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Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation

Each depositor insured to at least $250,000 per insured bank

National Consumer Protection Week: March 4 – 10, 2018

In observance of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) March 4-10, 2018, the FDIC will post a new question and answer (Q&A) on a different banking topic each weekday on this webpage. These Q&As will provide helpful information on managing your money.


I have an unpaid debt, and a debt collector has called me several times a day, every day at work this week. It is causing me problems with my supervisor. Can I make them stop?

Debt collectors have rules they must follow when attempting to collect a debt, and those rules limit when and how often they can contact you. For more information, read the Fall 2017 FDIC Consumer News article. Having a Problem with a Debt Collector? You Also Have Protections.

I make the minimum payment on my credit cards on time every month, but recently I found out that my credit score has decreased. Why would that have happened?

We can’t say for sure, but some credit scoring companies are placing more emphasis on whether a consumer is paying down debt or increasing debt, rather than simply focusing on timely payments.

To learn more about changes to credit scores and credit reports, read the FDIC Consumer News article New Standards for Credit Report Accuracy May Help Consumers.

I keep important documents and other items in a safe in my home, but is a safe deposit box at a bank a better place to store them?

In general, a safe deposit box is more secure than a home safe. For more information, including examples of what should or should not be kept in a safe deposit box, read the FDIC Consumer News article Five Things to Know About Safe Deposit Boxes, Home Safes and Your Valuables.

I heard on TV that thieves are attaching recording devices to ATMs and checkout machines at stores and gas stations so they can learn consumers’ credit and debit card information. Is this true?

Yes, it is called “card skimming.” High-tech recording devices are used to steal debit and credit card information that can help identity thieves make purchases and otherwise commit fraud. To learn more about card skimming, read the FDIC Consumer News article Beware of ATM, Debit and Credit Card 'Skimming' Schemes.

My bank offers a variety of mobile banking services, including the ability to deposit checks using a smartphone. Would I be putting my personal information at risk if I use my phone or tablet to do my banking over the internet?

As with any online transactions where your personal information is being transmitted over the internet, there are some risks, but there are several things you can do to ensure the security of your mobile banking transactions. For more information on mobile banking, read the FDIC Consumer News article A Closer Look at Mobile Banking: More Uses, More Users. To learn more about avoiding identity theft, frauds and scams online, visit our Cybersecurity Awareness Basics webpage.

FDIC Resources for Consumers

For more information on a variety of banking and money topics important to consumers, visit the web pages listed below. For questions about our consumer resources, please call 1-800-ASKFDIC.

“EDIE," the FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator: An online calculator that assists consumers and businesses in determining their deposit insurance coverage for each FDIC-insured bank where they have deposit accounts. EDIE also provides a printable report showing whether those deposits are fully protected or if some exceed the federal limits.

BankFind: Our online directory that consumers can use to locate an FDIC-insured institution, learn what happened to a bank that changed names or no longer exists, and more.

Customer Assistance Form: An easy-to-use form to submit a question to the FDIC or a complaint regarding a financial institution. Of course, consumers with questions or concerns can also call the FDIC toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC, which is 1-877-275-3342.

Money Smart: A financial education curriculum concentrating on the development of consumers' financial skills and positive banking relationships.

FDIC Consumer News: The FDIC's quarterly publication for consumers offers information and tips on credit cards, bank accounts, loans, scams, money management, and much more. Consumers can also listen to articles anywhere, anytime online or by downloading to an MP3 player.

Deposit Insurance Videos: Information about deposit insurance coverage for bank customers.

E-mail updates: Sign up to receive e-mail notices of each new issue of FDIC Consumer News, Consumer Alerts, and other announcements and publications from the FDIC.

Foreclosure Prevention Tool Kit: The webpage provides easy access to helpful information for homeowners on avoiding foreclosure and foreclosure “rescue” scams.

Small Business Webpage: This resource provides useful information for small businesses, especially regarding access to loans, plus an online form to ask the FDIC a question or register a concern.

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