Consumer Catch-up: EBT scam warning, changes to CFPB, more Wells Fargo fallout

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Public assistance scam warning

Santa Clara County is warning residents about scam text messages and phone calls, targeting public assistance beneficiaries. Officials say the scam is targeting people who benefit from CalWORKS, CalFresh, General Assistance, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants and Medi-Cal.

Across the state, Californians report receiving text messages asking them to call a number. A recording then asks them to provide information like their EBT card number and PIN. The scammer uses that information to withdraw money from the account.

Scammers are also making phone calls and identifying themselves as County staff or health care providers, and asking for personal information.

Officials warn to NEVER give out your personal information. If your benefits are stolen, they cannot be replaced.

Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau steps down

The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is stepping down. Today, Bureau chief Richard Cordray said he plans to resign at the end of the month. Cordray was appointed by President Obama to the position in 2013. He's been a leading critic of President Trump.

The CFPB was created after the 2008 financial crisis. Among other protections, it helps regulate banks and financial company interactions with consumers. The agency hit San Francisco-headquartered Wells Fargo with massive fines for its fake account scandal.

Congressional Republicans and the banking industry have been fierce critics of Cordray's regulation efforts. His resignation could pave the way for President Trump to reshape the CFPB. It's unclear so far what changes could be coming for consumers.

Wells Fargo uncovers more illegal vehicle repossessions

San Francisco-based banking giant Wells Fargo will pay a $5.4 million fine for 450 additional cases in which the company illegally repossessed vehicles of U.S. service members. That brings the total number of cases to more than 860.

Banks are required to obtain a court order before seizing cars from military members. In 2016, the Justice Department charged Wells Fargo with 413 illegal seizures. These new cases were discovered as part of a settlement reached last year.

On top of the $5.4 million fine, Wells Fargo will also repair the service members' credit, and pay each person $10,000 plus lost equity, with interest.
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