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FTC Warns Against Government Imposter Scams

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - August 28, 2014 - 12:01pm
Can you spot a government imposter?
Even if your phone’s caller ID says “FTC” or “IRS,” or shows Washington, DC’s “202” area code, it could still be a scam. Scammers know how to show fake information on caller ID.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about scammers who pretend they’re with the government to scare you into sending money. They say you owe taxes or some other debt, and tell you to put money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the number — something no government agency would ask you to do.

Others say you’ve won big money in a sweepstakes the FTC or some other agency is supervising, and that the money will be yours when you pay for shipping, taxes, or some other expense. But it’s just phony baloney. Federal government agencies will never ask you to send money for prizes.
To learn more about how these scams work and how to avoid them, read the FTC’s consumer blog post Can you spot a government imposter? and Government Imposter Scams.
Categories: News from others

Top 25 Companies for Culture & Values

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - August 27, 2014 - 12:38pm
Want to work for a company that cares about its culture and values? Check out Glassdoor's report of the Top 25 Companies for Culture and Values (2014).

In addition to salary, location/commute, and career opportunities, company culture is one of the top factors that job seekers consider when researching a new job.

Based entirely on employee feedback shared over the past year, the results of Glassdoor's inaugural report may surprise you. Find out which companies made the list (and which didn't)!
Categories: News from others

Women, Working Families, and Unions

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - August 26, 2014 - 4:28pm
One of every nine women in the United States (11.8 percent in 2013) is represented by a union at her place of work.

The annual number of hours of paid work performed by women has increased dramatically over the last four decades. In 1979, the typical woman was on the job 925 hours per year; by 2012, the typical woman did 1,664 hours of paid work per year.

Meanwhile, women's share of unpaid care work and housework has remained high. Various time-use studies conclude that women continue to do about two-thirds of unpaid child-care (and elder-care) work and at least 60 percent of routine housework.

The research reviewed here suggests that unions can provide substantial support to women trying to balance their paid work and their unpaid care responsibilities.

Unionized women earn, on average, 13 percent (about $2.50 dollars per hour) more than similar non-union women. The large union wage advantage holds for women across all education levels and even in typically low-wage occupations, including hotel cleaners, office cleaners, child-care workers, and health aides.

More from the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Categories: News from others

Made in Rural America Regional Export and International Investment Forum: Cortland, New York, 9/5/2014

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - August 25, 2014 - 12:03pm
The New York SBDC is participating in:

"Made in Rural America: Regional Export and International Investment Forum"
September 5, 2014
8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Corey Union Function Room
SUNY–Cortland
103 Prospect Terrace
Cortland, New York 13045


As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, ARC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Commerce will co-host a regional forum in Cortland, New York, on September 5 on expanding international market opportunities for rural businesses and value-added agricultural producers. One of a series of events taking place across the country to help boost exports and rural economies, the Cortland forum will help upstate New York firms learn ways to grow their business by finding new customers abroad and expanding sales to their existing international customers. It will also help rural community leaders learn how to position their regions to attract and prepare for foreign investment.

Held at the invitation of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the forum will feature a keynote address from U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce H. Andrews and remarks from ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. Attendees will also hear from experienced exporters and from local, state, and federal organizations about resources and opportunities that can help rural businesses and community leaders access new markets and customers abroad. Speakers will include international business professionals from Empire State Development, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the New York Small Business Development Center network, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Forum events will include panel discussions with successful exporters and community leaders on overcoming barriers to exporting and the opportunities exporting presents for community and economic growth; as well as sessions on trade financing and foreign investment. Business attendees will have the option of participating in one-on-one introductory meetings with export-assistance providers.

A detailed agenda will be available soon.

The forum will take place on the campus of SUNY–Cortland from 8:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m.; lunch will be provided. The event is free of charge, but advance registration is required by 5:00 p.m. on September 3.

For more information about the forum, please contact ARC at exportnewyork@arc.gov .
Categories: News from others

Payday loans are illegal in New York State

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - August 25, 2014 - 11:30am
It is a violation of New York State law to make payday loans in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet. It is also illegal for a debt collector to collect, or attempt to collect, on a payday loan in New York State.

To File a Complaint

*File a complaint with the Department of Financial Services at (800) 342-3736 if you believe payday loans are being made in New York or to New York residents, or if a debt collector is seeking to collect on a payday loan in New York.

What is a Payday Loan?

A payday loan is a relatively small, high-cost loan, typically due in two weeks and made with a borrower’s post-dated check or access to the borrower’s bank account as collateral.

Payday lending is illegal in New York for a number of reasons:



*Payday loans are designed to trap borrowers in debt. Due to the short term, most borrowers cannot afford to both repay the loan and pay their other important expenses.
*If the loan cannot be paid back in full at the end of the term, it has to be renewed, extended, or another loan taken out to cover the first loan. Fees are charged for each transaction.
*The annual percentage rates on payday loans are extremely high, typically around 400% or higher.
*Lenders ask that borrowers agree to pre-authorized electronic withdrawals from a bank account, then make withdrawals that do not cover the full payment or that cover interest while leaving principal untouched.
*If the lender deposits a repayment check and there are insufficient funds in the borrower’s account, the borrower is hit with even more fees for insufficient funds.

New Yorkers should steer clear of payday loans. If you are struggling to pay your bill:

*Ask your creditors for more time. Find out what they charge for late payments, finance charges or interest rates since it may be lower than what you might end up paying for a payday loan.
*Work with a community development credit union or a non-profit financial cooperative, which may provide affordable small-dollar loans to eligible members.
*Ask for a salary advance from your employer, or borrow from family or friends.
*Consult social service agencies, they may have programs to help with food, housing and home heating costs.

To stop recurring bank account debits to a payday lender, take the following steps:

*Contact your bank or credit union and provide an oral or written request to stop payment to the payday lender. Your bank or credit union may require written confirmation of your request. Banking rules require that you contact your bank or credit union at least three business days before the next payment is due to effectively stop payment. Include your contact information in your request so the bank or credit union can get in touch with you if necessary.
*Revoke the authorization for the payday lender to debit your account. Either follow the instructions in any paperwork you received from the payday lender, or send the payday lender a written notice saying: “my authorization to debit my account is revoked.”
*Send a copy of your letter revoking authorization to your bank or credit union, indicating that the lender’s authority to debit your account has been cancelled. Keep records for yourself.
*In the event that you take the steps above and your account is still being debited, you may want to consider closing your account and opening a new one.

If you have any problems, including debt collectors contacting you about the transaction, contact DFS at (800) 342-3736 or File a Complaint.
Categories: News from others

December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm