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Image description: Did you know the Consumer Action Handbook has a sample complaint letter to help you resolve issues with products or services.
Check it out, get tips for writing your own letter or use our widget to help you generate one to send.

Image description: Did you know the Consumer Action Handbook has a sample complaint letter to help you resolve issues with products or services.

Check it out, get tips for writing your own letter or use our widget to help you generate one to send.

Ask Marietta: Live Google Hangout

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Did you miss yesterday’s live hangout with Marietta where she answered your consumer questions? Don’t worry! We recorded it, and you can check it out now

Image description: How do you use the Consumer Action Handbook in your daily life? Share you story using #ThanksCAH

Image description: How do you use the Consumer Action Handbook in your daily life? Share you story using #ThanksCAH

Beware: Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams

Scholarships and financial aid do not require upfront fees. While there are legitimate companies who will help guide you through the financial aid and college application process for a fee, disreputable companies may ask you for money up front and provide nothing in return. Red flags to watch out for include the following:

  • A “money-back guarantee” to secure a scholarship. Don’t believe it. Unscrupulous companies attach conditions that make it impossible to get the refund.

  • "Secret scholarships." If a company claims to have inside knowledge of scholarship money, they’re lying. Information on scholarships is available freely to the public. Ask your librarian or school counselor.

  • Telling students they’ve been selected as “finalists” for awards. If they ask for an up-front fee, head for the nearest exit.

  • Asking for a student’s checking account to “confirm eligibility.” If they want bank account information or your credit card number to confirm or reserve a scholarship, it’s a scam.

  • Quoting a relatively small “monthly” or “weekly” fee. Then asking for authorization to debit your checking account for an unspecified length of time. Ongoing fees are a sure sign of a scam.

  • Unsolicited offers. Whether it’s an e-mail, phone call, or it arrived in your mailbox, if you didn’t request the information, ignore the offer.


Learn more about education scams to avoid.

Watch Marietta Answer Your Questions Live Today at 3 p.m. ET

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Today’s the day! Tune in at 3 p.m. ET to watch Marietta, our Consumer Action Handbook editor, answer your consumer questions live in our Google Hangout.

Curious to learn more about the Consumer Action Handbook?

Follow along all month on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ using the hashtag #ThanksCAH as we share more great tips from the Consumer Action Handbook.