CONSUMER CORNER: Cramming, Scamming, and Spamming – Variations on a Theme by Alan L. Marx

Posted on 01/2/2014 by | AARP Tennessee | Comments

Money & Work Sometimes it takes a long time before dictionaries add a new meaning for a word.  “Cramming” is a term used by     consumer protection agencies, and it is well understood by the perpetrators of consumer fraud.  To find the general concept of the word, you can look to a web site such as the one of the Federal Communication Commission, which says: “Cramming” is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on your telephone bill. Crammers rely on confusing telephone …

Consumer Fraud: A Pandora’s Box of Troubles

Posted on 11/19/2013 by | AARP Tennessee | Comments

Money & Work   A Pandora’s Box of Troubles In Greek mythology, Pandora was warned not to open a box, but she disobeyed and opened it anyway.  The box contained disease, sickness, hate, envy, and bad things people had never before experienced. Pandora tried to close the lid, but all the bad things were already out of the box and into the world. Consumer fraud was not mentioned, but it might well have come from the box.  This month we have a collection …

Lots of Roles for Volunteers During Tax Season

Lots of Roles for Volunteers During Tax Season

Posted on 11/1/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Work By Bill Sanders Dave Clark is an exception to many Americans’ attitude about the IRS 1040 form: He looks forward to tax season. Clark, 66, of Crossville, is one of about 400 Tennessee residents who volunteer with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Going on 10 years volunteering with Tax-Aide, the retired Air Force officer and real estate agent finds it rewarding to share his expertise in tax preparation with others who can use his help. Tax-Aide organizers in Tennessee hope to add …

CONSUMER PROTECTION RESOURCES: What you get for your tax dollars

Posted on 10/18/2013 by | AARP Tennessee | Comments

Money & Work contribution by Alan L. Marx Seniors have a wide variety of useful information available on the internet.  One of the best places to begin is the U. S. Government’s webpage for seniors, www.USA.gov.  It covers far too many topics to discuss in a single article, but here is a small sample of the topics you will find there: Abuse of the Elderly Advocates for Residents of Nursing Homes, by State Consumer Action Handbook Consumer Protection Offices Elder Rights Protection Financial …

Mortgages and the CFPB, the New Kid on the Consumer Protection Block

Mortgages and the CFPB, the New Kid on the Consumer Protection Block

Posted on 08/28/2013 by | AARP Tennessee | Comments

Money & Work The newest federal consumer protection agency is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created in 2011 in response to the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The CFPB has jurisdiction over banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-service companies, foreclosure relief services, and debt collectors, among other financial institutions.  Thus far it has focused on mortgages, credit cards, and student loans.  It is located inside the Federal Reserve System, with an interim affiliation with the U. S. Treasury Department. The CFPB …

OUTSMART THE SCAMMERS: Beware of calls about your credit, debit cards

OUTSMART THE SCAMMERS: Beware of calls about your credit, debit cards

Posted on 07/28/2013 by | AARP Tennessee | Comments

Money & Work AARP volunteer Fred Fields pens the latest installment of AARP Tennessee’s blog series: “Outsmart the Scammers:” It just keeps going…another day another scam!  My sister-in-law recently got a phone call … maybe a robocall.  That’s one of those calls that sounds like a recording and goes on without interruption. “This is Merrill-Lynch.  We’re call to let you know that a “hold” has been placed on your debit card….For more information on the reason for this action dial 1 now.” Fortunately, my sister-in-law, Genie, …