Consumer News & Info

Automotive 101: What Are Some of the Key Things Everyone Should Know About Car Batteries
21Apr

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.

Make Sure You Do Everything Right to Prevent Disasters During Your Next Video Job Interview
21Apr

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.

Checking Tire Pressures Regularly is Important for Saving Money and Being Safe on the Road
21Apr

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.

Jury Duty Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Victims With Phone Calls Threatening Arrest
20Apr

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.

How to Save Money on a New Car While Surviving the Car Dealership Sales Pitches and Tactics
20Apr

How to Save Money on a New Car While Surviving 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.

Credit Cards Are Convenient, but Cause Unexpected Headaches When Traveling Internationally
19Apr

Credit Cards Are Convenient, but Cause Unexpected Headaches When Traveling Internationally

If you're planning to take a trip outside the country, your credit cards may not be much of a priority. But if you're not careful, you can rack up a lot of unexpected fees and charges, which can tarnish the memories of your trip. Never assume that your credit cards will work the same way abroad as they will at home. So before you use your credit cards outside the country, keep these things in mind.

When Making Home Improvements, What Should You Keep in Mind to Get the Best Resale Value?
19Apr

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.

Beware of 'Can You Hear Me' Telephone Scams That Are Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers
19Apr

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.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act Guarantees You Basic Rights and Protections for Your Credit
18Apr

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.

Certain Allergy Medications Can Seriously Impact Your Ability to Drive or Operate Machinery
18Apr

Certain Allergy Medications Can Seriously Impact Your Ability to Drive or Operate Machinery

Seasonal allergies are once again starting to take off. Before you start taking allergy medications, it's important to know that some of them, even when taken properly, can have unexpected side effects that leave you slow to react or unexpectedly drowsy. These effects can be worsened when combined with other medications or alcohol. So you need to be careful if you plan to drive or operate machinery.

Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Investment for Your Home or is the Familiar Kind Better?
17Apr

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.

What Really Happens With the Plane if You Don't Set Your Phone to Airplane Mode When Flying?
17Apr

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?

Warm Weather is on the Way, So Know How to Check Your Pet for Fleas Before a Problem Starts
16Apr

Warm Weather is on the Way, So Know How to Check Your Pet for Fleas Before a Problem Starts

We all love our furry little friends. When they hurt, we hurt and want to do whatever we can to make them feel better. So, what do we do when our furry little friends are under siege from an army of fleas? We may not even know if our smallest family members have fleas, only noticing them several weeks after the infestation begins. Here's how to recognize fleas and what to do to take back control.

Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Can Pick Up Where Traditional Auto Insurance Coverage Ends
16Apr

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.

Here's How You Can Spot Hidden Damages and Bad Maintenance on a Used Car Before You Buy It
15Jan

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.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Isn't a Government Agency and Can't Force Companies to Act
15Apr

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.

Tips for the Safe Purchase, Preparation, and Consumption of Fresh Produce to Prevent Illness
13Apr

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.

Basic Economy Airfare: Here Are Some Things You Should Know Before Booking Your Next Flight
13Apr

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.

What You Need to Know About North Carolina Lemon Law if You Are Having Repeat Car Problems
9Apr

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
9Apr

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.

It's Relatively Simple to Get a Six Month Extension to File Your Federal Income Tax Return
8Apr

It's Relatively Simple to Get a Six Month Extension to File Your Federal Income Tax Return

Needing more time to prepare and file your federal income taxes is more common than you may think. If you need more time from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before the tax deadline, you can get an extension. Requesting an extension doesn't trigger an audit and typically takes only a few minutes. It doesn't give you more time to pay, but it gives you some extra time to get everything in order.

Most Human Medications, Including Common Pain Relievers, Are Dangerous or Deadly for Pets
8Apr

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.

Even Though Extended Auto Warranties Can Cost and Promise a Lot, You Probably Wont Use One
7Apr

Even Though Extended Auto Warranties Can Cost and Promise a Lot, You Probably Wont Use One

Do you really need an extended warranty for your car? Ten years ago, the answer was much easier. You probably didn't need an extended warranty unless you were getting a vehicle that frequently had a lot of problems or was the first model year. Today, the answer is not as simple since vehicles have made big leaps in reliability but also have a host of new gadgets that can cost serious money to fix.

