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CFPB: Protecting your share of Cobell settlement from fraud

Filed Under: Cobell
More on: cfpb, per caps
     

"Hundreds of thousands of Native Americans started getting the first payments last week as part of a long-awaited settlement with the federal government over its management as trustee of Individual Indian Money Accounts. The settlement, commonly known as Cobell v. Salazar, means the arrival of funds for Native Americans across the country. Cash payments like this can be a great opportunity for consumers to build up their assets—but we also anticipate scammers targeting settlement recipients, looking to separate these communities from their money.

If you received money from the Cobell settlement, here are some simple steps you can take to protect your money:

Take your time. Beware of “opportunities” that force you to make a snap decision—high pressure “act now” offers are often used to keep you from understanding the true costs and risks of a product. Never sign anything without asking questions and understanding it first. If necessary, ask a trusted relative, friend, tribal official, or attorney for a second opinion before acting.

Pay off debt. If you took out a loan anticipating money from the settlement or use other expensive credit products, the settlement check is a good opportunity to pay down that debt.

Save. Consider using the settlement funds to start saving. People with savings are better prepared to handle financial emergencies—like a major car or home repair—and are less likely to rely on expensive debt."

Get the Story:
Protecting funds from the Cobell v. Salazar settlement (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 12/27)

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Editorial: Elouise Cobell worked tirelessly for trust settlement (12/3)
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NPR: South Dakota beneficiaries await share of Cobell payout (11/30)
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