The People's Lawyer Consumer News Alert
Center for Consumer Law
  Volume 138 Number 9

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The People’s Lawyer’s Tip of the Day

Your liability for a lost or stolen credit is capped at $50. But that rule does not apply to a debit card. If you wait more than two business days to report a lost or stolen debit card, you liability can be as high as $500.  

IRS warns of multiple scams in wake of recent tragedies

Consumers are targeted by scams every day, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns that recent tragedies have unfortunately created an uptick in scams seeking to exploit Americans’ desire to help victims. The IRS points out the country has experienced a series of major disasters and a mass shooting in quick succession, so donors need to be particularly vigilant to look for signs of a scam before sending money. Consumers should look out for appeals for donations from unfamiliar charities, or organizations that have names similar to a legitimate charitable organization. They should also be highly suspicious of appeals that come in the form of an email, text, or telephone call since legitimate charities usually stick to mass advertising like television commercials to solicit donations.  Click here for more.

Your Money

Bank fees decoded: Learn the lingo to save money. Overdraft fee, translation: You can make your purchase even if you don’t have the cash, but it’ll cost extra. Overdraft protection fee, translation: You pay to borrow money from yourself to make a purchase. Nonsufficient funds fee, translation: You don’t have enough cash for a purchase, and the transaction is declined — with a penalty. ATM operator fee, translation: You pay extra to withdraw cash from outside of your bank’s ATM network. Monthly maintenance fee, translation: You pay for the right to park money at your bank. Foreign transaction fee, translation: You’ll pay to use your debit card overseas. Excess activity fee, translation: You’ll pay to dip into your savings account too often. Early account closure fee, translation: You’ll be charged for closing an account too soon after opening it. Paper bank statement fee, translation: You’re paying for physical copies of your bank statement. Inactivity fee, translation: You’ll be charged for not making any deposits to or withdrawals from your account for a few months.  Click here for more.

For the Lawyers

Fundraising company did not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when calling a number on the National Do Not Call Registry to promote a breast cancer charity. The district court held there was no violation of the TCPA because the calls were made on a tax-exempt nonprofit organization's behalf, an Illinois federal court ruled Wednesday.  The court found that the TCPA’s nonprofit exemption, which states that calls made by nonprofits cannot be considered solicitations, could be extended to Associated Community Services Inc. as it had contracted with the Breast Cancer Society to make calls on the charity’s behalf and the charity possessed ultimate control over the nature of the calls and the money raised. Spiegel v. Reynolds, (N.D. Ill. 2016). Click here for more.

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