Consumer News & Info

If You Want a Larger Tax Refund This Year, Don't Miss These Common Tax Breaks & Deductions
2Feb

If You Want a Larger Tax Refund This Year, Don't Miss These Common Tax Breaks & Deductions

Are you looking for the biggest tax refund you can get this year? You're not alone. But far too many people miss out on some common tax deductions each year. But you don't have to be one of them. Review the following tax deductions to see if you might be missing out on a larger tax refund. And don't despair if you see something you may have missed last year. You can always amend last year's taxes.

Yellow Pages Business Directory Invoice Scam Still Continues to Claim Unsuspecting Victims
17Feb

Yellow Pages Business Directory Invoice Scam Still Continues to Claim Unsuspecting Victims

Businesses of all sizes should be on alert for fake invoices for supposed listings in the Yellow Pages or other business directories, which are once again increasing in frequency. While it can be very easy to fall for this particular scam, it can also be easy to spot if you know what to do. Knowing what this scam is all about before you fall victim and lose your hard-earned money is your the first step.

Most Online Pharmacies Are Really Fake Sites Selling Illegal, Tainted or Counterfeit Drugs
16Feb

Most Online Pharmacies Are Really Fake Sites Selling Illegal, Tainted or Counterfeit Drugs

Thanks to the Internet, you can buy practically anything online today from the ordinary to the truly exotic. Buying medications is no exception. You can find nearly any medication you want with a quick web search. Unfortunately, nearly all online web pharmacies are illegal, selling not only controlled substances that can't be purchased online but also dangerous counterfeit and tainted medications.

When Making Home Improvements, What Should You Keep in Mind to Get the Best Resale Value?
15Feb

When Making Home Improvements, What Should You Keep in Mind to Get the Best Resale Value?

When making home improvements, we want to get the biggest bang for our buck. But we also want to make sure that our upgrades will not only increase the home's value but increase it much more than the amount we invest. While every home is different and the amount of financial returns you'll reap will vary, some home improvements typically offer reliably higher returns when it comes to resale value.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act Guarantees You Basic Rights and Protections for Your Credit
14Feb

The Fair Credit Reporting Act Guarantees You Basic Rights and Protections for Your Credit

You might already know that you have a right to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. But a federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, gives you additional legal rights and protections. It protects you from the willful or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in your credit report that can cause you to be denied credit or favorable credit terms.

Federal Income Tax Credits Can Help You at Tax Time if You Financially Support Your Parents
12Feb

Federal Income Tax Credits Can Help You at Tax Time if You Financially Support Your Parents

If you're caring for an aging parent, you already know that it can get very expensive. But you can qualify for a some tax credits and tax deductions from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the financial support you provide. There are a lot of different factors to take into consideration, so you may or may not qualify. But if you are able to qualify for the credits, you can see serious savings.

What You Need to Know About North Carolina Lemon Law if You Are Having Repeat Car Problems
11Feb

What You Need to Know About North Carolina Lemon Law if You Are Having Repeat Car Problems

North Carolina Lemon Law gives the first owner of a brand new vehicle purchased or leased in North Carolina weighing less than 10,000 pounds certain legal rights when there are serious defects or defects that can't be fixed. The manufacturer may replace the vehicle or give a refund minus usage if the vehicle qualifies during the first two years of ownership, or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Keeping a Copy of Everything in Your Wallet Can Help You Recover if It Gets Lost or Stolen
10Feb

Keeping a Copy of Everything in Your Wallet Can Help You Recover if It Gets Lost or Stolen

Have you ever lost a credit card only to realize that you didn't know how to reach the bank to get a new one? If you lose your wallet, you might not know who to contact, which can be a problem if you're traveling. But there's something simple you can do to ensure that you can contact your financial institutions quickly in the event of a lost or stolen wallet, especially if you have a lot of cards.

The Auto Loan You Finally Choose Can Cause Your Insurance Premiums to Increase Unexpectedly
7Feb

The Auto Loan You Finally Choose Can Cause Your Insurance Premiums to Increase Unexpectedly

Are you buying a new car? We often think about how a vehicle's age and options affects our auto insurance rates. But we never think about how the loan will affect our premiums. Having a loan will certainly mean you will have to maintain some collision coverage. But some loans require much more than that state's minimum insurance coverage limits and could end up costing you much more than expected.

How Accurate Are CARFAX Vehicle History Reports and the Various Types of Data They Contain?
6Feb

How Accurate Are CARFAX Vehicle History Reports and the Various Types of Data They Contain?

If you've ever looked into purchasing a used car, the odds are really good that you've at least heard of CARFAX, if not purchased a CARFAX report. CARFAX is a service that provides historical information on vehicles. Your dealer might be advertising that a vehicle has a clean CARFAX report, which might calm your nerves about the car. But how reliable is the information that CARFAX reports provide?

Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Investment for Your Home or is the Familiar Kind Better?
5Feb

Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Investment for Your Home or is the Familiar Kind Better?

Is a tankless water heater a good investment? A lot more goes into making the decision to replace your bulky water heater with a slim tankless model than a simple yes or no. Even though it can pay itself quickly, a tankless water heater may not be best for you. Some households, for instance, may have a demand that exceeds the water heater's capabilities.

Income Tax Professionals Beware: Tax Scammers Are Targeting Your Network and Your Customers Data
4Feb

Income Tax Professionals Beware: Tax Scammers Are Targeting Your Network and Your Customers Data

Income tax time is when identity thieves and scammers go into overdrive aiming to steal sensitive data from taxpayers and tax professionals alike. Tax professionals must be very mindful of scams intended to take personal and professional information or to allow remote control of computer systems, letting cybercriminals complete and file client tax returns and redirect tax refunds to other accounts.

