Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General
It is usually best for people to make their own decisions on matters that significantly affect their lives.
It is a common occurrence: People receive a mailing claiming that a car's warranty is expired.
While public wireless internet networks – or "hotspots" – offer free and convenient access to the internet in public spaces, other network users may be able to watch your activity online and obtain your passwords and account information, putting you at risk of theft or identity theft.
It can happen like this: "Ted" answers his phone. A prerecorded voice instructs him to press "1" to stop future calls or "2" to speak with a live person.
In southern Minnesota, a woman who was previously suspended from the practice of law was appointed as a guardian for dozens of vulnerable adults. In one case, she drained over $22,000 from a ward's bank accounts and left him to live in squalor, with no food. She was convicted of several felonies after she financially exploited her wards out of tens of thousands of dollars while ignoring their needs. A woman in western Minnesota left a vulnerable adult $18,500 in debt after spending money from his trust. The victim? Her son.
Equifax, a major national credit bureau, recently announced a massive data breach affecting 143 million consumers nationwide. Hackers stole highly sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. The company indicates that data on over 2 million Minnesota residents was compromised. People can take the following additional steps to protect against identity theft as a result of Equifax's data breach: Steps To Take to Protect Yourself
Most people want the best rate they can get for internet or cable television or satellite television service. Some providers offer aggressive promotions that claim to save you money. But watch out, as these providers may try a "bait and switch" scheme that causes you not to receive the promised rate.
Consumers enter into contracts for a variety of products and services. Some consumers mistakenly believe they have a legal right to cancel any contract within a three-day "cooling-off" period. Most contracts do not provide for a "cooling-off" period, however. Instead, the law gives people a legal right to cancel a contract within a "cooling-off" period only in certain specific situations.
Criminals are constantly inventing new types of technology to steal consumers' credit and debit card information. By being aware of these methods, consumers can better protect their money and credit. For instance, some criminals attach credit or debit card readers, known as "skimmers," to ATMs and gas pumps. So what are "skimmers?" And how can you protect yourself? What are "skimmers?"
Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses stolen personal information to file a fraudulent tax return to claim a refund. IRS statistics show a 148 percent increase in tax-related identity theft incidents between 2014 and 2015. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that for several years running, tax-related identity theft has been the most common form of identity theft.