The Hidden Costs of Free Trials

Burn fat, grow hair, or remove wrinkles while you sleep. Earn thousands a day working from home. Learn about “secret” government grants that are yours for the asking. The promises are priceless – and so are the products, quite literally. Or so you’re told. But the common outcome of free trial offers: After providing your credit card for a small shipping and handling charge, your plastic may be bombarded with recurring charges that quickly add up. Reasons: It’s not uncommon …

6 Places Never to Use a Debit Card

Credit or debit? Although both cards look the same, they offer different protections. Under federal law, if your credit card is used to make unauthorized charges after it is lost or stolen, you’re liable for only $50 - no matter the amount and with no time restrictions to report the fraud. And many issuers won’t even charge the $50 for valued customers. But with a debit card, you have just two business days to report an unauthorized loss or money transfer, or …

FTC Tackles Deceptive Ads by Car Dealers

If you don’t believe the ultra-low price or attractive finance terms in an advertisement for a new car, your instincts may be right. Some dealers run deceptive ads to lure consumers into their showrooms and then never deliver on their promises, according to a federal regulator. In a nationwide sweep targeting 10 auto dealers, nine of them agreed to settle charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency’s order prohibits the dealers from misrepresenting the terms of a sale, …