Your Smart TV is Reporting Data on What You Watch, but You Can Turn Some or All of It Off
3Feb

Your Smart TV is Reporting Data on What You Watch, but You Can Turn Some or All of It Off

Everything is getting smart, which means it's all connected. This means that smart TV manufacturers are able to collect data on how you use your TV. Hopefully your data isn't being reported without knowledge or consent, but it's happened before. For now, here's how you can opt out of having at least some of your personal information collected and reported for some of the major smart TVs out there.

Scammers Try to Break Your Heart and Empty Your Bank Account as Valentine's Day Approaches
31Jan

Scammers Try to Break Your Heart and Empty Your Bank Account as Valentine's Day Approaches

If you miss your special someone, it's easy to feel lonely and left out of love as Valentine's Day draws closer. He might be busy in graduate school. She may have found someone else. Whatever the reason, scammers target lonely and heartbroken people who let down their guards, especially at this time of year. Dating websites and apps can help you find love, but not everyone has the best intentions.

Job Search Expenses Can Be Tax Deductible on Your Tax Return, Even if You Don't Get the Job
30Jan

Job Search Expenses Can Be Tax Deductible on Your Tax Return, Even if You Don't Get the Job

If you've been looking for a new job in the same line of work as your most recent job, you may be able to deduct some of your job search expenses on your federal income tax return. And it doesn't even matter if you got the job. But the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does have some limitations. So if you've been looking for a new job, check into whether your situation qualifies you for a tax credit.

Common Red Flags That Will Prompt the IRS to Pull Your Income Tax Return Aside for an Audit
28Jan

Common Red Flags That Will Prompt the IRS to Pull Your Income Tax Return Aside for an Audit

You've probably seen ads guaranteeing that certain things you do will ensure you won't get audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at tax time. Want to know a secret? You can never completely avoid the possibility of a tax audit. The overall number of taxpayers chosen for an audit is usually less than one percent. But there are steps you can take to make an income tax audit even less likely.

Cold Weather Means You Need to Take Care of Your Dog's Coat and Skin for Health and Comfort
27Jan

Cold Weather Means You Need to Take Care of Your Dog's Coat and Skin for Health and Comfort

Even though we've had periods of spring-like weather already this winter, the cold temperatures will surely be here for a while. As your dog spends more time warm indoors during the winter months, it can be easy to let regular grooming slide. However, it's especially important during this time of year to continue with a regular grooming routine that will keep your pup both comfortable and healthy.

Be Wary of Super Bowl Ticket Scams if You Plan to Attend the Big Event in Person This Year
25Jan

Be Wary of Super Bowl Ticket Scams if You Plan to Attend the Big Event in Person This Year

Are you looking for Super Bowl tickets? If so, scammers are watching you! Die-hard football fans want to be there in person while their team pounds the other team into the gridiron to win the coveted trophy. But whether you are a loyal fan desperate for tickets or just wanting to watch the game up close, don't let scammers tackle you by preying upon your desire to be part of the action this year.

Mortgage Assistance and Foreclosure Relief Scams Prey on Those Who Are Struggling the Most
24Jan

Mortgage Assistance and Foreclosure Relief Scams Prey on Those Who Are Struggling the Most

While you may not have a lot of extra cash, you probably have enough to pay the bills. But many people struggle to make ends meet, sometimes resorting to extremes to pay their mortgages. Scammers know this and target these struggling homeowners. So take a moment to be able to recognize mortgage assistance and foreclosure relief scams and the tactics thieves use to victimize you and your loved ones.

What Will Really Happen if You Don't Pay or Forget About Your Federal Income Taxes in 2020?
23Jan

What Will Really Happen if You Don't Pay or Forget About Your Federal Income Taxes in 2020?

The thought crosses our minds every year around tax time and again when we start writing that check to the federal government. What would happen if I didn't pay my federal income taxes? We never really find out, though, since we always end up paying them. But what would really happen if we didn't pay up to the federal government? What are the potential consequences if we don't pay or forget to pay?

When You Are Allowed to Cancel a Sale Under the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule
22Jan

When You Are Allowed to Cancel a Sale Under the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule

Far too many people are confused about their rights when it comes to cancelling a sale, particularly for vehicle purchases. Some people will say that you have three days to cancel a sale or return a product for a full refund. Others say that you have seven days. Some will say that you have no right to cancel a sale and that all purchases are final. So what's the truth? When can you cancel a sale?

Don't Let Tax Time Be the Perfect Time for Scammers to Steal Your Identity and Tax Refund
21Jan

Don't Let Tax Time Be the Perfect Time for Scammers to Steal Your Identity and Tax Refund

It's that time again. Tax documents are pouring in from banks and employers while we're all collecting receipts and trying to get an idea of how much money we will owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But just because we're at the beginning of the year, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be watching for scams, especially those requesting last-minute deposit changes for tax refunds or account updates.

Freezing Water Pipes Are a Problem in the South, but You Can Prevent Them With Simple Steps
20Jan

Freezing Water Pipes Are a Problem in the South, but You Can Prevent Them With Simple Steps

It's a scientific fact that water freezes when the temperature drops low enough. So it's never too late to safeguard your plumbing against freezing temperatures, especially with the wild temperature swings we experience here in North Carolina. Taking a little bit of time and spending a few dollars can save you thousands of dollars in preventable repairs down the road, not to mention the headaches.

