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FDIC Consumer News
New FDIC Web Site Features Foreclosure Prevention Resources
In September, the FDIC launched a Web page featuring resources that will help mortgage borrowers avoid unnecessary foreclosures and steer clear of scams that falsely promise to "rescue" consumers at risk of losing their homes.The tool kit at www.FDIC.gov/foreclosureprevention includes information to help borrowers know who to contact and what documents they need to apply for a loan modification that could save their home from foreclosure. The material also describes the warning signs of potential scams and how to report a problem.
Fraudulent Communications Using the FDIC Name
The FDIC is reminding consumers and businesses to be on guard against letters, e-mails and faxes from con artists who misuse the agency's name and logo to trick recipients into sending money or divulging valuable personal information. Among the recent examples are letters falsely claiming to offer FDIC protection against investment losses in exchange for an up-front payment, and e-mails falsely saying that a consumer's bank has failed and asking the person to download a form (which could result in identity theft).
"The scammers are doing anything to make their mailings look authentic, even including fake signatures of FDIC officials," said Matthew Alessandrino, the FDIC's Assistant Inspector General for Investigations.
For guidance on how to protect yourself from these and other financial scams, see our article in the Winter 2008/2009 FDIC Consumer News at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin0809/scams.html.
New Portable Audio Version of FDIC Financial Education Program
The FDIC now offers a version of its award-winning Money Smart financial education program for use on portable audio (MP3) players for people who want to learn about money management "on the go."
For more information, or to listen online or download the program to your MP3 player, visit www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/audio.
Online Calculator Helps Explain the Costs of Credit Card Debt
Carrying a credit card balance is costly, especially if you make only the minimum monthly payment. A new online calculator developed by the Federal Reserve Board can help you estimate how long it will take to pay your card bills under different payment scenarios. The calculator can also help you develop a plan for paying off your balance sooner.
Find it at www.federalreserve.gov/creditcardcalculator. A Spanish version is available at www.federalreserve.gov/creditcardcalculator_espanol.
New Option for Direct Deposit of Tax Refunds: Buying a Savings Bond
Since 2007, taxpayers wanting to receive their federal income tax refund by direct deposit have had the option to split their refund among up to three different accounts and three different U.S. financial institutions. But starting in early 2010, the Internal Revenue Service will give taxpayers an additional savings option – the ability to use their refunds to purchase a U.S. Savings Bond on their tax return, without having to open an account at the U.S. Treasury Department or take other action.
The change will give taxpayers another easy way to save their tax refunds and benefit from the speed and safety of direct deposit. For more information, visit http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=217791,00.html.
Last Updated 3/18/2010