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Protecting yourself from cell phone account fraud

June 12, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  I have frozen my credit with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to help reduce my risk of identity theft. I just heard that I could be at risk of cell phone fraud because there is another credit reporting agency that keeps data on telecommunications and utilities accounts. What are these other credit reporting agencies? Do they allow you to freeze your credit, and, if so, how do I do that?

How do I know if I am really a contest winner?

May 24, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  After filling out a feedback form about a fast food restaurant, I received a call saying that I had won a contest. I was asked to provide a faxed form, signed and notarized, along with my Social Security number for tax purposes. Does that sound legitimate?

Don't I have 3 days to cancel a sales contract?

May 13, 2019

Dear Consumer Ed:  We were recently talked into purchasing some expensive cookware following a very persuasive demonstration at a neighbor’s house.  We put a significant amount of money down and signed a contract to pay the rest. As soon as the cookware arrived, I realized I had made a mistake. I asked the company to let me send it back and get a refund, explaining that I had not even opened the boxes. They refused to give me a refund, claiming that I only had three days from the date I signed the contract to cancel the sale. Yet it took more than a week for them to deliver the cookware! The company refuses to take back the cookware.  What can I do?

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