Consumer Tips

Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Illinois Top Ten Consumer Financial Complaint Issues 2021 In the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Public Consumer Complaint Database

Illinois PIRG Education Fund download of complaints in 2021 ranked by issue selected by the consumer to describe the problem they were having with a company in a complaint product category.

Identity theft is soaring; reduce your risk dramatically by simply freezing your credit files

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog
March 7, 2022

The problem of identity theft continues to grow. In 2021, people filed more complaints with the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft than anything else. In fact, identity theft comprised 25 percent of complaints filed last year, hitting 1.4 million cases, double the number from 2019.

How to find mistakes on your credit report

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog


A third of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last year involved incorrect information on people’s credit reports.

 

Space heaters lead to 1,700 fires and 80 deaths a year; here are tips to stay safe

By Isabel Brown and Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associates

Feb. 2, 2022

In the cold winter months, a space heater can be a helpful way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. But space heaters can also pose a fire hazard, especially if they are used incorrectly or don’t meet current safety standards.

DEALING WITH WINTER STORM KENAN: PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR HOME AND YOUR FINANCES

By Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog
Jan. 28, 2022

With the massive winter storm that's expected to hit the East Coast this weekend, here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists:

How to be notified about recalls on products you own

By Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associate
Jan. 28, 2022

Navigating through a government website may sound tedious, but here are some tips on how to be notified about and report unsafe products in your home.

Why the CPSC can't do enough to protect consumers from dangerous products

By | Hannah Rhodes
Consumer Watchdog, Associate

Of the 23 deaths reported in connection with products recalled in 2021, 19 actually occurred in previous years. It can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers.

Portable generators kill about 70 people each year. Here’s how to protect yourself and your loved ones

By Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associate
Jan. 17, 2022

In any season, portable generators can be a much needed product in many Americans' homes. When the power is knocked out – whether from a winter storm or a hurricane – portable generators can be important for powering refrigerators, medical devices and other needs in the home. 

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