Sunday, December 4, 2022

November 2022 DFPI Client Connection

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Essential Updates for Californians with Pupil Loans 

  • Federal Pupil Mortgage Debt Reduction Purposes Pause – The Federal Pupil Debt Reduction program is at the moment blocked by orders from a federal decide and appeals court docket. The Division of Justice has submitted an attraction. Within the meantime, the Division of Schooling is not accepting purposes. To this point, 26 million purposes have been submitted with 16 million already processed and accepted. Ought to the court docket orders be lifted, use the hyperlink offered above to submit your Federal Pupil Debt Reduction software.

  • DFPI Pupil Mortgage Webinars – The DFPI has been partnering with shopper advocates, authorities organizations, and California legislative places of work to host scholar mortgage webinars. Subjects embody the California Pupil Borrower Invoice of Rights, learn how to apply for the Public Service Mortgage Forgiveness (PSLF) Waiver and Federal Pupil Debt Reduction, and defending your self from scams and fraud. You possibly can watch movies of previous scholar mortgage workshops our YouTube Channel.

  • Pupil Mortgage Debt Reduction Scams – Because the federal scholar mortgage debt reduction program was introduced, scammers have been on the transfer — attempting to get your cash and private data. For tips about learn how to defend your self as you apply for debt reduction, learn the FTC’s Now That the Pupil Mortgage Debt Reduction Software Is Open, Spot the Scams

  • Pupil Mortgage Funds Restart – Pupil mortgage repayments will restart after Dec. 31, 2022, for nearly 4 million Californians. Know your rights and your choices

  • Scholarship Alternatives – Celina Damian, DFPI’s Pupil Mortgage Servicing Ombudsperson, encourages college students to reap the benefits of grant and scholarship alternatives earlier than looking for scholar loans. Scholarships get awarded primarily based on educational or athletic benefit, expertise, or a selected space of examine and don’t have to be repaid. College students must also watch out for scholarship-related scams and frauds – by no means pay for assist making use of for scholarships. For extra data and free webinars, go to the California Pupil Support Fee’s Money for School Program.

Upcoming Occasions

For extra details about DFPI’s Schooling & Outreach occasions and different sources, go to DFPI Schooling & Outreach. Recordings of choose occasions can be considered on the DFPI YouTube Channel.
 

Senior Rip-off Stopper Seminar – Escondido 

Nov. 21, 1 – 2 p.m. | Park Avenue Senior Heart 

Hosted by Senator Brian W. Jones (SD 40), DFPI, Contractors State Licensing Board, and Division of Insurance coverage. Discover ways to keep away from scams and fraud focusing on seniors. RSVP: (619) 596-3136.

 

Defend Your self from Fraud – Carmichael 

Dec 5, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 6 – 7 p.m. | Mission Oaks Neighborhood Heart

In-person seminar with DFPI to find out about vacation frauds and scams, cybercrimes, and instruments to guard your monetary and private data. Extra data: (916) 972-0336.
 

Fraud Safety for Seniors – Santa Rosa

Dec 8, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Finley Neighborhood Heart

In-person seminar with DFPI to find out about cybercrimes and scams, on-line fraud prevention, and financial institution fraud. Extra data: (707) 543-3733.


Sources for Worldwide Fraud Consciousness Week

Worldwide Fraud Consciousness Week (Nov. 13-19) is a world effort to reduce the affect of fraud by selling anti-fraud sources and training. As California’s monetary companies regulator, DFPI’s mission is to guard and educate customers. We wish to be certain that Californians perceive monetary merchandise earlier than they buy them, know their rights, and keep away from changing into sufferer of monetary fraud — particularly our most weak populations, equivalent to seniors, college students, army servicemembers, and new Californians. 

To study extra in regards to the DFPI’s fraud prevention efforts, go to DFPI Client Schooling & Outreach, a one-stop store the place customers can discover data and sources, together with a calendar of occasions, monetary training ideas, and publications. If you need to accomplice with the DFPI, schedule a fraud prevention presentation, or request brochures, contact us at Outreach@dfpi.ca.gov.  

