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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Target says "Oops, 70-110 million consumers hacked." | Ed Mierzwinski

Target is now saying that "a range of 70 million to 110 million people," not the original 40 million customers, had their credit or debit card numbers hacked in December. Even worse, Target is admitting that the database stolen included email addresses and phone numbers, which leaves consumers vulnerable to phishing attacks that could lead to identity theft, as if fraud on existing accounts wasn't enough. Here are some tips.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Consumer Protection

New CFPB rules will protect homebuyers and homeowners

On Friday, January 10, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules will go into effect that will help protect homeowners and homebuyers from the mortgage abuses that led to the housing crisis. In particular, consumers will get protections from lenders that make risky loans without checking a borrower’s income, assets, or ability to repay a loan.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Tax

Regulators Disallow Tax Deduction for JPMorgan’s $1.7 Billion Settlement, Saving Taxpayers Close to $600 Million

Maryland PIRG applauds regulators for protecting taxpayers in their recent settlement with JPMorgan over its gross oversights that allowed the Madoff Ponzi scheme to continue swindling people from around the nation out of billions of dollars.  By preventing JPMorgan from writing off its $1.7 billion payment, regulators saved taxpayers as much as $595 million.

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News Release | Consumer Protection

Groups Offer Consumer Tips After Target Data Breach

We joined other leading groups to issue consumer tips after the big retailer Target had 40 million credit and debit card numbers stolen. Our main message: Don't panic. Don't pay for over-priced credit monitoring. Do check your checking and credit card accounts regularly and get your free credit reports provided by law.

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Media Hit | Public Health

Indoor Chemical Exposure Linked to Childhood Asthma

According to a report by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group, common household products could cause your child to develop asthma. The report found that exposure to chemicals in common consumer products, such as air fresheners or cleaning supplies, can cause or aggravate childhood asthma. "A large and growing body of scientific research shows that many chemicals and consumer products and building materials are found in the air and are linked to asthma and asthma symptoms," Joanna Guy from the Maryland PIRG said. As of 2010, the number of children with asthma in Maryland exceeded the national percentage. In Baltimore City, about 40 percent of students are diagnosed with the disease and it is listed as the leading cause of absences. The Maryland PIRG is calling on the governor to publish a list of the chemicals. 

Read More at: http://www.foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/report-indoor-chemical-exposure-linked-childhood-asthma-24145.shtml#.UrhpoSRQ1wt

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Post-Election Edition

Our new analysis of data through Election Day from the Federal Election
Commission (FEC) and other sources shows how big outside spenders
drowned out small contributions in the 2012 election cycle: just 61
large donors to Super PACs giving on average $4.7 million each matched
the $285.1 million in grassroots contributions from more than 1,425,500
small donors to the major party presidential candidates.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Demos | Democracy

Distorted Democracy: Big Money and Dark Money in the 2012 Elections

A new analysis of pre-election data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other sources by U.S. PIRG and Demos shows that outside spending in the first presidential election since Citizens United is living up to its hype: new waves of “outside spending” have been fueled by dark money and unlimited fundraising from a small number of wealthy donors.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

NEW REPORT: AMERICAN LIVES AT RISK FROM UNSAFE FOODS

Despite government commitments to address the problem, food recalls are on the rise and our food safety systems are broken, according to a new report by U.S. PIRG.  Contaminated food makes 48 million Americans sick every year and costs over $77 billion in aggregated economic costs.  In the USA over the last 21 months, 1753 people were made sick from foodborne illnesses linked directly to food recalls and the cost was over $227 million.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Democracy

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SECRETS AND LIES

U.S. PIRG, Maryland PIRG and small business representatives and others call on U.S. Chamber of Commerce to disclose the sources of funds behind its dark money electoral advertising

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Budget

Small Farmers and Citizens Speak Out Against Agricultural Subsidies in Farm Bill

Small farmers and ordinary citizens across the country are taking a stand against wasteful agricultural subsidies in the federal Farm Bill. With only a few weeks left before they adjourn for the election, reauthorizing or extending the Farm Bill is one of Congress’s top priorities.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving medicines. Call on big restaurants to do their part and stop buying meat raised with critical antibiotics.

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