Checking Tire Pressures Regularly is Important for Saving Money and Being Safe on the Road
19Jan

Checking Tire Pressures Regularly is Important for Saving Money and Being Safe on the Road

How often do you check the air pressure in your vehicle's tires? It's a simple thing that you can do that can have significant impacts. But most of us probably don't think about tire pressure until the tire light turns on. Checking your tires weekly to ensure they are properly inflated saves a lot fuel, reduces wear and tear on the tires, and reduces your risks of a crash caused by tire problems.

Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers With Fake Missed Package Delivery Notices
17Jan

Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers With Fake Missed Package Delivery Notices

If you find a notice in your mailbox or on your front door saying you missed a delivery, would you think twice? If you're like most people, you'll call the number on the notice. But that could be a costly mistake. Scammers use these fake notices to steal your money and personal information or to get you to purchase things you don't want, such as recurring subscriptions for future product deliveries.

Don't Let Your Auto Insurance Company Steer You From Genuine Parts & Glass to Aftermarket
16Jan

Don't Let Your Auto Insurance Company Steer You From Genuine Parts & Glass to Aftermarket

The last time your car needed body work or a new windshield, did you get Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts? If you're like most people, you don't really know. Most people think that the parts they get are the ones that were originally on the car. But that's not always so. You should know what kind of parts are going on your car and should choose OEM parts if you can.

Tips for the Safe Purchase, Preparation, and Consumption of Fresh Produce to Prevent Illness
15Jan

Tips for the Safe Purchase, Preparation, and Consumption of Fresh Produce to Prevent Illness

Fresh produce is often grown in uncontrolled environments, so there's always a risk of contamination. Fruits and vegetables can come into contact with harmful bacteria in the soil and irrigation water. They can also be tainted during harvesting, storage, transport, or while on display. Since contaminated produce can lead to foodborne illnesses, follow these tips to protect yourself and your family.

How To Save Money On A New Car And Survive the Car Dealership Sales Pitches And Tactics
14Jan

How To Save Money On A New Car And Survive the Car Dealership Sales Pitches And Tactics

Driving away in your new car is exciting, but the process of buying that car can be daunting. Even if you've purchased several cars before, you probably don't know much about the nuances of the car buying process other than the hassle and headaches it sometimes causes. If you take your time, learn the tricks of the trade, and refuse to let the salesperson have control, you can save a lot of money.

The Most Common Income Tax Return Errors and How You Can Avoid Them When Filing Your Return
13Jan

The Most Common Income Tax Return Errors and How You Can Avoid Them When Filing Your Return

Have you started preparing your 2019 income taxes? The deadline to file your return is Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects that the vast majority of income tax returns, about 90 percent, will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software. But there are a number of common tax return errors you should look for regardless of how you file your taxes.

A Sewer Backup Endorsement to Your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Can Save You Money Later
12Jan

A Sewer Backup Endorsement to Your Homeowners or Renters Insurance Can Save You Money Later

Most people don't know that insurance often doesn't cover you if something causes sewage to back up into your home. Damages from these types of incidents can add up to many tens of thousands of dollars quickly and make your home a hazmat site. But an optional sewer backup endorsement from your insurance company can save you a lot of money later. Without one, you can end up footing the whole bill.

Neti Pots Can Bring Relief but Also Serious Sinus Infections if Not Used and Cleaned Properly
11Jan

Neti Pots Can Bring Relief but Also Serious Sinus Infections if Not Used and Cleaned Properly

Whether it's the dry winter air that irritates your sinuses or the seasonal allergies that wreak havoc on your breathing, nasal irrigation can bring you some soothing relief. Among the popular devices on the market is the neti pot, which looks like a small tea pot and allows water to flow through your sinuses, rinsing them. But these devices, when not used properly, can cause some nasty infections.

Subprime Credit Cards May Look Rally Good but May Be Predatory With High Interest and Fees
10Jan

Subprime Credit Cards May Look Rally Good but May Be Predatory With High Interest and Fees

There are more distinctions between credit cards than whether they have a VISA, American Express, Discover, or MasterCard logo. Different credit cards give different rewards and incentives to customers based on a variety of factors, such as education and credit history. But be careful. Depending upon your circumstances, some predatory credit card companies may be targeting you to make a quick buck.

Here's How You Can Spot Hidden Damages and Bad Maintenance on a Used Car Before You Buy It
8Jan

Here's How You Can Spot Hidden Damages and Bad Maintenance on a Used Car Before You Buy It

With the increasing reliability of vehicles today, the used car market is becoming a viable alternative for consumers who want good, quality cars for a less-than-new price. But what should you look for to avoid buying someone else's problem car? Besides checking over your next potential vehicle for mechanical hiccups, you should also be looking closely for any signs of hidden crash or flood damage.

Basic Economy Airfare: Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Booking Your Next Flight
6Jan

Basic Economy Airfare: Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Booking Your Next Flight

Who doesn't want to save a little bit of money? But don't be so quick to snag that discount airfare the next time you are booking a flight. You might find yourself spending more money then you intended to spend. Many airlines have embraced basic economy fares to provide flyers with cheaper tickets. But a basic economy ticket has a lot of drawbacks and catches, which could leave you spending more.

Avoid These Smartphone Battery Charging and Battery Protection Myths That Just Waste Time
5Jan

Avoid These Smartphone Battery Charging and Battery Protection Myths That Just Waste Time

It's a scientific certainty. As a smartphone battery gets older, its ability to hold a charge decreases. When this happens, we're looking for the best ways to extend battery life and hold a charge longer without spending money to replace the battery. But there are a bunch of myths going around about saving power with smartphone batteries that do little more than waste your time. Do you know them?

Most Human Medications, Including Common Pain Relievers, Are Dangerous or Deadly for Pets
3Jan

Most Human Medications, Including Common Pain Relievers, Are Dangerous or Deadly for Pets

It's torture watching our pets deal with pain and we will do anything to give relief as soon as possible. While it may be tempting to use people medications on our pets, it could be dangerous or even deadly. Pets react quite differently than people to many things, from food to medications. So it's important to know what's harmful to our pets and to see a veterinarian when they're sick or in pain.