Avoid Balance Transfer Credit Card Traps That Can Increase Your Total Debt, Not Reduce It
7Apr

Avoid Balance Transfer Credit Card Traps That Can Increase Your Total Debt, Not Reduce It

When trying to get out of credit card debt, many people want to transfer their card balances to one or more balance transfer cards, which often have a zero percent promotional interest rate. When used correctly, these cards can be a great way to help you get out of debt faster. But if you're not careful, balance transfer cards can put you further in the hole with a lot of unexpected fees and terms.

Behind on Your Auto Loan: Tips to Get You Back on the Road to On-Time Payments Once Again
6Apr

Behind on Your Auto Loan: Tips to Get You Back on the Road to On-Time Payments Once Again

Ensuring that you pay your bills on time is essential to maintaining or improving your financial situation. Late payments will show up on your credit report, hurt your credit scores, and limit your ability to get other credit. So what should you do if you're one of about 7 million people who fall 90 days or more behind on your car payments? There are things you should do when calling your lender.

A Gas Water Heater or Other Appliances May Be at Risk of a Sudden and Deadly Flashback Fire
6Apr

A Gas Water Heater or Other Appliances May Be at Risk of a Sudden and Deadly Flashback Fire

Is your home's gas-fueled water heater really safe? In all likelihood, there's probably nothing wrong with it. But there is a hidden danger in all gas water heaters, or any gas-fueled appliance with a pilot light, that most people don't know about until it's too late. What is this hidden danger? These devices all have pilot lights, which can ignite certain vapors, producing sudden flashback fires.

Title Loans May Give You Quick Money but Cost Thousands of Times More in Interest Charges
5Apr

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

Are you strapped for cash? You aren't alone. Many people these days could use extra money for bills. 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.

Don't Let Tax Time Be the Perfect Time for Scammers to Steal Your Identity and Tax Refund
5Apr

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.

Reusable Grocery Bags Are Great for the Environment but Can Make You Sick if Contaminated
4Apr

Reusable Grocery Bags Are Great for the Environment but Can Make You Sick if Contaminated

If you're like many grocery shoppers, you use reusable grocery bags to lessen your impact on the environment. Taking advantage of these heavy duty bags makes it easier to move your groceries from cart to car and then into your home. But there's a hidden danger many people don't know about when it comes to these bags. Depending upon what you carry in them, you might be putting your health at risk.

Yellow Pages Business Directory Invoice Scam Still Continues to Claim Unsuspecting Victims
4Apr

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.

Honda Recalls Large Number of Honda and Acura Vehicles for Potential Problem With Fuel Pump
2Apr

Honda Recalls Large Number of Honda and Acura Vehicles for Potential Problem With Fuel Pump

Honda is recalling more than 600,000 Acura and Honda branded vehicles from the 2018-2020 model years due to a manufacturing problem with the fuel pump. The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank containing impellers produced during specific periods may fail. Honda has received 583 warranty claims and 166 field reports relating to this condition, but received no reports of injuries or crashes.

Cheaper Auto Insurance Quotes Don't Always Translate Into Below Average Insurance Coverage
2Apr

Cheaper Auto Insurance Quotes Don't Always Translate Into Below Average Insurance Coverage

Getting a cheap auto insurance quote feels great. Who doesn't like to save money, after all? There are ways to get the cheapest auto insurance quotes possible while still maintaining good insurance coverage. So whether you are looking for a cheaper full coverage policy or trying to go from full coverage to liability only, make sure you are taking advantage of every discount and money-saving trick.

Class Action Lawsuits Seem Good but Have a Lot of Drawbacks That Don't Make Them Very Ideal
1Apr

Class Action Lawsuits Seem Good but Have a Lot of Drawbacks That Don't Make Them Very Ideal

We're sure you've heard people talking about how much a class action lawsuit is needed for a particular legal problem. But most people really don't know anything about class action lawsuits, let alone the potential drawbacks they can bring. While class action lawsuits can do good by (eventually) punishing a company for doing wrongs, it's usually the lawyers, not the consumers, who get a fat check.

