credit Information Services
PO Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
Trans Union Corporation National Disclosure Center
PO Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
E-reporting is an internet method of reporting crimes that have no active leads and do not require a police officer to respond.
Lutheran Social Services Financial Counseling Service is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency. They help all income levels and services are open to all people. LSS certified credit and housing counselors will work with you to provide you with a unique solution for your financial situation.
Community Action Duluth offers Common Cents, the Money Class. The class is free and graduates get a one-on-one credit/housing counseling appointment.
FDIC Consumer News provides practical guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services. Each issue offers helpful hints, quick tips, and common-sense strategies to protect and stretch your hard-earned dollars.
Click for the latest edition of Money Smart News from the FDIC.
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.
Download this free brochure from the Federal Reserve.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network lists the resources it provides to educate consumers and banks about financial fraud and scams. The resources include information and warnings on fraud involving mortgages, foreclosure rescues and insurance products; multilingual outreach materials for money services businesses and their customers; financial scam alerts; and a list of federal resources for financial crime victims.
OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. It features tips on avoiding scams, securing your computer, and protecting your kids online.
The APWG’s Internet Policy Committee (APWG-IPC) and the Carnegie Mellon Cylab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS) have joined forces to educate consumers about phishing.
As more and more people use online channels for their banking and financial services, the increasing usage by legitimate customers has created new expanded opportunities for the criminal element and cyber-crime.
Minnesota Bankers Association and several other businesses are part of a partnership called The Minnesota Fraud Enforcement Partnership. This partnership was spearheaded by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) in an effort to help reduce lottery and sweepstakes frauds.
There are several ways to report a scam to MnScams:
1. Forward emails that claim you have won a prize/ask you to send money to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Call toll free 1-866-347-0911
3. Go online to www.MnScams.org and fill out the fraud complaint form
4. Mail paper documents to Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement, Anti-Fraud Unit, 444 Cedar Street, Suite 133, St. Paul, MN 55101-5133
The Federal Trade Commission has announced the launch of a new website, IdentityTheft.gov, a resource that makes it easier for victims to report and recover from identity theft. The website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters, specialized tips for specific forms of identity theft, and advice for people who have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach.
The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force has launched an online resource informing consumers how to protect themselves from financial fraud. Financial fraud encompasses a wide range of illegal behavior—from mortgage scams to Ponzi schemes, credit card theft to tax fraud. StopFraud.gov also features access to the latest announcements, press releases, speeches and information regarding the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
Starting December 1, 2004 the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in your credit file from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year through a central source.
Convenience has a new name: MoneyPass The coast-to-coast, surcharge-free ATM network. Visit moneypass.com to find ATM locations nearest you.
The Northland Foundation addresses economic, social, and human needs in a seven-county area of Northeastern Minnesota.
The Northspan Group is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and diversification of the economy in the Upper Midwest.
American Bankers Association (ABA) has launched a webpage, "The Small Business Guide to Corporate Account Takeover." This page provides information about account takeover and how businesses can protect themselves.