You Can Claim an Adoption Tax Credit to Help Offset Expenses if You Adopted a Child in 2019
2Jan

You Can Claim an Adoption Tax Credit to Help Offset Expenses if You Adopted a Child in 2019

If you adopted a child in 2019, you probably had to spend quite a bit of money to do it. Adoption is both expensive and exhausting, but it's also very fulfilling for both the child and the rest of the child's new family. The Adoption Tax Credit exists to give new parents a tax credit of up to $14,080 for each qualifying adopted child, offsetting some of the costs involved in the adoption process.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Gives You Some Debt Collection Practice Safeguards
1Jan

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Gives You Some Debt Collection Practice Safeguards

No one is perfect, and we get that. Despite our best efforts, sometimes mistakes happen and bills go unpaid. It's when debts pile up that debt collectors reach out in an attempt to collect on those debts. It's important to know that there are some rights and protections you have from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that can help you breath a little easier when debt collectors come calling.

Remember That Antibiotics Should Not Always Be the First Answer During Cold and Flu Season
31Dec

Remember That Antibiotics Should Not Always Be the First Answer During Cold and Flu Season

No one really likes cold and flu season. When it hits, it usually hits hard and brings with them the stuffy noses, coughs and general yuckiness that knock us off our feet. When someone we love feels bad, we want to help them get better as soon as possible. Many of us might reach for leftover antibiotics or rush to the family doctor to get some. But doing this will often do much more harm than good.

Here's How to Save Money on Your Home Heating Costs This Winter When the Temperatures Drop
30Dec

Here's How to Save Money on Your Home Heating Costs This Winter When the Temperatures Drop

It's a simple fact. Your home heating bill will increase as the outside temperature decreases. But you don't have to let the cost of heating your home drain your wallet each time the temps start to fall. If you put in a little bit of effort and a small amount of money, you can save some serious cash each winter on your home's heating costs. If you're ready to save some money, consider these tips.

Here Are Some Things You Should Know if a Gym Membership is Part of Your New Fitness Goals
29Dec

Here Are Some Things You Should Know if a Gym Membership is Part of Your New Fitness Goals

Becoming healthier and getting in shape are probably on your mind right now. To reach those goals, a gym membership is probably part of your plan. Did you decide to join a gym to lose weight, get buffed, or to feel better? Unfortunately, many people end up unhappy with both the physical and financial results of that decision. Here are some things you should know before getting that gym membership.

Beware of 'Can You Hear Me' Telephone Scams That Are Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers
28Dec

Beware of 'Can You Hear Me' Telephone Scams That Are Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers

If you get a phone call and the caller asks if you can hear her, what would you say? Most people would answer the question. But these kinds recorded calls are still making the rounds, targeting unsuspecting victims who don't know any better and give an answer. That's all the crooks want so they can later use a recording of your response to authorize unwanted charges on one or more of your accounts.

Traveling With Pets Can Be Hectic, but These Tips Can Help Make It More Enjoyable and Safer
27Dec

Traveling With Pets Can Be Hectic, but These Tips Can Help Make It More Enjoyable and Safer

It's always a difficult decision to make. Do we take our pets on a family trip or do we leave them with someone? When traveling with our pets, we have to make a number of sacrifices in order to make sure they can go where we go. But it's a little more difficult than tossing the dog in the car. You have to take into account a number of pet safety considerations when traveling with a furry friend.

Make Sure You Know and Follow the Rules if Santa Left a New Drone Under the Christmas Tree
26Dec

Make Sure You Know and Follow the Rules if Santa Left a New Drone Under the Christmas Tree

Drones have become popular in recent years thanks to their affordability and the cool factor. Whether you are a recreational user who just your first drone or a professional who uses one of these devices in your daily work, it's important to know the registration requirements and safety rules for flying these devices. Improperly flown drones can cause more than simple damage. They can cost lives.

Here's How You Can Cash in on Those Unwanted Gift Cards You Got in Your Christmas Stocking
25Dec

Here's How You Can Cash in on Those Unwanted Gift Cards You Got in Your Christmas Stocking

People often receive gift cards from people they don't know too well. While the thought is nice, there's a good chance the gift card will be for a store you never visit or that sells things you would never want. But even if the card you get is for your favorite store, there's still a chance you'll forget about it. So if you have an unwanted gift card or two, there are a few options to put it to use.

Here's How You Can Avoid Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft When Traveling Away From Home
24Dec

Here's How You Can Avoid Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft When Traveling Away From Home

Do you have an upcoming trip? Your identity is your most important asset. So whether you're traveling across the state or around the world, don't forget to take the necessary precautions to protect it. Thousands of people each year become victims of fraud and identity theft while traveling. Not only can it ruin a trip, it can require a lot of work to remedy and cause a lot of stress in the process.

Fraudulent Tax Emails Are Again Making the Rounds Trying to Steal Your Money and Information
23Dec

Fraudulent Tax Emails Are Again Making the Rounds Trying to Steal Your Money and Information

It's not even tax time, but criminals have already started targeting unsuspecting taxpayers with phishing emails intended to download malware onto their computers. The latest emails appear to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), are signed 'Department of Treasure,' and have a Microsoft Word document attached that appears to be a tax transcript. Don't fall for it. The IRS doesn't work this way.

