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Why Do Scams Continue to Work?

February 2016

Scams have been around for generations. Stealing other people's money has always been their goal. To do that, scams are continually evolving and scammers constantly come up with new ways to "deceive and thieve." Even though each new variety of scam brings results in widely publicized warnings and descriptions, why do people still fall for them? Scammers are master manipulators and know how to use several basic strategies to trigger your emotions and trick you into a quick action. No matter the scam, knowing these basic strategies can help you do a better job of recognizing any scam, whether it arrives by email, text, phone, snail mail or in person.

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Make the Most of Your Financial Resolutions for 2016

January 2016

What are your financial resolutions for 2016? Most people want to save more, spend less, and pay down debt, according to a recent survey from Fidelity. These are great financial goals, but making them a reality is not so easy. Why? First, the goals are vague–without a plan that has specific action steps, the goals will remain just nice ideas. Second, achieving the goal of saving more requires most people to spend less and reduce debt. So an effective plan must address all three goals in concrete ways. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Seven Tips for Getting Better Customer Service

December 2015

Dealing with customer service for products and services is a fact of life. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 88% of survey participants had dealt with customer service at least once during the year. Most found it a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Needs for customer service range from repair requests for utilities, services, and products to help with troubleshooting new devices, to correction of faulty bills. The holiday season also brings gifts of new toys and products that increase the need for customer service.

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November's Time to Consider Health Plan Re-Enrollments & Savings for 2016

November 2015

Each year November marks the middle of the time to enroll, re-enroll, or make changes to your health-care plans for the coming year. These plans include health insurance provided by your employer, health insurance you buy individually on the Health Insurance Marketplace (state or national), Medicare, and various tax-advantaged health savings plans. Take time now to consider what you and your family need for 2016. It can help you get the best coverage and benefits while saving money where possible.

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When You Give—Stay Alert for Crowdsourcing Scams

October 2015

In recent years, crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise money for a variety of creative projects, new business ventures, and charitable causes. In crowdfunding, individuals or businesses typically use an online crowdfunding platform to seek small sums of money from a large number of people. Larger crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and RocketHub. However, there are hundreds of platforms online, many of which are very small.

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