What Will Really Happen if You Don't Pay or Forget About Your Federal Income Taxes in 2021?
31Mar

What Will Really Happen if You Don't Pay or Forget About Your Federal Income Taxes in 2021?

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?

Remain Alert for Tax Scams That Target Victims All Year, Not Just During Tax Filing Season
31Mar

Remain Alert for Tax Scams That Target Victims All Year, Not Just During Tax Filing Season

Most people think that they don't have to watch out for scammers once they submit their income tax returns to the government. But scammers never take a vacation and work overtime to cheat you, taking hundreds or even thousands of dollars. So whether it's April or the middle of summer, stay alert for income tax scammers trying to trick you into handing over money or sensitive personal information.

Spring Allergy Season is Here, So Taking Action Now Will Help Avoid Misery All Season Long
30Mar

Spring Allergy Season is Here, So Taking Action Now Will Help Avoid Misery All Season Long

Warmer temperatures are starting to stick around. But don't rejoice just yet since it's also the time of year when you can write your name in yellow pollen everywhere. If you're one of those unfortunate people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you're probably already barricading the doors and windows for the oncoming siege. But there are things you can do to treat and prevent seasonal allergies.

Neti Pots Can Bring Relief but Also Nasty Sinus Infections if Not Used or Cleaned Properly
29Mar

Neti Pots Can Bring Relief but Also Nasty Sinus Infections if Not Used or 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.

Scammers Still Targeting Unsuspecting Consumers With Fake Missed Package Delivery Notices
26Mar

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.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Gives You Some Debt Collection Practice Safeguards
24Mar

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.

Income Tax Professionals Beware: Tax Scammers Are Targeting Your Network and Your Customers Data
21Mar

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.

Consumer Alert: Watch Out for Rental Property Scammers Taking You for a Ride on a Property
19Mar

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.

How Much You Should Tip and When You Should Tip in Today's Changing Service Sector Economy
16Mar

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?

Scammers Continue to Target Utility Customers Threatening Disconnection Unless Payment Made
15Mar

Scammers Continue to Target Utility Customers Threatening Disconnection Unless Payment Made

Consumers from across the state are continuing to report suspicious phone calls from scammers that are seemingly from their utility companies. The callers claim that there is a problem with the victim's utility account, which is usually an overdue bill. The victim is then threatened with that power to their homes or businesses will be shut off within an hour unless a payment is made immediately.

Most People Don't Know Enough About Credit Scoring, So Here Are the Things You Need to Know
12Mar

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.

How Accurate Are CARFAX Vehicle History Reports and the Various Types of Data They Contain?
11Mar

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?

Changing Our Clocks is Also the Time to Check and Replace Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
10Mar

Changing Our Clocks is Also the Time to Check and Replace Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Daylight Saving Time is about to begin and it's the perfect time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. It's also the right time to replace any alarms that have reached the end of their lives, don't work reliably, or have questionable reliability. While you're doing your rounds, make sure that you add alarms if you don't have enough, which can save your life later.

Take Some Time to Prep Your Children for Daylight Saving Time With These These Simple Tips
9Mar

Take Some Time to Prep Your Children for Daylight Saving Time With These These Simple Tips

Most of your digital clocks will automatically change when Daylight Saving Time (DST) kicks in on March 8, but your children's internal clocks won't make the change as easily unless you prepare them beforehand. If you have children, you know how difficult adjusting to a time change can be. But many parents don't do much to prepare their children for the time change, leading to messy sleep patterns.

Watch Out for Scammers Targeting You at Closing if You're in the Market for Your New Home
2Mar

Watch Out for Scammers Targeting You at Closing if You're in the Market for Your New Home

Are you thinking about buying a new home? The most popular time of the year for home sales is coming and you wouldn't be alone if you're thinking about jumping into the housing market. If you are looking, you should also be looking for scammers that want to steal your closing cost funds by pretending to be your real estate agent, closing attorney, title company, escrow company, or mortgage company.

