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Don’t Get Caught in a Pre-Approval Scam

You’ve got mail! And the good news keeps coming, because you’ve been pre-approved for a large loan—maybe even a mortgage! Yes, you! It’s a dream come true—until it turns into a living nightmare.  Here’s what you need to know about preapproval scams and how to stay safe. How the scams play out In a preapproval

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Beware of Digital Kidnapping

Digital kidnapping happens when a scammer takes control of a victim’s social media profiles and holds it for ransom. It can also involve “kidnapping” photos that are posted on social media pages. Here’s what you need to know about digital kidnapping.   How the Scams Play OutIn a digital kidnapping scam, a hacker takes control

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What to Buy and What to Skip in September

Get ready for big savings on big-ticket items this September! Retailers want to bring the crowds back after the big back-to-school storm has passed, and to clear the shelves before the holiday season blows in. All that, plus the Labor Day sales, means big savings in September—but not on everything. Here’s what to buy and

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Don’t Get Caught in a Fake Lottery Scam

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but scammers can turn that dream into an absolute nightmare. Here’s all you need to know about fake lottery scams.  How the Scams Play Out In a fake lottery scam, a scammer reaches out to a potential target by phone, email, or social media message to inform them they’ve

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Cash, Credit, or Debit – How Should You Pay?

When paying for everyday and occasional purchases, some purchases should be paid for with cash, some with a credit card, and others with a debit card. Let’s inspect each method and when you should use them. When should you use cash?Some retailers offer discounts for paying in cash, making it the wise go-to. Also, if

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What to Buy and What to Skip in August

Independence Day sales are over and Labor Day is a month away, but you can still find great deals in August. Here’s what to buy and what to skip this month.  Buy: Back-to-School Supplies Look for weekly deals on school and office supplies at big-box stores, pharmacies and e-tailers this month. Think beyond school—you can

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7 Simple Ways to Spot of Survey Scam

Survey scams are almost as old as the internet. Spend just an hour online and there’s a good chance you’ll be running into an ad for a “super quick” survey promising big money or prizes for just a few minutes of your time.   What actually happens, though, is that the scammer walks away with

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What to Buy and What to Skip in July

The days are still long and filled with sunshine. And though retailers would have you think otherwise, school is still a long way off. If you’re looking to save on some purchases this month, you can find lots of bargains around Independence Day weekend and beyond. Here’s what to buy and what to skip in

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How Can I Save on Entertainment Costs?

With a bit of creativity and pre-planning, you can trim your recreation budget without feeling pinched. We’ve listed a variety of ways to save on entertainment costs. Attend amateur sporting events Instead of spending big on professional sporting events, get your fix at local high school or college games. You’ll get the same excitement and

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How to Boost Your Productivity at Work

Everyone wants to do their best at work, but you can sometimes stare at the same to-do list day after day after day. Here’s how to keep your productivity levels up at work. Start your day with the MITs Get your most crucial tasks done by separating the MITs (most important tasks) from the other

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Beware of Job Scams

It’s an amazing employment opportunity–or is it? Scammers often hijack the job market to ensnare job seekers. Here’s what to know about these scams. How the scams play out There are several variations in job scams. Here are the most common: Bogus job listing. There’s a Help Wanted ad for a dream job. The eager job-seeker

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Tips for ATM Safety

Using a compromised ATM can mean risking identity theft and/or having cash stolen. With this simple machine, all it takes is a few short minutes for a victim’s life to meet disaster. Here are tips to help you keep your ATM transactions secure. Keep your PIN private. Don’t share it with anyone and don’t write

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How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Here’s how to enjoy a romantic evening with your partner without going into debt: Work with a budgetWe know your partner means the world to you, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend the world proving it. Designate a budget for all your Valentine’s Day expenses — and stick to it! Use a sales

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Scam Update: Unemployment Fraud

IDENTITY THEFTThroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have been stealing personal information from individuals and then filing and claiming unemployment benefits in that individual’s name. Victims of these unemployment scams are often just now learning about this identity theft, as unemployment agencies are sending tax forms (1099-G) for income tax filing. If you received a 1099-G

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Beware of Romance Scams

With COVID-19 forcing more singles to connect online, America’s most expensive scam is on the rise. Romance scams are all over the internet and can be difficult to spot. Here’s what you need to know about these scams. HOW THE SCAM PLAYS OUTIn a romance ruse, a scammer creates a bogus online profile and attempts to connect

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Secret Sister: An Illegal Pyramid Scheme

How it plays out:The “Secret Sister” gift exchange seems like a fun way to spread cheer within the social media-verse, but it’s actually an illegal pyramid scheme, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Akin to old-timey chain letters, the Secret Sister gift exchange asks participants to buy a gift of at least $10

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Tracking Holiday Spending Keeps Season Stress Down

The holidays will look different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why most people will try harder to make the season brighter. But you don’t have to dip into the kids’ college savings to create a special time! The most important thing to remember is a plan with a set spending amount

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Five Steps to Take After Being Hacked

Uh oh — you’ve been hacked! Finding out someone has cracked open your accounts and helped themselves to your information can be alarming, but there are ways to mitigate the damage while jump-starting your recovery process. Here are five steps to take after being hacked: Step 1: Assess the damage First, determine the damage. Unfortunately, one

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Beware of Debt-Collection Scams

Don’t be the next victim of a debt-collection scam! Here’s all you need to know about these scams: HOW THE SCAMS PLAY OUT In a debt-collection scam, a caller claiming to represent a debt-collection agency demands immediate payment for an alleged outstanding debt. The caller insists on specific means of payment and may threaten to

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