ICFE Consumer alert: Your Check Is In The Mail
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"ICFE Consumer alert: Your Check Is In The Mail But, DON'T CASH IT!"

San Diego, CA. Your check is in the mail, but you better not cash it or you might discover you have inadvertently signed up for a new magazine subscription, long distance telephone service or Internet service provider.

It is exciting to get money in the mail. More and more companies, including some of the giants of the retail industry, are using so-called checks in the mail to lure unsuspecting consumers into cashing them and unwittingly signing up for some service which brings about more expense.

The checks are in fact real and they will not bounce, at the bank, however, they come with many conditions usually contained in the fine print on the front and or back of the check, that you may regret agreeing to when you endorsed the check for cashing or a deposit.

AT&T has been sending out $35 checks to people who switch their telephone service from AT&T to another service provider. The $35 is an inducement to get those customers to come back to AT&T. To their credit, AT&T does put a disclaimer on the front of the check, unlike many others who use this direct mail pitch, which clearly states that signing and cashing the check will switch your long distance, local toll and local services back to AT&T. There are more important details on the back of the check, but cash hungry consumers may not take the time to discover the new things they may be signing up for be cashing the check.

The word to consumers, young and old is: caution! Once one of these so called checks is cashed, it will be very difficult to reverse the new services you may have unintentionally ordered.

The consumer's best defense against this type of marketing tactic is to read the fine print and don't expect free money for nothing, because if it sounds too good to be true, that AT&T or some other company is sending you $35 because they like you, then it probably is not true.

For more information on how to avoid consumer scams visit the ICFE at www.financial-education-icfe.org .
To receive the same information by mail, please send a self-addressed, 60 cent, stamped envelope to the ICFE, Avoiding Scams, PO Box 34070, San Diego, CA 92163-4070.
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About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP) designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels' and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.

The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from 'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.


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