When Can Your Car Dealer Void Your Vehicle's Warranty or Deny Auto Warranty Service Claims?
1Mar

When Can Your Car Dealer Void Your Vehicle's Warranty or Deny Auto Warranty Service Claims?

Can the car dealer void your car's warranty if you have someone else do routine maintenance for you? What if you use aftermarket parts to make repairs or to perform your maintenance? What if you have made upgrades to the car, such as installing a new audio system or new lighting? What if your vehicle has undergone body work? The answer is usually no, but it could be yes depending upon the work done.

You Can Claim an Adoption Tax Credit to Help Offset Expenses if You Adopted a Child in 2020
26Feb

You Can Claim an Adoption Tax Credit to Help Offset Expenses if You Adopted a Child in 2020

If you adopted a child in 2020, 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 $14,300 for each qualifying adopted child, offsetting some of the costs involved in the adoption process.

Cold Weather Means You Need to Take Care of Your Dog's Coat and Skin for Health and Comfort
25Feb

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.

A Dirty Computer Can Overheat and Slow Down, Sometimes Causing Damage and Error Messages
24Feb

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.

If Your Mechanic Tells You Any of These Things, It's Time to Shop Around for a New Mechanic
23Feb

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.

Puppy Scams Take Advantage of Your Desire for an Adorable New Puppy at a Really Good Price
22Feb

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.

Scammers Continue to Target Older Consumers by Pretending to Be Grandchildren in Trouble
19Feb

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.

The Most Common Income Tax Return Errors and How You Can Avoid Them When Filing Your Return
18Feb

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

Have you started preparing your 2020 income tax returns? The deadline to file your returns is Thursday, April 15, 2021. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects 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.

Subprime Credit Cards May Look Rally Good but May Be Predatory With High Interest and Fees
17Feb

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.

Deceptive Mortgage Advertisements: What Do They Really Say, Leave Out, and Ultimately Cost?
17Feb

Deceptive Mortgage Advertisements: What Do They Really Say, Leave Out, and Ultimately Cost?

If you're looking for a mortgage, you may see ads offering very low rates or payments. Whether they're on the Internet, on television or in the newspaper, or whether they come by fax or mail, some ads look like one thing but end up changing as you come close to closing. Remember that while the offers can be tempting, some are flawed and don't disclose the true terms of the deal as required by law.

What is Radon and Why is Testing for This Deadly Element Often Need for a Home Closing?
16Feb

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.

You Can Save Money by Understanding the Fees and Costs When Buying and Selling Real Estate
15Feb

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.

Avoid Unnecessary Heartache When Ordering Flowers for Your Special Someone on a Special Day
12Feb

Avoid Unnecessary Heartache When Ordering Flowers for Your Special Someone on a Special Day

Whether you are ordering flowers for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, an anniversary or any other special occasion, you want the best flowers for the money. Depending upon a variety of factors, your special someone can receive anything from dead flowers or the wrong color all the way to tulips when you expected roses. Keep these tips in mind when selecting, ordering and delivering the right flowers.

Fraudulent Tax Emails Are Again Making the Rounds Trying to Steal Your Money and Information
11Feb

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.

Mortgage Assistance and Foreclosure Relief Scams Prey on Those Who Are Struggling the Most
10Feb

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.

Preventing Identity Theft and What to Do if You Become the Next Victim of Identity Thieves
9Feb

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.

Freezing Water Pipes Are a Problem in the South, but You Can Prevent Them With Simple Steps
5Feb

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.

Scammers Try to Break Your Heart and Empty Your Bank Account as Valentine's Day Approaches
4Feb

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.

Common Red Flags That Will Prompt the IRS to Pull Your Income Tax Return Aside for an Audit
2Feb

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.

When You Are Allowed to Cancel a Sale Under the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule
1Feb

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?

Think Again if You're Thinking About Getting an Advance on Your Income Tax Refund This Year
22Jan

Think Again if You're Thinking About Getting an Advance on Your Income Tax Refund This Year

If you're short on money and know that you will be getting a tax refund this year, you may be tempted to get an advance on that refund. A tax refund advance, also called a Refund Anticipation Loan or a Refund Anticipation Check, is a very short-term loan based on your estimated income tax refund. But the fees and interest rates on them, which are often 200% or higher, should make you think twice.