Consumer Alert: Watch Out for Rental Property Scammers Taking You for a Ride on a Property
20Dec

Consumer Alert: Watch Out for Rental Property Scammers Taking You for a Ride on a Property

Are you in the market for a new apartment or want to rent a nice home? You're in luck! Scammers have just the deal for you! They have a wide variety of options for you to consider, each one with everything you could possibly want. Even better, the price is much better than you could have wanted. But while the property might exist, the only problem is that the rentals themselves don't really exist.

Most People Don't Know Enough About Credit Scoring, So Here Are the Things You Need to Know
19Dec

Most People Don't Know Enough About Credit Scoring, So Here Are the Things You Need to Know

Most people are able to answer basic questions about credit scoring, but don't really know as much as they should. Most people don't know details or get things wrong. Because credit scores play such a vital role in how much you pay when borrowing money, it's important that you understand some key things about credit scoring. Knowing some of these things can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Heat Your Home Safely This Winter to Avoid the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide, the Silent Killer
17Dec

Heat Your Home Safely This Winter to Avoid the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide, the Silent Killer

It's that time of year and cold weather is sweeping across the country, which means that households everywhere have the heat turned on. Unfortunately, the late fall and winter months are also the peak time for accidental deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Don't become a statistic this year. Make sure you are aware of carbon monoxide and the steps you can take to fight this silent killer.

Check These Things Before the End of the Year to Be Ready to File Your Taxes for Next Year
16Dec

Check These Things Before the End of the Year to Be Ready to File Your Taxes for Next Year

With Christmas just around the corner, one of the last things on your mind is filing your income taxes. But even though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax filing deadline is still a few months away, there are a few things you should check now before this year ends to make sure you're ready for filing. Once the new year begins, your ability to influence your taxes for next year is very limited.

Five Tips for Returning Those Unwanted Holiday Gifts Without Hassle or Unexpected Surprises
15Dec

Five Tips for Returning Those Unwanted Holiday Gifts Without Hassle or Unexpected Surprises

We've all been there. It was a great holiday with friends and family, yet you have a gift or two that you simply don't want or can't use. Do you return your unwanted gifts, re-gift them to someone else, or hide them away in the back of a closet? The decision is yours. But if you choose to return gifts, keep these five simple tips in mind before heading out to make it as quick and easy as possible!

Automotive 101: What Are Some of the Key Things Everyone Should Know About Car Batteries
13Dec

Automotive 101: What Are Some of the Key Things Everyone Should Know About Car Batteries

You've probably stumbled across this article because you suspect a problem with your car's battery. Without it, you would not have power to do anything from starting the engine in subzero temperatures to cruising down the highway on a sunny day. Engines do a lot of work and should get credit for what they do. But without the battery, your engine would just be a several thousand dollar paperweight.

Live Versus Artificial Christmas Trees: Here's What You Should Know to Lower Your Fire Risk
11Dec

Live Versus Artificial Christmas Trees: Here's What You Should Know to Lower Your Fire Risk

When choosing a Christmas tree, the biggest decision most people have to make is whether to purchase a live tree or to pull the artificial tree from the attic. While artificial trees pose fewer safety concerns than live trees, they don't really have the same look, feel, and smell as live trees. Whether you choose live or artificial, each type of tree comes with its own set of fire safety concerns.

Safe Decorating and Preventing Home Fires this Holiday Season
10Dec

Safe Decorating and Preventing Home Fires this Holiday Season

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy and good cheer, but it is also a time when the number of home fires increases. In fact, nearly 47,000 fires occur just during the winter holidays alone. Many of those fires could be prevented quite easily with careful planning and responsible decorating. Take steps now to lessen the chances that your home will become a statistic this holiday season.

Some Helpful Tips for People Thinking of Giving Year-End Tax-Deductible Gifts to Charities
9Dec

Some Helpful Tips for People Thinking of Giving Year-End Tax-Deductible Gifts to Charities

Gifts to charity are one of the best tax-saving opportunities available. Not only does the charity benefit, but the taxpayer receives a tax deduction. The ways you can contribute, along with the limits and benefits of doing so, are varied and confusing. As with most tax benefits, changes are made from time to time to those limits and other regulations, including some that came into effect for 2019.

Watch Out for Strange Text Messages Trying to Steal Your Personal and Financial Information
8Dec

Watch Out for Strange Text Messages Trying to Steal Your Personal and Financial Information

If you get a text message from an email address or number you don't recognize, it's probably best to ignore it. Responding or clicking links can cause problems, even if you think you're unsubscribing. You may get unwanted charges on your phone bill or become the victim of identity theft. In any case, you're confirming that your number is good, opening the door to even more text messages or calls.

Scam Alert: Don't Be Tempted to Return Calls or Text Messages From These Scammy Area Codes
6Dec

Scam Alert: Don't Be Tempted to Return Calls or Text Messages From These Scammy Area Codes

Scammers are always looking for new ways to steal money from their unsuspecting victims. One scam still bilking its victims involves calling or texting from some kind of premium phone number, or one that will put charges on your phone bill each time you call or text back. It works very similar to how a 900 number works. But in this case, you don't find out about the high costs until it's too late.

Take Time Now to Prepare Your Vehicle for Upcoming Winter Driving Conditions With These Tips
5Dec

Take Time Now to Prepare Your Vehicle for Upcoming Winter Driving Conditions With These Tips

With the winter driving season upon us, now is the time to take precautionary measures to ensure that your vehicle is in optimal driving condition and properly equipped, especially for inclement weather. In particular, it's time for a tune-up if one hasn't been performed and to make sure your tires are in top shape, that windshield wipers clean well, and that windshield defrosters work properly.

