3 Sneaky Schemes That Scammers ‘Bank’ On

Phone calls claim there’s a problem with your bank account or credit or debit card. Some allege you qualify for a lower-interest-rate credit card because you’ve been such a good customer. And the newest trick: telling businesses that their card-swiping machines aren’t working right and credit card transactions must be made by phone. But it’s scammers delivering such unexpected news – not legitimate financial institutions they profess to represent, which most recently include Bank of America, Barclays, and scores of …

Customers Still Baffled by Overdraft Fees

Customers who say they don’t recall authorizing their bank to provide overdraft protection on their checking accounts are getting hit with overdraft fees totaling $90 or more, according to a new report. It’s been four years since federal rules took effect that required banks to ask customers to opt in if they wanted overdraft protection on the debit cards tied to their checking accounts. The rules were supposed to make it easier for customers to understand when banks could charge them fees …

Paying It Forward: Banks Give Free Homes to Wounded Vets

Julie Barcheers is on her way to becoming a first-time homeowner without having to buy a house. The 55-year-old Army veteran participates in a program by the Military Warriors Support Foundation that matches those wounded in service with houses donated by major banks. Barcheers recently received the keys to a three-bedroom house in Carriere, Miss. If she pays the annual property taxes and meets other criteria, the house will be hers in three years – free of any mortgage. “For …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. NASA wants you to help design its new space suit. (Learn more at CNET) 2. More than 30 percent of bank clients don’t go to branches anymore. (Learn more at Consumerist.com) 3. The idea of whitening your teeth or curing ailments by swishing oil in your mouth is regaining popularity. (Learn more at AARP) >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter 4. You can open a bottle of wine with your shoe. (Learn more …

In Banking, Americans Lean Local

I won’t tell you the name of my bank, but I will tell you this: it’s the oldest in the state; it didn’t use account numbers until the Federal Reserve forced it to; it has 25 branches, all within easy driving distance of one another; and every employee at the branch I use – from manager to teller – knows me by name. Not only that, the tellers all have baskets of lollipops and bags of dog biscuits at the …

Would Your Bank Help Scammers Rip You Off?

Do you think your bank has your best interests at heart? A new report may have you thinking twice about that. Two banks, Zions Bank of Salt Lake City and First Bank of Delaware, were not only accused of allowing dubious merchants to illegally debit their customers’ accounts with unauthorized charges, according to the New York Times, but they actually profited handsomely from the transactions. Consequently, tens of thousands of bank customers, many of them elderly, lost more than $100 …