Know the Facts About Payday
Payday loans are also called cash advance loans,
paycheck advance loans or deferred presentment loans. You write a personal
check made payable to the company who is loaning you the money for the
amount you want to borrow plus a fee. The lender gives you the money,
and you are told the number of weeks you have to repay the money. Interest
rates for payday loans, if adjusted to an annual rate, range from
200% to over 500%!
Such loans are intended to satisfy short-term
financial needs and are not effective for long term use. Although the
payday loan may be convenient, because of the high interest rate on
these loans, consider a loan from a bank, a credit union, or a family
member before obtaining a payday loan.
If you plan to use a payday lender, please make sure the company
is properly licensed with the Bureau of Financial Institutions.
A listing of licensed payday lenders
can be found on the Bureau’s website.
Effective January 1, 2009, the Virginia Payday Loan Act was amended
and information regarding the new law can also be found on the Bureau’s website.
A new centralized government
website on identity theft was launched April 23, 2007 as a result of
a Task Force of several Federal agencies created by Executive Order.
The new site provides consumers with recommendations on preventing identity
theft as well as information to assist those consumers who have become
identity theft victims. The new centralized government website on identity
theft is http://www.idtheft.gov/
E-Mail Phishing Scams Circulate
on the Internet
There are several
different e-mail phishing scams circulating on the Internet in an attempt
to gain sensitive financial and personal information.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a scam
in which the attacker sends an e-mail disguised as a valid financial-related
service provider. The e-mail will use tactics to scare a victim into
visiting the malicious site. Once on the Website, which generally looks
and feels much like the valid banking site, the victim is instructed
to log in to his/her account and enter sensitive financial information
such as bank PIN number, Social Security number, mother's maiden name,
etc. This information is sent to the attacker who then uses it to engage
in credit card fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft.
What can I do?
Don't be a victim. Consumers
may call the SCC toll-free (in Virginia) at 1-800-552-7945 or in Richmond
at (804) 371-9967 regarding matters involving securities, insurance,
or financial institutions.
Consumer fraud complaints are also handled by the Office of the Attorney
General at 1-800-451-1525 and the Office of Consumer Affairs within
the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-552-9963.
Phishing e-mails that
you receive should also be sent to the following email address: email@example.com
according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Virginia Telephone Privacy Act (unsolicited
The Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act (VTPPA), Virginia Code §§ 59.1-510 through 59.1-518, provides the following protections against unwanted telemarketing calls to Virginians:
- prohibits telephone solicitation calls at any time other than between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.;
- requires telephone solicitors to identify themselves by first and last name and by the name of the company for which they are calling;
- requires telephone solicitors to transmit for caller identification services the number, and when available by the telephone solicitor’s carrier, the name of the telephone solicitor;
- prohibits telephone solicitors from intentionally blocking caller identification services;
- requires telephone solicitors to play a prerecorded identification message whenever a live sales representative is not available to speak with the person answering the call within two seconds of that person’s completed greeting;
- prohibits telephone solicitors from calling a telephone number when someone at that number has stated that he or she does not wish to receive solicitation calls by or on behalf of the company for which the call is being made;
- prohibits telephone solicitors from calling a telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry;
- permits individuals to sue to enjoin violations, recover damages of $500 for each violation or up to $1,500 for willful violations, and recover their attorneys’ fees and court costs;
- authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to inquire into possible violations and the Attorney General to issue civil investigative demands; and
- authorizes the Attorney General, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, and attorneys for any county, city, or town to sue to enjoin violations, recover damages for affected citizens of $500 for each violation, recover a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each willful violation, and recover attorneys’ fees and expenses.
If you believe you
are receiving calls in violation of the VTPPA as described above, you
may file a complaint with the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs. Write:
Office of Consumer Affairs, Counseling, Intake and Referral Unit, P.O.
Box 1163, Richmond, Virginia 23218; or call: (toll free in Virginia)
1-800-552-9963 or 804-786-2042. A complaint form and additional information
is available at the Office of Consumer Affairs website.