Beware of Newspaper and Magazine Subscription Renewal Offers That Come From Third Parties
4Dec

Beware of Newspaper and Magazine Subscription Renewal Offers That Come From Third Parties

When you get a subscription renewal notice, do you pay it without question or do you do some checking to make sure it's right? If you're like most people, you pay it and forget about it quickly. Everything turns out just fine most of the time. But sometimes the renewal notice you get isn't from the publisher at all. It could be from a third party trying to turn a profit or even steal your money.

Protecting Your Pets From Poisonous Plants That Are Often Used in Indoor Holiday Decorating
2Dec

Protecting Your Pets From Poisonous Plants That Are Often Used in Indoor Holiday Decorating

We don't often think too much about indoor plants when we decorate our homes during the holidays, but it's something you should be thinking about if you have pets. Many plants used in holiday decor, such as holly and mistletoe, are toxic to dogs, cats and other small animals. It can take only seconds for a curious pet to ingest a small amount of a toxic plant, becoming seriously ill or even dying.

An Unstable Internet Connection May Be From Low Ram or a Slow CPU in Your Modem or Router
29Nov

An Unstable Internet Connection May Be From Low Ram or a Slow CPU in Your Modem or Router

Your instinct might be to call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) when you start to notice an unstable Internet connection, but the problem might be on your end. As the world gets more connected, we're getting more smart devices that want to connect to the Internet. If you have a router or modem that can't keep pace with your needs, you might find your connection going down without explanation.

Scammers Have Their Sights on Unsuspecting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Shoppers
28Nov

Scammers Have Their Sights on Unsuspecting Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Shoppers

Be very careful about answering phone calls from numbers you don't recognize, including 800 numbers. Scammers are using 800 numbers and robocalling victims with recorded messages advising of problems with Social Security numbers and warning of legal consequences. These scammers prey on your curiosity when an 800 number calls, hoping you'll answer thinking it's a legit business or government agency.

Don't Fall for Scammers Calling to Warn You of a Problem With Your Social Security Number
27Nov

Don't Fall for Scammers Calling to Warn You of a Problem With Your Social Security Number

Be very careful about answering phone calls from numbers you don't recognize, including 800 numbers. Scammers are using 800 numbers and robocalling victims with recorded messages advising of problems with Social Security numbers and warning of legal consequences. These scammers prey on your curiosity when an 800 number calls, hoping you'll answer thinking it's a legit business or government agency.

Preventing Identity Theft and What to Do if You Become the Next Victim of Identity Thieves
27Nov

Preventing Identity Theft and What to Do if You Become the Next Victim of Identity Thieves

Identity theft is a serious crime. Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax return in your name and get your refund. In some cases, they might even use your identity when arrested, giving you a criminal record.

Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner
26Nov

Here Are a Few Quick Tips for Keeping Your Holiday Meals Safe at Home and When Traveling

It's the most wonderful time of the year again! It doesn't really matter if you're staying at home for the holidays or traveling to visit friends and family. Food will always be a part of the holiday festivities. But you don't want this holiday season to be remembered for the wrong reasons, so make sure you know how to keep you food safe. Food poisoning can certainly put a damper on the holidays.

UPS Will Be Increasing Its Shipping Rates Immediately After Busy Holiday Shipping Season
25Nov

UPS Will Be Increasing Its Shipping Rates Immediately After Busy Holiday Shipping Season

It's almost time for the busiest online shopping days of the year! And with that online shopping comes a lot of package shipping. As more and more shoppers buy their goods online, it puts a strain on the infrastructure those goods use to make it to their final destinations. According to the United Parcel Service (UPS), rates will be increasing in December to fund needed expansions and enhancements.

Over $1.8 Million in Refunds Mailed to Victims of Bogus Skin Care Product Risk-Free Trial
25Nov

Over $1.8 Million in Refunds Mailed to Victims of Bogus Skin Care Product Risk-Free Trial

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing over $1.8 million in refunds to victims of a deceptive 'risk-free' trial skin care product scheme who were instead sent and billed for products they didn't order. According to the FTC, the defendants sold products through deceptive trials and collected credit card information for a shipping charge that was instead used for unauthorized monthly charges.

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, Leaving Systems Without Patches
24Nov

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, Leaving Systems Without Patches

If you still haven't upgraded your Windows 7 operating system to Windows 10, you need to pay attention. Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. After that date, Microsoft will no longer provide new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates for Windows 7. But you can still upgrade your system.

If Your iPhone Gets Slow During the Day, You Can Clear Its Memory Without Having to Reboot
23Nov

If Your iPhone Gets Slow During the Day, You Can Clear Its Memory Without Having to Reboot

Is your iPhone slowing down, lagging, crashing, or freezing randomly throughout your day? Its Random Access Memory (RAM) might be corrupt or full and not resetting. The iPhone's RAM clears automatically each time you restart it, but restarting isn't always practical. Here's how you can clear your iPhone's RAM without having to reboot if the memory management feature isn't working the way it should.

Important Tips for Keeping Our Furry Friends Safe and Healthy at Home This Holiday Season
22Nov

Important Tips for Keeping Our Furry Friends Safe and Healthy at Home This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here again. It's the prime time for holiday parties and other festivities, but these festivities can be hazardous for our four-legged family members. Keeping our pets safe should be an important part of holiday celebrations, and doing so is as easy as making a few changes and setting some ground rules. Take some time now to help your furry family members stay safe this season.

Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs: Don't Fall for Health Care Product Fraud Scams
21Nov

Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs: Don't Fall for Health Care Product Fraud Scams

It's a shame that you don't see scam warnings on health products. Then you wouldn't need to be on your toes to spot scams. To keep yourself from being scammed, stay on the lookout for the false claims touting revolutionary scientific breakthroughs, miracle cures, or alternatives to drugs or surgery. This language is used by scammers trying to prey on people who want easy fixes for health problems.

