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Are You a Smart Consumer?

Columbus, Ohio – July 14, 2011  - Apprisen Financial Advocates/Consumer Financial Services Service is a national nonprofit consumer Financial Services agency that provides personal Financial Services and financial education. In January, Apprisen suggested consumers make "2011– the year to get and stay on track with their money," a resolution that will have lifelong benefits. Seven key habits that make up good personal financial money management were identified. This month Apprisen focuses on one of those habits, "Be a Smart Consumer."

Being a smart consumer is so much more than shopping around for the best deals.  It is about recognizing that, unfortunately, some people are out there trying to take advantage of others misfortunes or lack of knowledge.  “Consumers need to know the laws and resources they can access to make smart financial decisions, but they also need to stop and think how their actions might be used against them,” states Jana Root, spokesman for Apprisen. Apprisen Financial Advocates offers this advice to get and stay on track by being a smart consumer.

  • Know the federal laws that help protect your rights –
    • Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Billing Act
    • Truth in Lending Act
    • Fair Credit Reporting Act
    • Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act
    • Review consumer protection laws at:  www.consumer-action.org/helpdesk/faqs
  • Protect yourself against identity theft
    • Do not carry your social security card with you
    • Dispose of personal and financial data properly
    • Dispose of electronic devices (computers and cell phones) in secured locations
    • Be careful who you give your credit card information to
  • Fraud-proof your finances
    • Do not reply or click on a link in an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information
    • Avoid offers that are “too good to be true”
    • Do not fall victim to bogus claims that you have won a prize
    • Use anti virus software and a firewall
    • Review credit card and bank account statements to verify transactions
    • Forward spam that is phishing for information to spam@uce.gov

Next month another one of the seven habits will be discussed.  Consumers can find information on all seven habits to “Get and Stay on Track with Your Money” by visiting www.apprisen.com/learning-center/quick-tips

About Apprisen
Apprisen Financial Advocates, a national nonprofit Financial Services agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt for over 55 years. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. Services are provided in-person in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or the Internet. The oldest nonprofit Financial Services agency in the country, Apprisen Financial Advocates is known in its local communities as Consumer Financial Services Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Apprisen is a member of the National Foundation for Financial Services (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7. Call 800-355-2227 or visit the website, www.apprisen.com. You can also follow CCCS/Apprisen on Facebook and on Twitter.

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