Welcome to Consumers’ Notebook, where we feature news-you-can-use and other timely information to help you become a more informed consumer. Check back often to read the latest pieces in our Notebook.
While there are no significant tax law changes to worry about this time around, there are some issues related to the pandemic that could trip you up—or save you money. We consulted with several tax professionals to answer some of the most common questions for filing 2020 returns.
Corporate America raced to publicly embrace the social justice movement during this summer's Black Lives Matter protests. But are they? Is anyone keeping score? The Black Dollar Index (BDI) aims to hold these companies accountable for their promises.
Life happens. Maybe it’s an unexpected medical bill, car repair, or home appliance that needs replacing. We all need to build an emergency fund, but many people don’t have this financial safety net.
Ready to file your tax return? The IRS isn’t ready for it and has delayed the start of the tax filing season until February 12. The agency says it needs more time to reprogram and test its computers based on the COVID Relief Act, which wasn’t signed into law until December 27.
If you believe the ads—and you should not—“credit repair” companies can quickly and dramatically boost your credit scores by removing negative items. Many of these promises are bogus.
The delivery fiasco created by an explosion of online orders during the holiday season continues for some consumers, with many packages still out there, somewhere. Tracking information is often useless. Here are some strategies for getting a refund or replacement.
More than two-thirds of all the Economic Impact Payments have now been sent out electronically, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. That’s significantly faster than delivery of the first stimulus checks last April. Even so, that leaves millions of Americans still waiting for federal relief.
To encourage automakers to improve inferior headlights, in 2016 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began rating vehicles for this important safety issue. Here are the 2021 models that scored best.
Dealing with returns during a pandemic can be a challenge. A few prominent national retailers are trying to make the process easier.
Pet adoptions have skyrocketed during the pandemic, as people stuck at home decided it was a good time to add a furry family member. Scammers are trolling the internet looking for people who will pay hundreds of dollars to buy a pet that doesn’t exist.
The pandemic has been a financial boon for the auto insurance industry. Since the outbreak, Americans have been driving less—resulting in fewer wrecks, fewer claims, and bigger profits. Few companies are sharing their windfalls with loyal customers.
5G is breakthrough technology, but right now, in most parts of the country, it hasn’t yet arrived—and it won’t for several years. That hasn't stopped wireless companies from spending heavily on ads urging their customers to buy new smartphones.
We all make mistakes, but overdrawing your checking account is going to cost you more than ever before. The average overdraft fee hit a record high this year, increasing to $33.47.
Some people find using debit cards, rather than credit cards, help them stick to their budgets and avoid going into debt. But credit cards offer stronger consumer protections.
Chances are you have online accounts that you haven’t used for years. These old and abandoned accounts can be a major security risk.
Like everything else during this pandemic, holiday shopping is different this year. Stores are open and malls are decorated, but even diehard brick-and-mortar shoppers are more likely to buy online. That reduces the risk of getting infected, but increases the chances of falling victim to cybercriminals.
The Federal Trade Commission, the government’s fraud fighting agency, received 3.2 million consumer complaints last year, dealing with everything from identity theft to online shopping problems.
The holiday shopping season is underway and for people without savings or credit, or who have credit cards maxed out because of the pandemic, layaway or buy now, pay later plans may be the only way to buy everything on their gift-giving lists.
Scammers are capitalizing on record e-commerce orders with a fresh wave of email and text message phishing attacks that look like they're from legitimate retailers and package delivery services.
Websites and apps like GoodRX, America’s Pharmacy, Blink Health, Optum Perks, RXSaver, SingleCare, and WellRX can offer discounts so steep that you might pay less for your prescription medicines than the copays you'd pay under your health insurance plan.