News, Recalls & Scam Alerts

Trick or Treat

Know How to Protect Yourself on Halloween, the Worst Night of the Year for Vehicle Vandalism

Halloween is the worst night of the year when it comes to vehicle vandalism and a top night for thieves looking to make a quick score. In fact, compared to your average day, you're twice as likely to be a victim of vehicle vandals on Halloween. While you may not become a victim, there are a few things you can do to lower your risks and hopefully make it through this mischievous night unscathed.

Financial Aid

Watch Out for Scholarship Scammers Who Promote Exclusive Access or Expertise for a Small Fee

College tuition has risen by more than twice the national inflation rate over the past twenty years. With the cards stacked against them, it's no wonder that college students are scrambling to find free money that will pay for as much of their education as possible. Scammers know just how important scholarships are and use the promise of this free money to scam students of what little they have left.

Road Trip

How Do You Protect Yourself From Unfair Charges for Rental Car Damage That You Didn't Cause

You sign the rental car agreement, get the car keys, and drive off only to notice that there was some preexisting damage you didn't see earlier. Will you be charged for that damage when you return the car? Even if you're on your toes and this situation doesn't apply to you, what happens if the rental car gets damaged after you drop it off but before the rental company performs a final inspection?

Lecture Hall

College Test Prep Scammers Claiming to Be From the College Board Again Targeting Families

Is there a high school student in your life that will soon be preparing for the college? Scammers are at it again. They're pretending to be from the College Board and target unsuspecting families in order to take advantage of your desire to help that student get admitted to the best schools. You want to do your part to help out, but do you know what to look for in order to spot one of these scams?

Baby in Hat

Don't Miss Out on These Federal Income Tax Breaks if You Have a New Child or One on the Way

After you spend the time preparing for your new child, taxes are probably the last thing on your sleep-deprived mind. But they shouldn't be. Your new child can save you money with tax credits and tax deductions. All new and prospective parents can use some help in navigating the tax code. So make sure you know about all the credits and deductions you can get for having your first or another child.

Walkway Pumpkins

Follow These Safety Tips to Make Halloween a Ghoulishly Fun and Safe Night for Everyone

The spookiest night of the year is upon us! Kids everywhere are choosing their favorite costumes and looking forward to their favorite treats. In preparation for this ghoulishly good time, we encourage parents and caregivers to keep safety in mind so that no child is haunted by Halloween-related injuries. Hidden dangers associated with costumes, treats, and decorations can be prevented very easily.

Hyundai Logo

Settlement Reached With Hyundai, Kia in Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Engine Damage, Fires

Hyundai Motor Co and affiliate company Kia Motors Corp have set aside $758 million to settle a class action lawsuit for engine failures and fires. In a statement the companies said they will install software that will monitor for symptoms of engine failure, as well as other steps to include compensation and lifetime warranty protection. The vehicles have been the subject of federal investigations.

Pills in Hand

Scam Alert: Law Enforcement Agents Don't Call to Collect Fines From Using Online Pharmacies

Purchasing your medications online is a quick and convenient alternative to driving to the drug store. But many consumers who need medications and who have purchased them online or by phone have unwittingly exposed themselves to extortion by individuals posing as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agents. Here's what you need to know right now about how this scam works and how to protect yourself.

Clothing on Rack

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Isn't a Government Agency and Can't Force Companies to Act

If you tell that friends that you're having a problem with a company, someone is bound to tell you to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for help. But can the BBB really help you? Many people are confused about why the BBB actually does. The BBB is primarily a business membership organization, not a government agency. But the BBB can prove a good source of useful information about companies.

Kids with Pumpkin

Here's What You Need to Know When Choosing a Safe Halloween Costume for Your Little Ghouls

The leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter. That means Halloween is just around the corner! Halloween is the one time of year when kids get to feast on candy and dress up as spooky ghouls or their favorite TV characters. But many parents have questions about costume safety when they're shopping for their children. Do you know what to look for when choosing a safe Halloween costume?

