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Financial literacy and stability can reduce your risk of falling for scams

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November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and the Better Business Bureau serving Mainland BC (BBB) is encouraging Canadians to invest in their financial wellbeing to help reduce their risk of susceptibility to scams and fraud.

Data collected from BBB Scam Tracker reveals that a growing number of victims who reported losing money to a scam, indicated that they were under financial strain and were lured in by schemes promising quick cash or help with debt.

Last year, BBB shared details from a study trying to determine the factors that increased one’s likelihood of susceptibility to a scam. The study showed that individuals who are under financial strain might be more susceptible to scams, especially if the invitation promised financial rewards or an opportunity to get out of debt. Low household income ($50,000 and below) was significantly associated with engaging and losing money in a scam, and those who lost money were significantly more likely than non-victims to show signs of financial insecurity. Victims of these scams also shared similar traits like spending more than their monthly income, no emergency savings and significant amounts of debt. They were also more likely to be the ones reporting advance fee loan, investment, and sweepstakes/lottery/prize scams.

For individuals struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, BBB Scam Tracker reports since March indicate that they are at a greater risk of falling victim to scams. BBB has seen growing scam report numbers for investment, employment, cryptocurrency, advance fee loan, pyramid schemes and credit repair /debt relief scams. During conversations with some of the victims, they shared that they “probably could not” or “certainly could not” come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need or emergency arose within the next month.

“Taking steps to improve your financial wellbeing can help to reduce your risk of encountering, interacting with or worse, losing money to scams,” explained Karla Laird, Manager for Community & Public Relations at BBB. “Actively practicing to stick to your budget, lower your debt and save as much as possible can ultimately reduce your need to jump at risky or unknown opportunities out of desperation. Furthermore, financial education is beneficial in detecting and avoiding scams. This knowledge is extremely important when 1 in 5 Canadians say they have been a victim of some kind of financial scam or fraud.”

BBB is sharing the following tips:

Keep track of your money. Making a budget will help you to stay on top of your finances and properly manage your debt. Do not borrow more than you can afford. Frequently review your bank statements and monitor your credit report. If you are a victim of identity theft, shared any financial and/or personally identifiable information on an unsecured website or with a stranger, or unwittingly purchased from a fraudulent online retailer, place a “fraud alert” or “freeze” on your credit file.

Only borrow from trustworthy, recognized institutions. Anyone dealing with your money should have proper identification and licensing. Research the business on bbb.org to see what other people have experienced. If you are being asked to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, or mortgage assistance, walk away. In the case of payday loans, local payday lenders and payday loan brokers must have a valid payday lender license issued by Consumer Protection BC.

Stay informed about financial scams and frauds. Knowing about specific types of scams and understanding the general tactics that scammers use can help you avoid becoming a victim. Last year, 30 per cent of persons who reported a scam to BBB said they were able to avoid engaging with the scammers and did not lose money because they knew about the scam before they were targeted.

Guard your personal information. Never reveal sensitive financial information to a person or business you don’t know, regardless of how they contact you. Remember that scammers will sometimes impersonate a retailer, financial institution or government agency to trick you into sharing this information. If you receive a suspicious call or email and are concerned about your account, contact your financial institution directly to check on your account status. Other steps to avoid financial fraud include creating strong passwords for online accounts, avoiding public WiFi when banking online, and shredding documents with sensitive information.



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Credit360’s Credit Repair Services Now Includes Full Credit Audit

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One of the nation’s finest in personal and business credit solutions has expanded its services.

MIAMI, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Representatives with Credit360 announced today that its credit repair services now includes a full credit audit from the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Andre Coakley, Founder & CEO of Credit360, a company with an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist individuals and businesses with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.

Features of the full credit audit include:

  • Full Credit Audit – Equifax, TransUnion, Experian

  • No Monthly Fees – Charged Only After Removal

  • Our Pricing Is Simple, Pay After Deletion

  • Advanced Tactic Disputes and Strategies

  • Comprehensive Credit Audit every 45 days

  • Unlimited credit items disputed for one year

  • 24/7 Online Portal Access from Smartphone

  • Free Coaching and Education

  • Assistance with Structuring Lines of Credit

  • Support with Card Spending and Tradeline Building

And more.

The company’s full credit audit offering comes on the heels of the Credit360 offering credit repair services in Orlando.

“We are very excited to now offer our life-changing credit repair services in Orlando,” Coakley said. “We are here to help you achieve your optimal credit profile by making the credit repair process convenient, individualized, and effective.”

Credit360’s specialized credit repair processes, credit expertise, and guaranteed customer service, company representatives say, make it the best in the industry.

Coakley explained that Credit360 has had the opportunity to help thousands of Americans correct their credit reports. In fact, Credit360, Coakley stressed, is a company that puts its money where its mouth is and only charges a fee when items are deleted, removed, or repaired from individuals’ credit reports.

“With our services, you will no longer have to use other expensive credit repair companies that charge monthly and don’t even produce results,” Coakley promised, before adding, “We are so confident in our advanced disputing tactics that we will allow you to pay for your deletions after you actually see our results and we even give you a 100 percent money-back guarantee to back it up just so you can relax.”

Coakley went on to reiterate that Credit360 is an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist customers with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.

“With our services, most of our clients see deletions within the first 45 days of enrollment and usually see an average increase of 93 points throughout their program cycle,” Coakley said.

In addition, the company also recently launched its Business Credit Program.

“Our Business Credit Program works directly with small business owners to help them get approved for new business funding and business line of credit options,” Coakley said.

