Consumer Handbook

Every week, join Whitney Quick as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. 

Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU. 

Camden County College/Flickr, License:

Student loan debt has a serious impact on countless Americans’ finances, preventing some of them from buying homes and starting families. The burden of this debt leads some borrowers to seek loan consolidation and other debt relief options.

Borrowers should research these options carefully and not give in to the temptation to seek a quick fix that could turn out to be a scam.

Better Business Bureau

In 2018, nearly 100 consumers in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois reported to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker being victimized by scam artists, with losses of more than $26,000.

About 16.8% of those scam reports regarded online purchase scams, and 11.6% were reports of debt collection scams.

Better Business Bureau

Parents should look beyond glossy brochures and pretty website pictures when searching for summer camps. The safety, health, and satisfaction of children should be the camp’s top priority, and a great camp should be an enriching experience for your child.

When choosing a camp, parents need to use the same care and common sense they would use in evaluating a daycare program. Look for one that provides activities that are of interest to your child, matches their personality, and is appropriate for their age and skill level.

Elaine Smith/Flickr

Recently, the Better Business Bureau has received reports of consumers falling prey to pitches for products that claim to be endorsed by the popular television program, Shark Tank. This is a new twist on fraudulent free trial offers: a common scam that costs consumers millions of dollars each year.

Roderick Eime/Flickr, License:

As the retail landscape changes, many Americans find their favorite retailers going out of business. These closings often are accompanied by once-in-a-lifetime liquidation sales, but they also bring dramatic changes to the retailer’s return policies, not to mention questions about unused gift cards and warranties.