Car Headlight

Beware of Graduated Payment Plans That Promise Very Low Payments When You Buy Your Next Car

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, steer clear of dealers that use graduated payment plans to lure you in. Dealers that offer these types of payment plans often use a variety of ads and even paid programming spots aired late at night or on weekends in an effort to hook you with promises of no money down and exceptionally low monthly payments that later skyrocket to insanely high amounts.

Laptop Computer

Most People Who Want to Work From Home Don't Know About the Hidden Costs That Come With It

Most people would welcome the opportunity to work from home for additional freedom and flexibility with schedules and saving money and hassle with the daily commute. Do you know that there are often many hidden costs to working from home? Most people don't know about these hidden costs, which come back to haunt them. So if you want to work from home, make sure you know what the true costs will be.

Certified Pre-Owned

Certified Pre-owned Cars Cost More but Can Also Have Costly Problems and a Damage History

You'll often see dealer advertisements about certified pre-owned vehicles that go through rigorous multi-point inspections, which can make them seem safer and more reliable than other used vehicles. The hype might not be worth the higher price tag the vehicles carry. You may be surprised to hear that vehicles with extensive repair histories sometimes receive this supposedly prestigious distinction.

Puppy in Costume

Puppy Scams Take Advantage of Your Desire for an Adorable New Puppy at a Really Good Price

With big eyes, wagging tails, and enthusiastic kisses, who doesn't love puppies? If you're looking for a new puppy, it can be very easy to get caught up in the excitement. But while you're looking for the next new member of the family, you should also be watching out for a scam that aims to take advantage of the excitement while emptying your wallet and leaving you without a puppy at the same time.

Online Shopping

Know How to Properly Cancel Recurring Payments and Which Legal Protections Exist for You

Recurring billing is a great thing for our busy schedules. But preferences sometimes change and you no longer wish to have a payment drafted automatically. So before you sign up for automatic payments, you should know how to properly cancel them, how to deal with cancellation problems should they arise, and know which laws exist to provide you with protections in case you are unable to cancel them.

Car Crash

Car Rentals: Supplemental Insurance Coverage and Waivers Usually Not Worth the Extra Money

When you rent a car, you have to make a lot of decisions about supplemental insurance, damage waivers, loss waivers and more. But should you get them? It's usually not worth the extra money. Insurance policies cover most damage done to the rental. But as more rental car companies are charging fees for minor blemishes, loss of use, and depreciation, you might be reconsidering supplemental coverage.

Home Sold Sign

Selling Your Home: How to Stand Out With These Tips to Sell Quickly for the Biggest Profit

Have you finally made the decision to sell your home? Have you been trying to sell your home but haven't had many offers? Maybe the offers that have come your way are much lower than you were expecting? You could be a victim of a bad housing market or you might simply need to make a few inexpensive tweaks to make your home stand out from the others and make potential buyers just have to have it.

Modern Apartments

North Carolina Tenant Rights: Relationships Between Landlords and Tenants Can Be Complex

Laws governing relationships between a landlord and a tenant are complex. While most problems that arise are caused by simple misunderstandings, some are caused intentionally and may require a legal strategy. One of the simplest ways to protect yourself is to thoroughly read and understand your lease before you sign it. If problems do happen down the road, the lease becomes critically important.

New Car Tail Brake Light

Emissions Inspection Not Required for First Three Years or 70,000 Miles for New Vehicles

State inspections got easier for some vehicle owners in 2015, but many are still confused about whether they qualify for an emissions test exemption. Vehicles that were produced within three years of the current year and have less than 70,000 miles on the odometer are exempt from the annual emissions inspection since they are covered by a warranty and very seldom have emission component failures.

Cell Phone in Hand

Jury Duty Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Victims With Phone Calls Threatening Arrest

What would you do if you got a call from a law enforcement officer who said you that you skipped out on your jury duty and that a warrant had been issued for your arrest? It would probably send you into a panic. But that's what scammers are hoping when they pretend to be law enforcement officers and try getting you to pay a 'fine' to avoid arrest. Real law enforcement officers will never do this.