Coakley went on to note that the individual business credit record is the primary way that companies evaluate whether to do business with a particular company – and on what terms.

Business credit includes a variety of data points about your business, such as the date it started, the skills and experience of your top leaders, the number of employees, and annual sales. This type of information, Coakley noted, is listed in the business’ credit profile, along with scores and ratings that are derived from the business’ past behavior to predict its future behavior.

“We have relationships with a number of business financing institutions and know each of their individual requirements and criteria, so we can help you become eligible for the best business line of credit as quickly as possible,” Coakley revealed, before adding, “Don’t let a bad business credit score or other factors prevent you from gaining access to the business funding you need most.”

The types of credit that Credit 360 can help businesses access include:

  • Store Business Credit with Dell, Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, BP, Chevron, Home Depot, Lowes, Staples, Office Depot, Ikea, and with most other major retailers.

  • Fleet Credit for fuel and auto vehicle repairs for your primary vehicle, and a fleet of commercial vehicles.

  • Cash Credit including Visa and MasterCard accounts you can use in most locations worldwide

  • Auto Vehicle Financing to purchase or lease your primary vehicle or a fleet of vehicles in your business.

For more information, please visit https://www.credit360.biz/about-us and https://www.credit360.biz/blog.

About Credit 360

Credit360 was established to assist individuals in restoring their personal credit and in offering a complete line of business credit solutions. Credit360 is a financial services firm specializing in credit restoration and business consulting services.

Contact Details:

Andre Coakley

10664 SW 186th Street
Miami, FL 33157

Phone: 305-235-4848

Source: Credit360 Credit Repair

Media Contact

Andre Coakley, Credit360 Credit Repair, +1 305-235-4848, wmt231@gmail.com

SOURCE Credit360 Credit Repair

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ACTION13: How to protect your credit score

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Unpaid credit card debt and missed mortgage payments are two of the biggest things that leave negative marks on your credit.

Credit Repair experts say the economic shutdowns are causing credit scores to fall for a lot of people.

One way to possibly stave off a hit to your credit is a through a forbearance.

A forbearance is where the lending agency agrees to let you pause your payments for a period of time, and it will not count against your credit.

This works for both credit cards and home mortgages.

But keep in mind, you have to be caught up on your debts to get a deferment. So, if you are going to miss a payment, reach out to your bank or lender sooner rather than later.

“Reach out to your bank. Work with your bank,” said Robert Pfister with 755 Credit Score. “Work it out. Banks usually help you when you reach out.”

755 Credit Score also says you can get a free consultation.

You can get a free copy of your credit report every year from the three credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

RELATED: You can boost your credit score with a few simple tips

Follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.



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Walters: California’s Vague New Financial Regulation Law

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Assembly Bill 1864 didn’t get much media or public attention as it zipped through both houses of the Legislature on the last day of the 2020 session.

Superficially, it appeared merely to reconfigure the state’s financial regulatory agencies into a new entity called the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Dan Walters

Opinion

However, those in California’s vast financial industry were paying lots of attention because the bill creates an entirely new regulatory regime with broad powers, including fines of up to $1 million a day, to police financial players that hitherto have had little oversight.

The official rationale for the legislation is that President Donald Trump’s administration neutered the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, so the state must step in with an equivalent to guard against predatory financial practices that harm consumers.

The new California Consumer Financial Protection Law gives the reconstituted agency authority to go after “abusive practices” whose definition in the law is fairly vague. Thus, the agency itself will define the term as it also decides which businesses will face its scrutiny.

It appears that the new law will affect firms involved in debt settlement, credit repair, check cashing, rent-to-own contracts, payday lending, student loan servicing and financing for retail sales. However, its primary target seems to be financial services offered by non-banks, particularly what are called “fintech companies” that offer bank-like services via the Internet without maintaining physical offices.

The Vagueness of the New Law Was Encapsulated in What Gov. Gavin Newsom Said

Fintechs, many of them based in the San Francisco Bay Area, have blossomed in recent years as part of the digital economy, competing with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Their disruptive nature is not unlike the challenge that technology-based ride services such as Uber and Lyft pose to taxicabs and buses.

Late-blooming changes in AB 1864 exempted traditional financial firms that are already regulated, such as banks and credit unions, from the new consumer protection law, leading some analysts to conclude that its unstated aim is to help them stave off competition from new kids on the financial block.

The vagueness of the new law was encapsulated in what Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a signing ceremony. The new law and the new department, he said, will “create conditions for innovation to flourish in a way where we can steward that and we can just work against its excesses. So we support risk-taking, not recklessness.”

Newsom also signed two other financial protection measures, one that requires debt collectors to be licensed beginning in 2022 and the other creating a Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights.

A Question That Only Time Will Answer

Although the new state law is said to mirror the Dodd-Frank law, it contains at least one significant difference. When federal regulators levy fines for what they consider to be bad conduct, the money goes into the federal treasury. When state regulators impose their fines of up to $1 million a day, the money will be retained by the new agency to finance more activity.

Will that give the new agency a financial incentive to skip over minor consumer issues and go after big companies? It’s a question that only time will answer.

Significantly too, the new investigative and regulatory mechanism contained in AB 1964 specifically does not usurp the authority of the attorney general to also target companies under the state’s equally vague “unfair competition” law.

From its inception a decade ago, Dodd-Frank has attracted criticism from business executives for regulatory overkill. Will California’s new version be less controversial? We won’t know until the new agency puts some definitional meat on its bones.

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.



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