By no means rush to make a monetary resolution. The DFPI may help by checking licenses and answering normal questions. For help, contact us toll-free at (866) 275-2677 or by way of e-mail at Ask.DFPI@dfpi.ca.gov.


Honoring All Who Have Served 

In response to a current AARP Report, veterans are more likely than civilians to be focused by fraudsters. Veterans will be considered as simple targets by scammers as a result of assumption that veterans have a way of giving again to different fellow veterans. This has led to pretend veteran charities or causes being among the many highest reported scams by veteran victims.

The DFPI affords a variety of sources devoted to defending our California veterans and army servicemembers on our Client Monetary Schooling for Army and Veterans web page. You may also discover further sources and downloadable brochures on our Data for Army Service Members web page.

Different veteran and army servicemember sources embody:

  • Veterans’ Disaster Line – Veterans and their relations who’re feeling any type of psychological misery can name the brand new Veterans Disaster Line by dialing 988 then urgent 1, dialing (800) 273-8255 then urgent 1, by textual content (838255), and thru the Veterans Disaster Line Chat.

  • CalVet Calendar of Occasions – Go to this webpage for a listing of Veterans Day ceremonies occurring throughout California. Please examine again usually because the calendar updates in actual time as occasions are added in your space.
  • VA Workplace of Inspector Common – Its mission is to serve veterans and the general public by conducting impartial oversight of the Division of Veterans Affairs. It investigates a variety of monetary crimes from threats in opposition to VA personnel and property to actions related to affected person hurt. For extra details about trending scams and fraud associated to veterans and the army, go to their Fraud Indicators Toolkit and Crime Alerts Webpage.  

  • PACT Act Scams The PACT Act is a brand new regulation that expands VA healthcare and advantages to veterans uncovered to burn pits and different poisonous substances. There’s been a rise in scammers utilizing PACT Act-related phishing (e-mail), vishing (cellphone), and social media scams that concentrate on veterans to entry their PACT Act advantages or provide to submit claims on their behalf for a charge. Veterans ought to be cautious of anybody who ensures a profitable monetary profit or service. For tricks to keep away from PACT Act scams, learn the Division of Veterans Affairs’ Be Vigilant of Pact Act Scams

Meet Our Focused Outreach Workforce 

My identify is Fernando Ponce, and I’m half the DFPI’s Focused Outreach Workforce. I cowl the Northern California, Central Coast, and Bay Space areas, giving shopper monetary training shows in regards to the monetary companies DFPI regulates and alerting the general public of present and rising monetary scams. I concentrate on subjects associated to veterans and the army servicemember group. I’m an OIF 2 Vet and a VFW Lifetime member and wish to come to your publish or group, should you would profit from my experience. I can current in English and in Spanish. If you need to accomplice with the DFPI, schedule a presentation, or request brochures, contact me at Fernando.Ponce@dfpi.ca.gov.


Safer Buying Means Happier Holidays 

The Vacation Season is right here! Like thousands and thousands of Individuals, you’re most likely planning to purchase lots of your vacation presents on-line. The web has made procuring simple, reasonably priced, and handy – with out even having to go away your house (or pajamas). Sadly, this has caught the eye of cybercriminals who’re eager to take advantage of people benefitting from these conveniences. Yearly many customers get scammed, with stolen cash and private data spoiling vacation cheer. The 2 most prevalent vacation scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes. In a non-delivery rip-off, a purchaser pays for items or companies they discover on-line, however these objects are by no means obtained. Conversely, a non-payment rip-off includes items or companies being shipped, however the vendor isn’t paid. For extra data on learn how to defend your self from these widespread vacation and on-line procuring scams, learn Safer Buying Means Happier Holidays.


Ought to You Purchase Now, Pay Later for Vacation Purchases? 

Retailers are more and more providing fee choices that assist you to stretch funds over the course of a number of installments, referred to as Purchase Now, Pay Later (BNPL) loans. A current report from the Client Monetary Safety Bureau, Purchase Now Pay Later: Market Developments and Client Impacts, reviews that BNPL is a quickly rising kind of mortgage that serves as an in depth substitute for bank cards. BNPL is a type of interest-free credit score that enables a shopper to totally buy a product after which pay again the mortgage over 4 installments with the primary installment sometimes being a down fee on the acquisition. Most BNPL loans vary from $50 to $1,000 and are topic to late charges if a borrower misses a fee. Purchase Now, Pay Later rose to prominence prior to now decade as a substitute type of credit score for on-line retail purchases. The lending possibility has gained traction with customers, particularly Millennials and Gen-Zers, who search the pliability of having the ability to pay for items and companies over time, however who could have been leery of different credit score merchandise. 