New Car in Driveway

Yo-Yo Auto Scams: Your Financing 'Fell Through' So You Have to Return the Car or Pay More

You've finally filled out the lengthy paperwork for your new or used car and drive it home in triumph. Everything is done, right? But you may get a phone call a few hours, days or even weeks later from your dealer saying that your financing fell through and that you have to return the car or agree to different financing terms. That's illegal. If a dealer tells you this, it's time to get help.


Are You Ever Allowed to Spend Money That Was Mistakenly Deposited Into Your Bank Account?

Have you ever found extra money in your bank account? It happens more often than you might think! It only takes a moment for a bank teller to key the wrong digit when entering an account number. And most of us don't double check the account numbers after we complete a transaction to make sure nothing went wrong. So are you allowed to keep any money that is mistakenly deposited into your account?

Automotive Engine Compartment

Auto Shop Fluid Flushes Are Rarely Needed, Can Cause Damage, and Hardly Ever Fix Problems

Have you seen the displays at your auto shop advertising fluid flushes designed to protect your major vehicle systems? It may seem like a good idea, but fluid flushes should be done sparingly, if ever. Vehicle fluids lose color quickly since color is added mainly to help you distinguish between the different types of fluid, not the fluid's condition. Some flushes even damage sensitive vehicle parts.

Gift Cards

IRS Scam Again Targeting Consumers With Recorded Messages Threatening Arrest Unless You Pay

The IRS scam is again and targeting unsuspecting people who have fear of being arrested for unpaid taxes. It's just another variation of common scams already making the rounds that threaten arrest in exchange for iTunes gift cards. The goal is to feed on your fears and get you to make hasty payments through means that offer you no possibility of getting your money back. Just hang up on these scams.

Close Up Credit Card Chip

If You Lose Your Credit or Debit Card Only to Find It a Short Time Later, Cancel It Anyway

Have you ever lost your wallet or purse? Or maybe you've given your credit or debit card to a cashier only to walk away without it? Well, you're not alone. It's happened to pretty much everyone at one time or another. If you lose your credit or debit card only to find it a short time later, you may think nothing more of it. But you really should consider canceling the card and requesting a new one.

Car Crash

Your Auto Insurance Premium Changes Based Upon Insurance Points Each Time You File a Claim

Filing a claim with your auto insurance company will usually leave you paying higher premiums for a few years, especially if there was a lot of damage. But how much more money will you end up paying? Filing an insurance claim might not be so bad on your wallet depending upon your insurance company, insurance discounts, the amount of the claim, and the number of insurance points you've accumulated.

Laptop Computer

Should You Buy Refurbished Products or Just Spend the Extra Money for Something Brand New?

Electronics items are hot sellers when it comes to refurbished merchandise. Refurbished electronics, after all, are much cheaper than buying something brand new. But many consumers have questions about whether this type of product, or any product, is worth the risk that comes with the lower price tag. Should you chose refurbished? It really all comes down to the cost and who did the refurnishing.

TV Remote Control

Scam Alert: Don't Fall for Fake Heavily Discounted Phone, Internet or Cable Service Offer

Who doesn't want to save money? You probably pay a lot of money for your monthly phone, cable or Internet bill. So it's good news when the company calls you with an offer to significantly lower those bills. But not so fast! Scammers are taking advantage of your desire to save money. So if you receive a call from someone who claims to be able to drastically lower your bill, it's probably a scam.

Car Driving

Your Credit History and Your Credit Score Can Raise or Lower Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Your credit history affects the price you pay for new credit, such as mortgages, car loans and credit cards. But your credit history may also affect the price you pay for car insurance with insurance companies, which can cut into your budget. So unless you live in California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts where the practice has been banned, you should know how your credit can affect your premiums.

Cars Under Water

Beware of Flooded Cars Resurfacing on a Car Lot Near You With No Mention of Water Damage

Have you ever wondered what happens to flood-damaged cars once the water recedes? Many of those cars turn up for sale on car lots across the country after being sold at auction. Most sellers will disclose the previous flood damage. But sometimes unscrupulous sellers will pass flood damage on to unsuspecting buyers who pay top dollar for cars that end up giving them a lot of problems down the road.

