Blog Posts By:

Teresa Murray,
Consumer Watchdog

85 percent of Americans are expected to get money -- without the need for you do anything, including clicking any email links, providing any information by phone or paying any fees.

Some of your friends or relatives have received two COVID-19 relief/ stimulus payments in the past year. And a third may be on the way soon. If you haven’t received anything yet and believe you should have, don’t fret.

One in 20 people was a victim in 2019. Account takeovers, which involve a criminal gaining access to an existing account, soared by 72 percent in 2019.

Fraud/ identity theft is the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, with 2.2 million complaints last year. Consumers reported losing $3.3 billion last year, up from $1.8 billion in 2019.

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

Freezing your files protects you not just from someone fraudulently opening a credit card or applying for a loan in your name. It also can prevent someone from accessing your tax records with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or opening a Social Security account using your information or potentially launching a slew of other problems. 

Being a consumer is tough. We want to help make it a little easier. In recognition of Consumer Protection Week from Feb. 28-March 6, U.S. PIRG is providing key consumer protection advice. Check in here every day for our updated tips and tools. 

Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists.

Consumers still at risk for harmful over-the-counter drug products of all types because of soft federal regulations.