Elaine S. Povich

Elaine S. Povich

Elaine S. Povich covers consumer affairs for Stateline. Povich has reported for Newsday, the Chicago Tribune and United Press International.

Romance Scams Bedevil Law Enforcement

By: - May 12, 2022

Jeanne Aikens was a widow in her late 60s when she found a new love. Or so she thought. Aikens had nursed her husband through Parkinson’s disease until his death a few years earlier, and she was ready to start dating again. Aikens, a nursing manager at Boston Children’s Hospital, met a man called “Logan” […]

Georgia Will Require High School Financial Literacy Course

By: - May 9, 2022

Georgia has become the latest state to enact a law requiring high school students to take a course in financial literacy as a graduation prerequisite. Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the bill into law as part of a package of more controversial education measures that allow the removal of certain books from school libraries […]

COVID Woes Prompt More States to Require Financial Literacy Classes

By: - April 27, 2022

Studies have long shown that high school students are woefully uninformed about personal finances and how to manage them. But the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed how many American adults live on the financial edge, has boosted ongoing efforts to make financial literacy lessons a school requirement. Seven states now require a stand-alone financial literacy course […]

More States Help Workers Save for Retirement

By: - April 11, 2022

A flurry of state laws and bills would allow employees of small businesses to set up Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) through state-sponsored programs, making it possible for workers to save with automatic payroll deductions even when their companies don’t offer that option. Just this year, 17 states are considering bills that would provide access to IRAs […]

Thieves Hit on a New Scam: Synthetic Identity Fraud

By: - April 7, 2022

In fall 2020, 43-year-old Adam Arena and a dozen suspected co-conspirators were indicted in New York on charges of trying to swindle banks out of more than million through a scheme known as “synthetic identity fraud.” They combined real Social Security numbers with mismatched or phony names to create new identities, according to investigators. Prosecutors […]

Robocalls Prompt States to Join Feds in Crackdown

By: - March 30, 2022

Nearly half the states are joining forces with the Federal Communications Commission to boost the law enforcement fight against scam robocalls. The 22 states have signed memoranda of understanding with the federal agency that will strengthen their partnerships in the battle against spoofing and robocalls that try to trick recipients into buying unneeded products or […]

Rideshare Riders Could Get Stuck with Medical Bills in a Crash

By: - March 29, 2022

In the early hours of Sept. 12, 2020, Denver chef Brian Fritts, 32, was riding in the backseat of a Lyft car when another vehicle crashed into it and drove off, leaving him with six crushed vertebrae and a broken jaw. His life has never been the same. Nor has his pocketbook. A loophole in […]

It Turns Out State Lawmakers Hate Auto-Renew Contracts, Too

By: - March 4, 2022

Like millions of Americans, Colorado state Rep. Cathy Kipp started a diet during the pandemic. She used a heavily advertised program called Noom, which came with a discounted deal for the first eight months. She stopped following the program after about six months. But like millions of others, she forgot to cancel after the initial […]

Farmers File Federal Complaint Over Right to Repair Equipment

By: - March 3, 2022

Frustrated by a lack of state or federal legislation that would give farmers the tools and parts to repair their own equipment, farm organizations and consumer groups on Thursday filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission aimed at forcing Deere & Co. to provide access to software, parts and manuals. The complaint alleges […]

Regulators Scrutinize Buy Now, Pay Later Plans

By: - February 2, 2022

The buy now, pay later enticements increasingly offered on websites’ checkout pages lure many customers, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has increased online shopping. But the exploding use of buy now, pay later plans also is drawing more scrutiny from state and federal authorities over concerns that the practice may not be sufficiently regulated. The […]

Cities and States Find New Ways to Tax Streaming Services

By: - January 18, 2022

More than half the states and dozens of cities now levy taxes or fees on digital streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, aiming to recoup the revenue they lose when people cut the cable cord. Cable customers pay sales taxes and a variety of other taxes and fees imposed by state and local governments. […]

No Puppy for Christmas: Online Pet Scams Proliferate

By: - December 22, 2021

The puppy was supposed to be a Christmas present for her husband, Bryan. But after Lauren Case, a registered nurse from Warren, Arkansas, plunked down via a cash app for a cute teacup Yorkie named Rosy she saw online, she began to get suspicious. She had paid an initial by Zelle, a payment app that […]