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CFPB Gets Results: Orders Chase Bank to Repay Consumers Over $300 Million Over Sale of Junky Credit Card Add-On Products That Weren’t Even Delivered
Yesterday the CFPB fined Chase Bank $20 million and ordered it to refund over 2 million consumers a total of over $300 million over the sale of junky credit card and debit card add-ons that weren’t even delivered.
“These various add-on products that promise “free” credit scores or identity theft “protection” are over-priced and don’t actually stop identity theft, but banks will bill you as much as $19.99/month after a too-short “free trial” period.” said Laura Murray, Consumer Associate for U.S. PIRG. “Incredibly, in this case, they billed you without even delivering the product, so kudos to the CFPB for catching them taking money out of your wallet.”
U.S. PIRG offered the following tips to consumers to save money and protect themselves from identity theft:
- No matter where you bank, all consumers should check their credit card and checking account statements for recurring $8.99-$19.99 monthly fees for "identity protection" or "credit monitoring" or similar products. Cancel, demand a refund and complain to the CFPB.
- Instead of paying for over-priced credit monitoring, stagger requests for your free annual credit reports provided by law. Order one every four months from each of the three credit bureaus to have real "free" credit report monitoring.
- You can place a “security freeze” on your credit report for about $10, which prevents any access by new creditors to your report (you’ll need to pay a small fee to “lift” the freeze if you re-enter the credit market.
Combined with 2012 actions against Discover Card and Capitol One for sale of similar credit card add-ons, and a 2012 action against American Express for a variety of card violations, the CFPB has now recovered approximately $800 million from big banks alone for unfair consumer practices, Murray noted.
“Today’s action by the CFPB is just one way that the CFPB gets results for consumers,” concluded Murray. “U.S PIRG Education Fund’s report issued earlier this week, “Big Banks, Big Complaints,” explains how the CFPB’s public searchable complaint database is helping consumers get redress for their problems with big banks.”
U.S. PIRG, the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups, is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. www.uspirg.org
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