Purchase Now, Pay Later loans will be enticing as a result of preliminary funds being low. Nonetheless, you will need to be aware that BNLP loans don’t have the identical shopper protections as different types of credit score. It’s necessary to rigorously learn the phrases of the mortgage, so that you perceive the potential dangers. Many BNLP loans don’t cost curiosity, as an alternative they cost charges, equivalent to late fee charges, with each BNLP lender having completely different insurance policies. This makes it extraordinarily necessary for customers to rigorously assessment the phrases of the BNLP mortgage to keep away from any potential penalties. Most BNPL lenders don’t report funds to credit score reporting firms, which means your credit score scores received’t be affected. Nonetheless, should you don’t pay BNPL loans on time and the debt is turned over to a debt collector, your BNPL mortgage could also be reported to a credit score reporting firm, hurting your credit score rating. As this vacation season approaches, it could be tempting to make use of Purchase Now Pay Later loans, however it’s necessary to learn the advantageous print of the mortgage and have a superb understanding of your funds to keep away from further charges. For extra data, learn the CFPB’s Ought to You Purchase Now and Pay Later? 


Suggestions for Protected Vacation Charitable Donations 

Because the Thanksgiving vacation rapidly approaches, we urge everybody to do their analysis earlier than donating and pay attention to potential scams. Charity scams improve with the vacation season of giving. They are often discovered on-line, by way of textual content or e-mail, on the cellphone, or delivered to you within the mail. Some scammers will attempt to rush a sentimental resolution or lie and thanks for a donation you by no means gave — then ask to your fee data. By no means give private or monetary data to somebody you have no idea. And by no means ship cash to a charity by wire switch, reward card, or cryptocurrency. For extra data, together with learn how to confirm a charitable group, learn the FTC’s Earlier than Giving to a Charity. 


Password Suggestions for Nationwide Laptop Safety Day 

Nationwide Laptop Safety Day (Nov. 30) calls for our consideration as a result of cyber safety impacts every little thing from the place we financial institution and the way we spend our cash to who we elect to public workplace. Nationwide Laptop Safety Day additionally reminds customers about higher password practices. Passwords are very important gatekeepers to our digital identities, permitting us to entry on-line banking, procuring, social media, and personal work and life communications. Safe passwords are a should! Apart from protecting your data offline (which is nearly inconceivable as of late), distinctive and sophisticated passwords will finest defend your beneficial data. One other tactic is altering your passwords each few months or any time you assume your accounts have been compromised.  

Use these safety tricks to defend your on-line financial institution accounts: 

  • Change an outdated password to a “passphrase.” 

  • Activate multi-factor authentication on all of your necessary accounts. 

  • Password-protect your private Wi-Fi. 

  • Don’t retailer passwords in your laptop or cellphone, except encrypted. 

For extra data, go to the Federal Commerce Fee’s Password Guidelines Webpage.

 

We’re Renovating the DFPI Web site!

The DFPI is working to enhance our public-facing web site and welcomes any suggestions our readers and stakeholders can provide primarily based in your consumer expertise. Finishing the DFPI Web site Enchancment Survey helps us enact impactful modifications that can help our mission of defending California customers and enhancing their consciousness of potential market dangers and fraud. Thanks for collaborating! 

DFPI Strikes to Droop SALT LLC’s CFL License 

On Nov. 15, the DFPI issued a Discover to Droop SALT LLC’s California Financing Regulation (CFL) license for 30 days pending its investigation into SALT’s current announcement to restrict its platform exercise together with pausing shopper withdrawals. Additionally, on Nov. 15, SALT Lending LLC despatched a communication to clients signed by CEO Shawn Owen stating, “I’m sorry to report that the collapse of FTX has impacted our enterprise. Till we’re in a position to decide the extent of this affect with particular particulars that we really feel assured are factually correct, we’ve paused deposits and withdrawals on the SALT platform efficient instantly.” The DFPI is investigating SALT’s compliance with the legal guidelines inside its jurisdiction, together with the California Financing Regulation. This motion follows the DFPI’s motion in opposition to licensee BlockFi on Nov. 10 for comparable issues. The DFPI can also be investigating FTX.