Turkey on Plate
20Nov

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips: What to Do and Not to Do When Prepping and Cooking a Turkey

Thanksgiving is a day to spend with friends and family around the table, but not around a hospital bed after someone gets a foodborne illness. Food safety is something that everyone should practice daily, not just on a holiday. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice preparing your first big meal, make sure that you know the safest ways to thaw, prepare, stuff, and cook your Thanksgiving turkey.

There Are a Number of Things You Shouldn't Do if You're Trying to Buy a Car With Bad Credit
19Nov

There Are a Number of Things You Shouldn't Do if You're Trying to Buy a Car With Bad Credit

Unfortunately, it's a fact of life. Not everyone out there has a great credit rating and not everyone has a good credit rating. Even if you have really bad credit, you can still make purchases on credit but for a heavy price. If you are one of the unlucky people with bad credit and you're in the market for a new car, there are some things you should never do or you'll find yourself deep in a hole.

Car Speedometer Dash
18Nov

Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Can Pick Up Where Traditional Auto Insurance Coverage Ends

Credit cards typically offer some nice perks to get you to sign up, like cash back offers and other rewards. But you might not know that many credit cards offer some form of free rental car insurance as long as you use that particular credit card to pay for the rental. Before you rent your next car, check out the different options from your credit cards to see if you can better protect yourself.

Holiday Shopping
17Nov

Here's How Many Holiday Shoppers Run Into Shopping Headaches and How You Can Prevent Them

The holiday shopping season is about to be in full swing, but that doesn't mean that you have to have regrets about it. Many people run into problems at this time of the year because they miss some of the important points when they get caught up in the excitement. So shop with confidence this holiday shopping season and avoid many of the potential headaches that can come with holiday shopping.

ALT-TEXT
16Nov

Scammers Will Call Posing as Government Officials, Wanting You to Pay Them With Gift Cards

Imagine getting a phone call from a government official saying that a loved one was arrested or that you owe back taxes. Then imagine that the caller says some kind of enforcement action will happen unless you pay a fine or other amount owed immediately via some ind of gift card. Would you pay up? Hopefully you'd realize that scammers are the only ones who call and want you to pay with gift cards.

Holiday Gift
15Nov

Black Friday Shopping Tips: Here's How to Make the Most of Your Time and Money This Year

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Regardless, Black Friday is right around the corner. This means that shoppers across the country are gearing up to get out and officially kick off the 2019 holiday shopping season! Black Friday is the most competitive and the busiest shopping day of the year. So you need to be ready if you want to get the special sales and huge discounts offer by retailers.

Car Vent
14Nov

The New Car Smell We Love Can Be Surprisingly Dangerous or Potentially Toxic to Your Health

When it comes to a brand new car, most people comment about the uniquely pleasant smell inside. But a number of studies suggest that the special new car smell, which comes from chemicals used to manufacture the parts, can be causing serious health issues for vehicle occupants. The studies also note widespread complaints of headaches, lung irritations, inability to focus, and a feeling of fatigue.

Anonymous Person
13Nov

Your Computer Probably Doesn't Have a Security Problem if You Get a Popup Warning Message

If you're on your computer and you get a warning message, stop for a moment. Common tech support scams use pup up messages that claim you have a security problem. The warning messages vary a little bit, but they usually give you some kind of dire warning that you will lose access to your data unless you contact the tech support number displayed or click a tech support link. Don't fall for the scam.

Emergency Department Sign
12Nov

Be Prepared: Tips for Displaying Critical Emergency Contact Information to First Responders

We don't often think about it, but how will emergency personnel get in touch with our loved ones if we are unable to speak? What if we have critical allergies or health conditions that have to be communicated to medical staff before beginning treatment? What if we have pets home alone and no one knows to check on them?

Burned Home
11Nov

Cooking Safety: The Average Number of Kitchen Fires More Than Triples on Thanksgiving Day

There's nothing wrong with having a roaring fire this Thanksgiving as long as it's in your fireplace, not in your kitchen. The statistics are sobering. The average number of kitchen fires more than triples on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, it's the worst day for cooking fires all year. So it's important to be mindful of how kitchen fires start and take the necessary precautions when cooking the turkey.

Service Department
10Nov

Car Dealership Service Advisors Are Making Money From the Services Being Recommended to You

Car dealerships have a bad reputation for high costs, which often comes from the extra money spent for the expertise of the service techs. It's why many people don't get routine maintenance performed there. But some people trust dealerships and have all service performed there, including recommended services. But did you know the person recommending services get a kickback for the services you buy?

Car in Garage
9Nov

If Your Mechanic Tells You Any of These Things, It's Time to Shop Around for a New Mechanic

Nearly everyone has gone to the local shop for routine auto maintenance only to drive away after paying a lot more in unexpected charges. Most mechanics are honest, hardworking people who only want to help you by pointing out problems you may not know about. But some mechanics want to take you and your wallet for a ride. If any of these things sound like your mechanic, start looking for a new one.

Aircraft on Tarmac
8Nov

Helpful Tips Designed to Help You and Your Family Survive the Hectic Holiday Travel Season

Thanksgiving and Christmas are both right around the corner, which means the busy holiday travel season is also right around the corner. But don't worry too much. Whether or not you're thrilled about the prospect of traveling during the holiday season, there are some things you can do to make traveling less of a headache. So before you get in the car or arrive at the airport, check out these tips.

Shovel Digging
7Nov

Dial 811 From Any Phone in North Carolina to Locate Utility Lines Before You Start to Dig

Are you a homeowner planning on doing some digging? Are you a contractor planning a new project that involves getting into the ground? If you're disturbing the soil and doing more than planting some small flowers, you should be dialing 811 from any phone to have hidden underground utility lines located and marked. If not, you run the risk of causing damage that you may be responsible for repairing.

