Frequently Asked Consumer Questions
- How do I get my free credit report?
- I have $10,000 to invest. What should I do with it?
- What do we know about a company? Is a company legitimate?
- Is this a scam?
- Does Clark do referrals?
- What can I do about Stolen Identity/Consumer Fraud?
- Does Clark recommend using a credit consolidation company?
- What’s the best way to pay for services or goods?
- Since we don’t give financial advice and because there are unscrupulous people out there, it is suggested that you go to napfa.org to find a fee-only financial planner in your area.
- We always suggest you interview three planners so you are comfortable with their way of investing. Also, get referrals from family and friends.
- Even if we had 100 positives or 100 negatives on a company, we could not share that information with you due to the liability to WSB. Here are some ways to check out a company on your own:
- On the internet, go to www.bbb.org or call the Better Business Bureau in your area.
- Go to google.com and put in complaints about (name of the company).
- You can also contact your state Department of Consumer Affairs.
Is this a scam?
We usually won’t tell you if it’s a scam, but we do give the red flags:
- Clark does not recommend paying upfront fees. Avoid dealing with companies that ask you to do this.
- Beware of companies that say you can “cancel any time.” You want to see the cancellation terms before agreeing to anything.
- People are always asking for a referral from Clark. We tell the person Clark doesn’t do referrals. It’s always “For Your Information Only.” We tell them to get referrals from friends, family, church friends and check out companies with www.bbb.org. Be sure to get references!
- Contact the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies:
- Equifax – Report Fraud: 800.525.6285
- Experian – Report Fraud: 888.397.3742
- Trans Union – Report Fraud: 800.680.7289
- Usually you can contact one credit bureau and they will contact the others for you.
- Call the police and get the fraud on record. Be sure to get a copy of the police report. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 entitles you to the right to file a police report: www.consumer.gov/idtheft
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission who keeps a database of identity theft: www.ftc.gov or 877.438.4338
- Report the fraud to your credit card companies and notify your bank.
- Don’t pay any bill or part of a bill resulting from id theft.
- Contact Social Security Administration Ã‚â€“ fraud hotline 800.269.0271
- Get copies of credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies six months after the id theft.
- Check out Identity Theft Resource Center- www.idtheftcenter.org and www.privacyrights.org
Does Clark recommend using a credit consolidation company?
No, consumers should avoid using credit consolidation companies. They usually want upfront fees and you may not get your credit problems resolved. Clark feels that Consumer Credit Counseling Service is the legitimate counseling service out there. They provide credit counseling for free and a debt management service for a three-to-five percent monthly fee not to exceed $50 (different for all states). Go to www.nfcc.org to find your local CCCS office.
- Credit Card – you’ll possibly be able to do a charge back within 60 days of the charge
- Check – money is gone almost immediately
- Debit Card- money is immediately taken out of your account and you will have to prove to the bank that it is fraud or that you didn’t get what you were supposed to.