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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)

Related Stories:
Judge appoints special master to help with Cobell settlement (12/21)
Deadline for second round of payments from Cobell settlement (12/20)
BSPR: NCAI worried about scams related to Cobell payments (12/17)
Delvin Cree: Cobell brings millions to Turtle Mountain members (12/14)
MTPR: Indian beneficiaries wait for share of Cobell settlement (12/13)
Judge orders first round of payments from Cobell settlement (12/12)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Winners and losers in Cobell settlement (12/11)
Upwards of 15K from Turtle Mountain Band to share in Cobell (12/10)
Cobell trust settlement expected to bring $23M to Wyoming (12/10)
Dennis Gingold withdraws as counsel in Cobell trust fund case (12/7)
South Dakota could see $115M in first round of Cobell payout (12/3)
Editorial: Elouise Cobell worked tirelessly for trust settlement (12/3)
Editorial: Priceless lessons learned from Cobell trust fund case (12/3)
Opinion: Cobell trust fund settlement payout 'insultingly small' (12/3)
NPR: South Dakota beneficiaries await share of Cobell payout (11/30)
Jay Daniels: Christmas and Cobell - what about the day after? (11/29)
Upwards of 50K in Oklahoma share in $3.4B Cobell settlement (11/29)
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Cobell settlement comes too late for beneficiaries who passed (11/29)
Checks for $3.4B Cobell settlement expected in mid-December (11/28)
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Obama announces final approval for Cobell settlement payout (11/26)
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Geoffrey Rempel: The truth behind the withdrawn Cobell appeal (11/12)
Ask Elouise: Appeals of $3.4B Cobell trust settlement dismissed (11/8)
Cobell settlement cleared after Supreme Court dismisses appeal (11/8)
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