DFPI Strikes to Droop BlockFi’s Lending License 

On Nov. 10, the DFPI issued a Discover to Droop BlockFi Lending LLC’s California Financing Regulation (CFL) lending license for 30 days pending its investigation into BlockFi’s current announcement to restrict its platform exercise together with pausing shopper withdrawals. BlockFi’s introduced on Nov. 10 from its Twitter account @BlockFi that it can not “function enterprise as typical” given the “lack of readability on the standing of FTX.com, FTX US, and Alameda.” The DFPI is investigating BlockFi’s compliance with the legal guidelines inside its jurisdiction, together with the CFL. BlockFi reviews to the DFPI that it has ceased providing loans in California and asks shoppers to not deposit to the BlockFi Pockets or its curiosity accounts. In Feb. 2022, the DFPI ordered BlockFi to Desist and Chorus from providing or promoting unqualified, non-exempt securities within the type of Blockfi curiosity accounts in California.

DFPI Proclaims Investigation into Crypto Asset Platform FTX 

On Nov. 10, the DFPI issued a Client Alert informing traders that it’s investigating the obvious failure of crypto asset platform FTX. We encourage customers to remember that crypto belongings are high-risk investments and shouldn’t anticipate to be reimbursed for any losses. Many crypto asset suppliers could not have adequately disclosed dangers clients face once they deposit crypto belongings onto these platforms. Crypto asset suppliers usually are not ruled by the identical guidelines and protections as banks and credit score unions, that are required to have deposit insurance coverage.

DFPI Points Desist and Chorus Order In opposition to Crypto Alternate GMO World 

On Oct. 17, the DFPI issued a Desist and Chorus Order pursuant to the California Monetary Safety Regulation, Monetary Code part 90015, subdivision (d) in opposition to GMO World, an organization believed to be primarily based out of Japan that lured clients out of their cash by making a fabricated enterprise during which it acted as a custodian of funds and a self-directed cryptocurrency buying and selling service by its web site and cellular purposes. The order discovered that GMO World was a “coated individual” offering a monetary service or product by taking deposits, transmitting or exchanging funds and appearing as a custodian of funds on behalf of a shopper. 

Profession Alternatives with DFPI

The DFPI is California’s major regulatory authority overseeing monetary companies, merchandise, and professionals. Its mission consists of defending customers from potential abusive, misleading, and unfair practices.  

In case you are keen about desirous to make a distinction in defending customers from monetary fraud, be a part of our staff! Discover out extra about out there positions on the DFPI Careers Webpage.

Do you know?

Contact Us

  • Do you’ve gotten any questions or feedback in regards to the Client Connection e-newsletter? 
  • Would you prefer to make a request for a DFPI outreach skilled to current at your occasion? 

The DFPI Schooling & Outreach staff is raring to listen to from you. Please contact us at Outreach@dfpi.ca.gov.  

For extra details about DFPI’s Schooling & Outreach occasions and shopper safety sources, please go to the DFPI Schooling & Outreach Webpage

Do you want our e-newsletter? 

CLOTHILDE V. HEWLETT • Commissioner of Monetary Safety and Innovation

The November 2022 Client Connection covers the month ending November 2022.

The Client Connection is offered at no cost by way of e-mail.

To subscribe, go to: www.dfpi.ca.gov/subscribe

The DFPI encourages monetary companies customers to submit complaints in the event that they imagine a DFPI licensee or registrant has violated state regulation or acted improperly, or they imagine an organization or individual is conducting unlicensed or unregistered exercise that falls throughout the DFPI’s jurisdiction. To file a criticism, go to our File a Grievance Webpage or contact us at Ask.DFPI@dfpi.ca.gov or toll-free at (866) 275-2677.
 





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