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Here are some tips to help protect you from losing your hard-earned savings to Ponzi-like investment schemes:

1.) Research your broker and the investment - Studies show fewer than 20% of people ever check up on their broker or where he or she may be placing their money. Two good places to start are the SEC's investor.gov & the Financial Industry's Regulatory Authority's brokercheck.finra.org.

2.) If it seems too good to be true, it's probably not true. When you hear phrases like "no risk" and guaranteed returns," run the other way.

3.) If you don't understand the investment, be wary.

4.) Don't be startruck - Celebrity endorsements don't really mean anything. The endorser is usually being paid or has a financial interest in you making an investment. 

Above all, take your time! Don't let a broker try to hurry with warnings that the quicker you invest, thequicker your money will grow. It can also be the quicker you lose everything!

Looking to raise a little cash and de-clutter at the same time? Here’s what’s hot and what’s not in the world of collectibles:

HOT NOT
Coins/Currency Pre-20th Century War Artifacts from WWI or II
Cardboard Advertising Signs  Metal Advertising Signs
Movie posters Pre-1990 Movie Posters Post-1990
Space Program Collectible Comics Books Post-1970
Vintage Mint Condition Toys Post-1960 Campaign Buttons

 

Happy hunting!

With Wi-Fi everywhere now from the public library to the corner coffee shop, there are more opportunities for cyber punks to hack into your laptop tablet or mobile phone.

Here are some tips to keep your information safe when using public Wi-Fi:

1.) Don’t set your devices to automatically connect to pubic Wi-Fi

2.) Never access your bank accounts, credit card accounts or even your email while on public Wi-Fi

3.) Stick to your call phone’s providers Wi-Fi network if you’re accessing an online shopping website or any other site that requires personal information

4.) Check website addresses carefully and completely. Scam artists will create bogus sites that closely mimic real ones

Authorities warn that today’s biggest scam is the supposed call from “Tech support.” Fraudsters are racking up nearly $460 every 10 seconds for a yearly haul of $1.5 billion.

Here’s how the scam works.

You get a call from somebody claiming to be from “Microsoft,” “Windows” (a giveaway as Windows is the name of the operating system, not the company) or an anti-virus software company such as Norton or Symantec. The caller claims that software on your computer is sending them messages that you have very dangerous viruses on your computer. They can remove the viruses if you give them remote access to your computer.

What that remote access will really do is give the scam artists access to all your vital information, account numbers and passwords.

Here’s what you need to know:

1.) Companies like Microsoft and Symantec will never call you out of the blue. They just don’t.

2.) Anti-virus software is designed to catch and remove viruses all by themselves. There is no anti-virus software that alerts the home office and then requires a live tech support person to remove it.

Don’t fall for the scam. Either hang up or do what we do. Ask the caller if they think their mothers would be proud of how they’re spending their days as a thief who hides their true identity and tries to rip off old ladies.

Have you received a phone call, text or email promising you a cruise or vacation getaway that sounds too good to be true?

Beware, it probably is.

If you receive an invite for a resort stay, airline tickets or other vacation come on via email, do not click on the link. Often times all you’ll get is malware. Or you may have to endure really hard-sell presentations for pricey travel and vacation clubs. And we don’t need to tell you never fall for any “free” offer that requires you to give up credit card numbers or personal information.

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