Scam Alert

Be on the Lookout for Home Repair Scams and Shady Contractors Following Natural Disasters

Preparing for an approaching hurricane or other weather disaster is stressful enough without worrying about scammers who want to take advantage of the situation and steal your money in your time of need. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing repairs after a storm, know what to look for to help you separate good contractors from scammers and cheats looking for a quick payday.

Vintage Front Door

Seven Key Things You Need to Know About Your Home Insurance Policy Before Disaster Strikes

Looking over your homeowners insurance policy can be challenging and confusing. But with more insurance companies inserting provisions to shift risk and costs to homeowners, a careful read is more important than ever! You don't want to find out that your policy doesn't cover certain types of damage when you call to make a claim. So here are seven things you should know now about your policy.

Car Instrument Cluster

You Shouldn't Ignore These Warning Lights if They Show Up on Your Car's Instrument Cluster

Cars today have lots of bells and whistles. If you are used to driving an older car, some of the new warning lights can seem confusing. While there are indeed new warning lights that have been added with new technology, many haven't changed over the decades. Ignoring these warning lights, which are there to alert you to a potential problem, can leave you stranded or cause further costly damage.

Full Refrigerator

Food Safety Tips: Keeping Your Perishable Foods Safe is Critical Whenever Your Lose Power

Anytime your power goes out due to high winds, snow, ice, thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, fire, or anything that causes electrical failure, the safety of the food inside your refrigerator and freezer is immediately jeopardized. Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep it safe will help you minimize the potential loss of food spoilage and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Storm Damage Tree

Do These Things to Make Getting Fair Insurance Settlements After a Natural Disaster Easier

No matter how much we prepare for the next big storm, recovery is never an easy process. So in order to make working with your insurance company and recovering from a natural disaster a little bit easier, you should make sure to do these key things now. If you wait too long, don't keep good records, or don't even know what your insurance policy covers, you can find yourself under even more stress.

People on Street

You Can Protect Yourself From Identity Theft by Keeping Your Private Information Private

The Internet is so prevalent in our day-to-day lives that we often give little thought to our privacy as we browse our social media feeds or reorder dog food. But it's more important than ever in our connected world to safeguard our information from identity thieves. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of having your identity stolen, whether online or offline.

Five and Ten Dollar Bills Close Up

Only Slight Changes to Federal Income Tax Brackets for Income Tax Returns Due April 2020

The Tax Jobs and Cuts Act of 2017 brought a number of sweeping changes to the tax laws that affected how much taxpayers paid starting with their 2018 federal income tax returns. As is usually the case every year, the federal income tax brackets have once again been updated. This time, however, they reflect only a small change for the 2019 tax year as compared to the broad changes we saw for 2018.

Airport Baggage Claim Sign

Take a Few Precautions Now to Make Sure Your Luggage Goes Where You Go on Your Next Flight

If you've ever lost luggage when flying, you know how frustrating it can be to get it back. It is particularly irritating because there is almost nothing you can do to find it yourself. Rather than find yourself sitting around after your flight, take a few minutes beforehand to make it less likely that your luggage will get lost and more likely that it will find its way home if it is lost.


What is Radon and Why is Testing for This Deadly Element Often Need for a Home Closing?

Anyone who has purchased a home has probably been offered or been required to have a radon test performed before closing can proceed. But you may have wondered what radon is and why the test is even necessary. Radon is a naturally-occurring chemical element and the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Testing for it is very simple and mitigation methods can prevent it from becoming a health issue.

Dark Clouds Lightning

Rebuilding Your Finances After a Disaster Is Much Easier if You Take Some Basic Steps Now

In the days following a disaster, your first priorities are the safety of your family and meeting your day-to-day needs. But as help arrives and rebuilding begins, it is important to take smart and decisive steps to start putting your finances back together. If possible, you should take steps to start this process now before disaster strikes to make recovering from the unexpected much easier.

