Category Archives: Deceptive Acts and Practices

Wells Fargo Fake Accounts Plague Consumers

In 2016, Wells Fargo made headlines when it paid $110 million to settle a class action lawsuit and another $185 million in fines relating to allegations that the bank had created as many as 2 million accounts for customers without getting their permission to do so. Then, in December 2022, it paid a whopping $3.7 […]

CFPB’s Multibillion-Dollar Settlement with Credit Repair Firms

On August 28, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had reached a $2.7 billion settlement with Lexington Law and to resolve allegations that the companies have been violating federal law with their telemarketing practices. As the nation’s two largest “credit repair” companies, the companies earned approximately $388 million in revenue […]

The Pitfalls of “Credit Repair”

In June 2023, the New York Times Sunday Magazine looked inside the chaotic world of “credit repair” companies. The feature tells the story-after-story of how bad credit can ruin people’s financial lives—pushing them to the brink, financially and psychologically. It reveals how credit scores have ties to serious racial and sociological inequity. It explores how […]

Four Ways AI Scams Can Impact Your Credit Score

For all of the hoopla there has been about how ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications can increase efficiencies and create terrific new content, there’s another darker side to AI. It can also help fraudsters and identity thieves be more effective, too. Let’s review four ways that AI scams can impact your credit score. […]

What Is “Synthetic Identify Theft” and How Can It Impact Me?

“Synthetic identity theft” is when a fraudster combines real information about someone—such as a Social Security number—and information they’ve created about an entirely fake person. They then use these  “Frankenstein IDs” to commit theft. Some analysts have concluded that synthetic identity theft is the fastest-growing financial crime in the United States. At the same time, […]

Collections Information Declines on Credit Reports—But There’s More to the Story

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued an analysis of debt collection appearing on consumers’ credit reports. On the one hand, the findings are a positive sign: Consumers’ financial well-being seems to be improving. But on the other hand, the analysis shows that false and inaccurate information on credit reports continues to be a real […]

What Happens When Two Women Share a Social Security Number? Financial Chaos Ensues

Recently, NBC News covered an incredible story of mistaken identity. Or, perhaps, to put it more accurately, it’s a story of “mixed identity.” Two women share the same name (Jieun Kim), age, and same date of birth. Both were born in South Korea and later emigrated to the U.S.—one woman moving to Los Angeles, the […]

CFPB Wants to Tackle Form Contracts

On January 11, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is considering the creation of an online, public database of the form contracts being used by “nonbanks,” companies that aren’t banks but provide financial services to their customers (such as a car company that provides loans). According to the CFPB, these nonbanks […]

Incidence and Types of Collection Tradelines on Credit Reports

Many consumers don’t even know what a “collection tradeline” is, but the reality is that collection tradelines may impact your life daily. A “collection tradeline” is the term for when a creditor or collection agency report of a delinquent debt appears on your credit report. Having a collections tradeline on your report influences your credit […]

The FTC reached the largest settlement to date in a credit reporting action.

Was this sufficient compensation? The FTC alleged that some Vivint sales representatives used a process known as “white paging,” which involved finding another consumer with the same or a similar name on the White Pages app and using that consumer’s credit history to qualify the prospective unqualified customer. Vivint sales representatives also sometimes asked customers […]