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The Top Phone Cheats of the Year

It would be a rare person who has not had at least one attempted scam via phone (cell or land line) this past year.

Law enforcement says these are the top scams of the year gone by:

  • Phone numbers on your caller ID that are very close to your own number. Scam artists know you're more likely to answer an unknown number that's close to your number. If you don't recognize the number, let it go to voice mail.
  • “The IRS” claiming they’re about to take you to court or have you arrested unless you make immediate payment via wire transfer or debit card. Tip: The IRS NEVER makes phone calls. Official business is always conducted by mail.
  • “Tech support worker” claiming they need access to your computer remotely to remove viruses. What they’re really going to remove is your personal information.
  • “Utility bill collectors” looking for immediate payment or else your utilities will be shut off. Again, real utilities do not operate this way.

When in doubt, get off the phone and make contact yourself with the agency the original caller claimed to be from.

Don't Make an ATMistake!

We’ve all heard about “skimming.” That’s when you use your ATM card and some scam artist has inserted an additional piece of card-reading hardware that will steal you ATM card information. The people that monitor this sort of thing say incidents of skimming were up 500% in 2015 over the previous year.

Here’s how you can reduce the risk of someone getting you valuable information:

  1. Stick with the Chip – Digital chips are harder to hack (not impossible, but harder). Try to avoid using card readers where you still have to swipe the card's magnetic strip.
  2. Use a Bank Machine – While not perfect, bank ATMs are more secure. They are better maintained and have 24/7 surveillance cameras. Machines at gas stations and convenience stores account for the majority of card information theft.
  3. Inspect Before Swiping – If the machine doesn’t accept your card smoothly, walk away. Newer machines also have a flashing light in the card slot. If you don’t see one or it’s partially obscured, you might want to find another machine.
  4. Always Check Your Card Statements – Make there are no unusual or unfamiliar charges.
  5. Talk with Your Bank about Alternative Solutions – You might open a separate account with a smaller amount of money just for ATM purchases or you can lower the daily limit for ATM withdrawals.

Is There Gold in Your Attic?

Everybody thinks they got some treasure stashed somewhere - in the attic, down in the baseball or in the closet where old photos and more are lurking. But the truth is all that's old is not necessarily gold. Don't let Antiques Roadshow put dollar signs in your eyes.

Here's what's hot and what's not in the world of collectibles:

Read more: Is There Gold in Your Attic?

The Cheap Way to Stop Going Buggy

Getting bugged? As in, those creepy, crawly things you don’t want around you or the house. Here’s the cheapskate’s way to combat them.

For ants in the home, just spray vinegar along your baseboards.

For mosquitoes when you barbecuing outside, put a little rosemary or sage over the coals. The mosquitoes don’t like that and will stay away.

You, however, may feel an overwhelming urge to go to Scarborough Fair.

Do You Really Need Rental Car Insurance?

With Memorial Day weekend here, it's the start of vacation season! If you're planning on renting a car when you reach your destination, the rental company is sure to try and sell you rental car insurance. Do you really need it?

In a lot cases, the answer is no!

If you own a car and have car insurance, many of those policies automatically cover you when you're driving a rental car. Check with your insurance company before you take your trip and see if you're covered!

The Beatles had 7 consecutive #1 albums. Two other bands had 8. Name them.

Led Zeppelin & ABBA
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