Shopping Carts

Knowing About the Sneaky Sales Techniques Used by Most Retailers Can Help You Save Money

Have you ever gone to the store with a careful plan to make a purchase for a certain price and leave feeling overcharged, cheated, or even scammed? This has happened to even the most savvy shoppers. Retailers use sneaky tactics to lure you to the store and to get you to spend more money than you expected. But knowing about how they do it can help you keep your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Stop Sign

Online Security: Tips to Protect Yourself and From Fraud When You Make Online Purchases

It can be a nearly impossible task to know exactly who you're dealing with when conducting any business online. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are still working hard to take advantage of you, and the tactics and technology they use is constantly evolving. While it's not possible to stop using the Internet these days, it is possible to protect yourself from becoming a victim of online fraud.

Air Conditioning Compressor

You Can Save Money on Your Air Conditioning and Summer Energy Costs With These Simple Tips

Even though a good bit of summer is behind us, summer temperatures will still be around for a while. That means that your home cooling system will be working hard to keep you and your family comfortable. But running the air conditioner doesn't have to break the bank. With just a little bit of work and these tips, you can spend your hard-earned money on something other than your home cooling bills.

Pills in Hand

Here's What You Need to Know in Order to Dispose of Old and Unused Medications Properly

If you look in your medicine cabinet, you will probably find some old medications you don't need anymore. Whether it's a prescription painkiller or something over-the-counter, you should properly dispose of old and unused medications to prevent them falling into the wrong hands where they can have potentially harmful effects. But how exactly do you do that? Some medications require proper disposal.

Dog Under Fence

Taking Your Furry Friend to the Vet Doesn't Always Mean That You'll End Up in the Dog House

If you have a furry friend, then you know that pets can be just as expensive as they are cute. Your pet's regular expenses, such as food, treats and toys, can often add up quickly. But a surprise medical expense, or even regular medical care, can put you in the dog house if you're not careful! But it is possible to keep your pets healthy and happy while keeping you expenses at the vet to a minimum.

Car Bumper

You May Be Able to Drop Full Coverage Auto Insurance and Have Liability Only to Save Money

Do you want to save money on car insurance? You can save money by dropping full coverage and having comprehensive or liability coverage only. But changing your insurance without doing your homework is risky. Even if your car isn't worth much, there may be good reasons why you need more coverage. But if you don't need full coverage, check to see how much money you can save by reducing your coverage.

New Cars on Lot

Low Interest Auto Financing Might Not Be the Best Deal if Other Incentives Are Available

You've probably never been offered a super low interest car loan rate that often. They exist, but are usually advertised as specials to move only certain cars that have been on the lot for a while. But even if you are offered a low interest rate, you can probably save more money by using rebates and other incentives and then either accepting a higher rate or getting your own financing elsewhere.

Car Crash

Know What to Do and Not to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down and Leaves You Stuck on the Road

Vehicle breakdowns are an unfortunate fact of life no matter which vehicle you drive. While many breakdowns can be prevented by taking simple precautions and performing preventive maintenance, some are sudden and can't be avoided with even the best planning. Whatever the case, you should know what to do to stay as safe as possible if you are unfortunate and suffer an unexpected vehicle breakdown.

Grapefruit Sliced

Grapefruit and Other Citrus Fruits Can Cause Serious Health Problems With Some Medications

While part of a balanced diet, grapefruit and some other citrus fruits can have serious interactions with certain medications. In fact, there are dozens of drugs known to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that interact with grapefruit alone, including many over-the-counter drugs. If you are taking any medications, check the drug safety information carefully for any food interactions.

Old Fashioned Clock

There Are Things You Can Do to Prevent Jet Lag From Turning Your Trips Into a Total Drag

If you've ever traveled to a different time zone, then you know how hard it can be to overcome the challenges of jet lag. Whether you're too tired to leave your room or starving at a time when it's inconvenient to eat, this temporary malady can make it hard for your body to adjust enough to enjoy your new surroundings. But there are ways that you can minimize the impact of jet lag when you travel.

Financial Aid

Student Loans: Know About These Different Options for Lowering and Eliminating Monthly Payments

Student loans are complicated and many things can go wrong when inexperienced young people have to pay back these loans. If you're a first-time borrower, you need to know the basics about paying back student loans and the different ways you can reduce or eliminate your payments. If you already have student loans, now is a good time to take a second look at your terms and the path to paying them off.

