We the People vs. Wall Street

The story of David and Goliath is usually told when someone who is facing daunting odds and isn’t supposed to win does just that — wins. Whether it’s an underrated Cinderella story in March Madness, the Cubs and the World Series — if they ever get there again — or when Wall Street actually loses to “we the people.” These stories are sadly all too few. But today we scored one for the little guy: The Obama administration finalized the …

America’s Top Consumer Complaint Is Doubled Among Military Members

It’s bad enough that everyday citizens file more complaints to the Federal Trade Commission about sleazy debt collectors than about any other consumer scam. Now, another government watchdog agency reports that military personnel are especially popular targets of collector abuse — often for debts they don’t owe. In an annual report from its Office of Servicemember Affairs, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that active military personnel submit debt collector complaints at twice the rate of civilians. Ways to save, …

How Gender Affects Online Shopping Scams

Who shops online? Roughly 72 percent of women and 68 percent of men make regular purchases with computers and smartphones, according to industry data. Who gets duped more often in online shopping scams? Depends on your definition. New data suggest that women are more actively and specifically targeted by cyber crooks for online shopping fraud and, likely because of this, fall victim six times more often than men. But when men get scammed, they lose about three times more money, …

Banks Advised on Ways to Protect Older Customers

En español | The statistics are grim and are predicted to only get worse as the boomer generation ages. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans over 65 say they have been a victim of financial exploitation, according to a poll released this week by the nonprofit Investor Protection Trust. And estimates of the total losses each year suffered by these older consumers range from $2.9 billion to nearly $36.5 billion. To combat this, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an advisory …

Older Workers Haven’t Recovered Retirement Optimism

En español | Older workers are less confident today than a decade ago about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, according to a new survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Among workers 55 and older, 20 percent say they are very confident of their retirement prospects. That’s down 6 percentage points from 2006 and the steepest decline in optimism among all age groups, EBRI reports. Enter to win a Volvo V60 Cross Country, a national parks vacation for two …

Scam Defense During Spring Travel

This spring break will set a record for air travel during March and April, industry experts say. On the ground, expect the same old scams. Heading to Beijing? “The most common scam involves people persuading you to go with them for a tea ceremony, which is often so pleasant that you don’t smell a rat until several hundred dollars appear on your credit-card bill,” reports travel.aarp.org, a useful resource for learning about all things travel (including scams). In India and …