10 Dumbest Things to Do Online

Trying to get scammed? Engage in these stupid but common online practices and the smart money is that you likely will. 1. Falling for emotional bait. Online and otherwise, scammers line their pockets on your emotions — greed, fear, curiosity — and often fuel each with “Act Now!” urgency. Offers of easy money and threats of negative consequences phish for your money and/or personal information. Promises of forbidden photos or links, especially with terse “Check this out!” messages, are used to install …

Regulator Seeks Greater Oversight of Auto Financing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to extend its oversight to large nonbank auto-finance companies to make sure they are not discriminating against consumers. The CFPB announced today its proposed rule to expand its supervision to these companies, which would include the finance arms of auto manufacturers. “Nonbank auto-finance companies extend hundreds of billions of dollars in credit to American consumers, yet they have never been supervised at the federal level,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Today’s proposal …

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 …