Baby at Beach

FDA to Parents: Avoid Putting Sunscreen on Infants if Possible, Instead Opting for Shade

You probably don't think twice about applying sunscreen when you head out to the pool or to the beach. But do you ever think about whether you should apply sunscreen to your baby's skin? You may think that it's perfectly safe to do this, but shade is often a better idea. Sunscreens are recommended for use by adults and its use on infants, especially those under six months of age, can be harmful.

Cell Phone on Desk

You Can Boost Your Cell Phone's Weak Signal For Better Reception And More Reliable Calling

There are many reasons that signal strength on your cell phone may be poor. It could be a problem with your phone's carrier, the materials used to construct the walls in your home that block the signal, or something as simple as a malfunctioning battery that isn't able to power the antenna. Regardless of the cause, there are ways to boost your cell phone's signal to get more reliable connections.


Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Tips: How to Enjoy This Holiday Free of Burns and Injuries

Ask any kid what the Fourth of July means and you'll probably hear something about fireworks. While adults know that Independence Day means more than fireworks, they have become synonymous with celebrating this special day. Whether you are breaking out the fireworks yourself or watching a show, get to know basic fireworks safety so you can enjoy the day without severe or even fatal injuries.

Clothing on Line

Do You Know if You Are Using Bleach Correctly in Your Laundry to Get the Whitest Whites?

When it comes to doing laundry, getting the whitest whites can seem like a big challenge. You may be tempted to buy certain bleach products that promise superior whitening power compared to other products. Should you believe the commercials or simply stick to your laundry detergent? Getting the whitest whites really comes down to the type of bleach you use in your laundry and how you use it.


You Can Save Money by Understanding the Fees and Costs When Buying and Selling Real Estate

Between the showings, inspections, and paperwork, it's easy to lose sight of how much you are paying for various things when buying and selling real estate. Most expenses are lumped into closing costs, which is what you pay at the end of the process to complete the transaction. You can save a lot of money if you pay attention to closing costs and understand exactly where your money is going.

Car Front Bumper

Title Loans May Give You Quick Money but Cost Thousands of Times More in Interest Charges

Are you strapped for cash? It seems that everyone these days could use a little extra money. To target people who need quick money, some lenders advertise short-term loans, called title loans, that use the collateral of your car. It's similar to a home equity loan, only a title loan can be much riskier and cost you a lot more money in interest charges. It can even cost you the car itself!

Bluetooth Earbuds

Don't Race to Replace Your Electronic Devices Now That Faster Bluetooth 5 is Finally Here

A lot electronic devices today, from phones to medical devices, have Bluetooth technology. With the vast proliferation of Bluetooth, having fasting and longer-range signals is very important. The new Bluetooth 5 specification is making things a lot faster and giving much better range, but you shouldn't start replacing your devices and peripherals just yet solely to take advantage of the changes.

Nurse and Patient

What to Do if Your Doctor or Healthcare Provider Is Not in Your Health Insurer's Network

Have you gone to the doctor only to find our that your health insurance company doesn't consider the provider in-network? It happens more than you would think, especially around the beginning of the year when insurance plans change. But if you find yourself facing a large bill, there are a few things you can do.

Laptop Outside

Working From Home Can Be Tempting, but Many Job Opportunities to Work From Home Are Scams

Most people would jump at the chance to work from home. The temptation to save money and stay in pajamas is great, and it only becomes greater when the job promises to pay thousands of dollars each week, even to those with little or no experience. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. If you see an offer like this, you should know the keys signs of a scam before you quit your day job.

Young Man Swimming Pool

How You Can Prevent Swimmer's Ear and Other Ear Infections That Peak During Warmer Weather

Warm weather is here and the kids are probably off swimming. But when water gets in the ear from any source, we run the risk of developing a painful infection known as swimmer's ear. This condition is relatively easy to treat, but preventing it is the best course of action. Take some precautions to keep swimmer's ear and other ear infections from causing pain and ruining a summer vacation.

