Consumer Tips

Buy Now, Pay Later plans: Tips to avoid the pitfalls

By Hannah Rhodes and Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog team

Complaints are soaring about the “Buy Now, Pay Later” financing schemes that businesses increasingly are offering as an alternative to up-front payments in full. Consumers making purchases as small as $50 online are often offered these payment plans, which can turn into debt traps. Here are some tips to avoid the interest and fees that often come with these “deals.”

 

Dark patterns: A step-by-step guide to protect your privacy on your phone

By | Isabel Brown
Consumer Watchdog, Associate

Dark patterns are one way apps and websites steer consumers into making the choice that’s right for the app or website but wrong for the consumer.

DARK PATTERNS: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY ON YOUR PHONE

By Isabel Brown, Consumer Watchdog Associate

Apps and social media are a part of everyday life. They help us stay connected to the world around us. But it can be easy to overlook the risk involved with making personal information accessible online, especially when that information can be recorded, bought and sold by the companies running the apps.

Report | US PIRG | Consumer Tips

DARK PATTERNS: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY ON YOUR PHONE

Dark patterns are one way that apps and websites steer consumers into making the choice that’s right for the app or website -- but wrong for the consumer.

National Consumer Protection Week 2022

By | Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

Every day during the first week of March, PIRG is providing consumer protection tips and tools to help Americans address some of the most common consumer issues.

Identity theft is soaring; reduce your risk dramatically by simply freezing your credit files

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog
March 7, 2022

The problem of identity theft continues to grow. In 2021, people filed more complaints with the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft than anything else. In fact, identity theft comprised 25 percent of complaints filed last year, hitting 1.4 million cases, double the number from 2019.

How to find mistakes on your credit report

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog


A third of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year involved incorrect information on people’s credit reports.

 

Space heaters lead to 1,700 fires and 80 deaths a year; here are tips to stay safe

By Isabel Brown and Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associates

Feb. 2, 2022

In the cold winter months, a space heater can be a helpful way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. But space heaters can also pose a fire hazard, especially if they are used incorrectly or don’t meet current safety standards.

DEALING WITH WINTER STORM KENAN: PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR HOME AND YOUR FINANCES

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog
Jan. 28, 2022

With the massive winter storm that's expected to hit the East Coast this weekend, here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists:

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