Traveling with Luggage
6Nov

Make Sure Your Bag is Packed Properly Before You Get to the Airport for Your Next Flight

Are you packing for an upcoming trip? Do your plans involve air travel? If so, you need to take some time to check each of the items in your bags. Air travelers mistakenly believe that many common items we use on a daily basis are safe to pack. But some items are hazardous materials on a commercial airplane. These items come with specific packing requirements that every air traveler must follow.

Business Interview
5Nov

Make Sure You Do Everything Right to Prevent Disasters During Your Next Video Job Interview

Many employers are finding that video interviews are a valuable tool to conduct interviews with prospective employees. Job seekers like it, too, because they don't have to travel across town, across the country, or even across the world. But you want to make sure you do it right or you can find yourself without the job. If you want the best chances of getting the job, consider these helpful tips.

Credit Card Chip
4Nov

SCAM ALERT: Beware of Phony Credit and Debit Card Cancellation Phone Calls

Have you received an automated phone call advising that your credit or debit card has been deactivated or even cancelled? If you, so are not alone. People answer these phone calls every day and mistakenly believe them to be coming from their banks. While it may sound quite alarming at first, it's just a scammer trying to scare you into giving up your sensitive information and your account numbers.

Waiter Taking Orders
3Nov

How Much You Should Tip and When You Should Tip in Today's Changing Service Sector Economy

Tipping is something of a no-brainer for some people and a source of instant anxiety for others. It's getting especially complicated now that businesses where you didn't tip before now include a tip option. Or maybe you are presented with a tip option on the display at the register while the clerk is watching you. So when is it customary to tip and when should you just take your stuff and leave?

Old Time Clock
2Nov

Daylight Saving Time is a Good Time to Check and Replace Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Daylight Saving Time is about to begin and it's a great time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. It's also a great time to replace any alarms that have reached the end of their lives, don't work reliably, or have questionable reliability, as well as to add alarms if you don't have enough. Checking, replacing and adding these alarms now can save your life later.

Elderly Couple
1Nov

Scammers Continue to Target Older Consumers by Pretending to Be Grandchildren in Trouble

Scammers are always looking for a way to make a quick buck. Unfortunately, they know that older consumers are some of the best victims. If there are older folks in your life, make sure to talk to them about the grandparent scam. Scammers call older consumers, especially those with cognitive problems, pretending to be their grandchildren, stealing money and sensitive personal information in minutes.

Hands on Steering Wheel
31Oct

10 and 2 Driving Position Can Be Dangerous Due to Advances in Life-Saving Airbag Technology

The next time you get in your car, forget about what your driving instructor and parents told you way back in the day. Well, don't forget everything you learned about driving. Just forget about the ten and two position for your hands on the steering wheel, which is outdated and could be dangerous. It can sometimes lead to serious injuries in crashes that result in full-speed airbag deployment.

Graduation Cap Toss
30Oct

Some Student Loan Debt Relief Companies Want to Steal Your Money, Not Help You Save Money

If you have continued your education, the odds are pretty good that you have had a student loan at one time or another. Whether you have just signed for your first student loan or if you are trying to pay off several, it can be tempting to jump on any opportunity that promises to wipe away some or all of your student debts. Scammers want you to forget that there is no easy way to wipe out your debt.

Computer Hard Drive
29Oct

A Dirty Computer Can Overheat and Slow Down, Sometimes Causing Damage and Error Messages

Many of us know the importance of keeping our computer's software updated in order to keep it running at its best. But not many people know about the importance of keeping the inside of our computers properly maintained in order to get the longest life and best performance. A computer that can't 'breath' properly is prone to overheating, which can cause slowdowns, shutdowns, and heat damage.

You Can Save Money by Understanding the Fees and Costs When Buying and Selling Real Estate
28Oct

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 the figure 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.

Doctor Reading X-Ray
24Oct

Mesothelioma Info: Here's What You Need to Know About This Deadly Cancer Linked to Asbestos

You may have heard of mesothelioma from a lawyer's ad on television, which likely promised huge financial settlements for victims of this disease. Or you may know of this deadly cancer because a family member was recently diagnosed. If you or someone you know is affected by mesothelioma, you may want to file a claim now in order to secure any rights to financial compensation that you might be owed.

Trick or Treat
23Oct

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
22Oct

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
19Oct

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
18Oct

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
17Oct

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
16Oct

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
15Oct

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
14Oct

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
13Oct

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

If you tell your 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
12Oct

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
11Oct

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
10Oct

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
9Oct

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
8Oct

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
7Oct

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
5Oct

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
4Oct

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
3Oct

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
2Oct

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
1Oct

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
30Sep

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.

Money
24Sep

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
23Sep

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
19Sep

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
18Sep

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
17Sep

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
16Sep

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
13Sep

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
12Sep

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
9Sep

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
5Sep

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
4Sep

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
3Sep

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
3Sep

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
2Sep

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
23Aug

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
22Aug

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
21Aug

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.

Doctor
20Aug

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
19Aug

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
14Aug

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
13Aug

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
12Aug

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
10Aug

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
9Aug

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
8Aug

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
6Aug

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
2Aug

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
24Jul

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
23Jul

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
22Jul

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
22Jul

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
20Jul

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.

Sparklers
1Jul

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
20Jun

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.

Car Front Bumper
18Jun

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
17Jun

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
16Jun

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
13Jun

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
12Jun

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
11Jun

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
10Jun

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
10Jun

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
10Jun

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
9Jun

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
9Jun

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.

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