Airline Window

Your Luggage Is Lost: Here Are Some Things You Can Do When Your Airline Misplaces Your Bags

You've finally landed at the airport after a long flight only to find that your luggage didn't make the trip with you. While it might be a minor inconvenience for some people, it can cause major stress to most everyone else. So, it's important to know what to do in the event your luggage doesn't end up with you at your final destination. Here are some things you can do if your bags are lost.

Grilling Food

Follow These Safety Tips in Order to Enjoy Your Backyard to the Fullest Extent This Summer

We are well on the way to the first day of summer. For some people, it means staying indoors and turning on the air conditioning. For most people, however, it means ballgames, family vacations and backyard grilling. If you're planning to use your backyard this summer, take a few moments now to make it as safe as possible so that you and your family can enjoy the warm weather with the least risk.

Person on Vacation

How to Keep Your Valuables Safe at Home and Abroad When You Leave for Your Next Vacation

When you go away on vacation, you really don't want to be worrying about your valuables. Taking them with you is pretty risky, especially since you're distracted by the new sights and sounds. But leaving them home can have risks, too. Regardless of whether you leave your valuables at home or take them with you, you should always be protecting them from theft when you take a vacation.

Subaru Bumper and Headlight

North Carolina Vehicle Inspection Checklist: What's Checked During A State Safety Inspection

The annual emission and safety vehicle inspection process in North Carolina can be a simple inconvenience or a nightmare. But too many people worry about seeing a check engine light, which could mean thousands of dollars in repairs, while ignoring the safety component of this annual check. Do you know what has to be in tiptop shape in order to pass the North Carolina Vehicle Safety Inspection?

Ice Cream Sundae

Sugar Substitutes Can Be Very Good for Your Diet, but Are Often Deadly When Eaten by Dogs

Using sugar-free sweeteners might be an effective way to cut sugar from your diet, but they can be very dangerous to man's best friend. Xylitol, in particular, is hazardous in small amounts and can be lethal when eaten by a dog. If you keep any sugar-free foods around the house, you should pay close attention to ensure your dog doesn't eat any and know the warning signs of xylitol poisoning.

Pills in Hand

Saving Money at the Pharmacy Counter: Here's How You Can Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs

If you are a budget-conscious consumer, you are always on the lookout for new and better ways to reduce your monthly expenses. But for many of us, prescription medications make up an ever-increasing portion of our monthly expenses. Did you know that you can save money by lowering the amount of money you pay for prescription drugs? Here are five tips to help you save money on prescription drugs.


Ventilation Is Crucial to Preventing Health Issues and Damage Caused by Bathroom Humidity

Ask you friends and family about how to improve air quality in your home and you'll probably get a wide variety of answers. We're willing to bet that none of those answers will involve a bathroom exhaust fan. Most people don't know that a bathroom exhaust fan is one of the most important air quality components of your home, removing humidity that can damage your home and cause health problems.

Apartment Exteriors

Fifteen Questions You Should Ask a Prospective Landlord Before Signing an Apartment Lease

Owning a home is part of the American dream, but it's not always within reach. If it's not within reach for you just yet, you'll likely be renting until that big day comes. But entering into a rental agreement is just as important as signing a mortgage agreement. It's important to know what to keep in mind, so here are fifteen questions to ask before signing your name to an apartment lease.

Typing Keyboard

Stronger Online Passwords Are the First Defense for Your Sensitive Personal Information

The biggest mistake people make with an online password is making it far too simple just to be able to remember it. While this used to be acceptable at one time, modern hackers can quickly decode simple passwords for virtually any account. Your life can be turned upside down from only one person gaining access to your personal information, so make it difficult for them by using strong passwords.

New Kitchen

You Can Save Serious Money on Your Home Insurance Quote With Hidden Home Insurance Credits

If you had a way to save money on your next home insurance quote, would you take advantage of it or let it go to waste? You would use it, of course, to save as much money as possible! There are a few hidden and lesser-known home insurance credits that can save you a lot of money on your insurance bill. Take a look at them and see if you qualify. You could find yourself saving hundreds of dollars.

