Showing posts from March, 2019

Free “PC Health Check” at Office Depot Cost Customers a Whole Lot

Office Depot and OfficeMax stores offered customers a free “PC Health Check”, but according to the FTC, customers who used this "free service" between 2009 and 2016 were incorrectly and deceptively told their computers were infected with viruses. The results prompted some customers to purchase additional services from the companies, which cost customers up to $300. Office Depot, Inc. and, Inc. agreed to settled with the FTC to resolve these allegations. $35 million will be handed over to the FTC, and the FTC anticipates using these settlement monies for refunds. Complaints on matters such as these, or other areas such as Identity Theft and other scams can be submitted to the FTC here:   Speak up, take action!

Student Loan Counseling

With average student loan debt per graduate a staggering $39,400, student loans continue to create problems for individuals, families and the economy at large. “ Student loans are in crisis with two in five borrowers likely to default within five years, ” states a study published in January 2018 by the Brookings Institute. Student Loan debt has become such a major issue that there is now a TV game show based entirely on the payment of student loan debt - TruTV’s Paid Off With Michael Torpey. Consumer Credit Counseling Service wants Western New York residents to know that although they cannot solve the student loan debt problem, they have a program that can help. It’s our region’s only program. CCCS began its program in 2012, in response to the need for education and assistance with student loans. In the past six years, we have helped 765 achieve a level of financial freedom previously unknown.   In our program, Nationally Certified Student Loan counselors work wi

Be Savvy - Avoid IRS Scams

  Be wary of ANY calls you receive from the IRS. Do not give in to fear tactics, the IRS will never call you to request payment or threaten lawsuits or arrests.   Tips: Don't share any of your information  -  Call the IRS directly at 1-800-428-1040 Never send money, gift cards or any other type of payment! Report these criminals -  You can do so through the FTC's website at . The more reports received, the more likely they can be caught and stopped! Share with your family and friends -   Don't let those who you know and love get taken advantage of! Check out this example of a scam call (made to a police officer!)

Last week, we were happy to celebrate National VITA Day

Did you know that the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program returns $1.9 billion to communities around the country each year? Free Tax Prep is vitally important because it financially empowers low income families. Free tax prep, along with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifts 10 million Americans, including 5 million children out of poverty each year.   Our VITA program helps put money back into Niagara County residents' pockets and ultimately back into the local economy. We served 274 people during the 2018 tax season. These returns resulted in a total of $119,210 in Earned Income Tax Credits, and a total of $400,832 in refunds for our filers. Through our services, we saved over $95,900 in filing fees for our filers. Individuals can get their federal and state taxes filed for free at two Niagara County locations: Orleans/Niagara BOCES 50 Main Street, Lockport   Tuesdays 3:30 – 7:30 pm Pinnacle Community Services 1522 Main Street,

We’re On a Mission!

By Noelle Carter   CCCS of Buffalo is on a Mission. We are determined to ensure everyone has access to  financial counseling, from an expert who is looking out for their clients’ best interest, and not the bottom line of a large company’s profits. Unfortunately, for-profit companies have large advertising budgets and prey on consumers who are desperate, and in need of a cure-all for their financial troubles. The messages they convey to draw consumers in inevitably leads to a case of overpromising, and under delivering.   To help spread the word of CCCS of Buffalo’s local presence as a leading financial counseling agency, who has been providing financial counseling for over 50 years, we enlisted help from one of our clients, who best to tell the story of the help we are able to deliver than a member of the WNY community?! Christina struggled with crippling credit card debt until she got help from CCCS of Buffalo. She made that brave phone call, and now, just over 4 years la