Money in Wallet

How Late Can Payments Be Before Being Beginning to Negatively Affect Your Credit Worthiness?

Most people know that late payments on credit cards, car loans and mortgages affect their credit scores and their credit worthiness. But few people know that late payments don't always get reflected on credit reports. In fact, payments must be at least thirty days late before they can be reported to the credit bureaus, which gives you extra time to fix the issue if you happen to forget a payment.

Plane Window

What Really Happens With the Plane if You Don't Set Your Phone to Airplane Mode When Flying?

What happens if you don't put your cell phone into airplane mode when flying? Most people obey the order to disconnect. Others do not, yet the plane still lands safely. You may have even been guilty of turning off cellular data mistakenly believing that you're in airplane mode. But if planes aren't crashing because of phones, why should you put your phone into airplane mode during your next flight?

Cell Phone in Hand

Do You Really Understand What Those Mystery Fees and Charges Are on Your Monthly Phone Bill?

Whether your phone is a wireless device, a landline, or both, you know that you'll be getting a bill every month. But you may not know what each of those fees and charges listed on the bill actually mean. Savvy consumers know what they're paying for. So if you want to avoid any nasty surprises, get to know your bill now and make sure you understand each of those monthly phone bill charges.

Airline Jet

Lowest Cost Airline Tickets: Tips for Booking the Cheapest Airfare for Your Next Flight

It's a painful and sobering fact of flying. On your next flight, nearly everyone will have paid a different price for their seats depending upon when and how they booked. Was your ticket one of the cheapest? Even though it may seem daunting, you can also get low cost airline tickets the next time you fly just by taking advantage of the best times to buy, the best times to fly, and these other tips.

Summer Travel Van

Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Ready for the Road Before You Embark on Your Summer Vacation

Whether you're headed to the beach, the lake, the mountains, or anywhere between, make sure your vehicle is safe and ready to roll this summer before you pack up and hit the asphalt. Take a little time to review the following safety checklist. After all, prevention and planning are much easier than dealing with the consequences of an unexpected highway breakdown or even a deadly crash.


Using Those Inexpensive Bleach Tablets in Your Toilet Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

Using bleach tablets to clean the toilet may seem like a great way to save some cleaning time, not to mention avoiding the gloves, brush, and cleaner. But you could be doing a lot of damage to your toilet just by dropping that tablet in the water tank. Bleach tablets can slowly cause damage to the rubber seals inside your toilet, causing unexpected leaks and completely avoidable repair bills.

car refueling

High Octane Gasoline Doesn't Always Equal Better Performance or Even Better Fuel Economy

Your car's manual and gas cap both say to use regular unleaded gasoline. But would you get better performance and better fuel economy by switching from regular octane fuel to mid-grade or even premium fuel? Probably not. If your car was designed to run on regular unleaded gasoline, the only thing you'll notice by using a higher grade fuel is that it costs you more to fill up your tank.

Crowd of People

Top Tips for Spotting the Red Flags of a Scam and Keeping Your Money and Information Safe

Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to fool their victims in an effort to steal money or sensitive personal information. While there are many different ploys and tactics used by these con artists, most scams will typically have several elements in common. If you are able to recognize the red flags of scams, you'll be in a much better position to stop scammers in their tracks.

Scam Alert

Scam Alert: Con Artists Are Targeting Consumers Going Through Bankruptcy Court Proceedings

People going through bankruptcy proceedings are already hard-pressed for money, but that doesn't stop the scammers from seeing a quick payday. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of these good people who fell on hard times and use fear to steal whatever money they have left. If you or anyone you know is going through bankruptcy proceedings, watch out for these signs of a scam.

Credit Card

Each of the Dozens of Credit Scoring Models in the Credit Industry Gives a Different Credit Score

Most people don't know that there isn't one true credit score. In fact, there are a number of different credit scoring models and they vary from one place to another. So it's important to realize that the credit score you see, whether it be from one of the major credit reporting agencies or from your credit card company, isn't necessarily the score that's used for your credit decisions.