Most Online Pharmacies Are Really Fake Sites Selling Illegal, Tainted or Counterfeit Drugs
21Jan

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.

Selling Your Home: How to Stand Out With These Tips to Sell Quickly for the Biggest Profit
20Jan

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.

North Carolina Tenant Rights: Relationships Between Landlords and Tenants Can Be Complex
19Jan

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.

The Arrival of Dry, Colder Weather Means That It's Time to Add Some Moisture to Your Home
18Jan

The Arrival of Dry, Colder Weather Means That It's Time to Add Some Moisture to Your Home

With the oppressive summer humidity behind us, North Carolinians are bracing for the cold and dry air of winter. This dry air, which can quickly drop from an ideal humidity range of 50 percent to around as low as 10 percent, often leads to sore throats, itchy skin, dry eyes and other ailments. A humidifier can help bring up these humidity levels and ease some of the problems low humidity can cause.

Watch Out for These Red Flags of Credit Repair Scams and Avoid Companies That Display Them
16Jan

Watch Out for These Red Flags of Credit Repair Scams and Avoid Companies That Display Them

A financial setback is devastating, especially to your credit rating. Repairing the damage to your credit afterwards can seem impossible. During these times of anxiety, it can be easy to fall victim to scammers wanting to take your money with promises of repairing your credit history. Before you fall victim to credit repair scams, look out for these red flags and avoid companies that display them.

If You Want a Larger Tax Refund, Don't Forget About These Common Tax Breaks and Deductions
15Jan

If You Want a Larger Tax Refund, Don't Forget About These Common Tax Breaks and 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.

Scam Alert: Don't Be Tempted to Return Calls or Text Messages From These Scammy Area Codes
14Jan

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.

Here's How You Can Cash in on Those Unwanted Gift Cards You Got in Your Christmas Stocking
13Jan

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.

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

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.

Are You Ever Allowed to Spend Money That Was Mistakenly Deposited Into Your Bank Account?
11Jan

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?

Watch Out for Strange Text Messages Trying to Steal Your Personal and Financial Information
7Jan

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.

Here Are Some Things You Should Know if a Gym Membership is Part of Your New Fitness Goals
6Jan

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.

Five Tips for Returning Those Unwanted Holiday Gifts Without Hassle or Unexpected Surprises
30Dec

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!

Here's How to Save Money on Your Home Heating Costs This Winter When the Temperatures Drop
18Dec

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.

Live Versus Artificial Christmas Trees: Here's What You Should Know to Lower Your Fire Risk
16Dec

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.

Beware of Newspaper and Magazine Subscription Renewal Offers That Come From Third Parties
11Dec

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.

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.

Scammers Will Call Posing as Government Officials, Wanting You to Pay Them With Gift Cards
9Dec

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.

Protecting Your Pets From Poisonous Plants That Are Often Used in Indoor Holiday Decorating
8Dec

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.

Heat Your Home Safely This Winter to Avoid the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide, the Silent Killer
2Dec

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.

Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs: Don't Fall for Health Care Product Fraud Scams
25Nov

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.

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips: What to Do and Not to Do When Prepping and Cooking a Turkey
19Nov

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.

Here Are a Few Quick Tips for Keeping Your Holiday Meals Safe at Home and When Traveling
18Nov

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.

Remember That Antibiotics Should Not Always Be the First Answer During Cold and Flu Season
11Nov

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.

Your Computer Probably Doesn't Have a Security Problem if You Get a Pop-Up Warning Message
10Nov

Your Computer Probably Doesn't Have a Security Problem if You Get a Pop-up 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.

SCAM ALERT: Beware of Phone Calls Warning Your Credit and Debit Cards Have Been Cancelled
9Nov

SCAM ALERT: Beware of Phone Calls Warning Your Credit and Debit Cards Have Been Cancelled

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.

Know How to Protect Yourself on Halloween, the Worst Night of the Year for Vehicle Vandalism
29Oct

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.

Scam Alert: Thieves Again Targeting Your Personal Info and Money Thanks to Election Season
23Oct

Scam Alert: Thieves Again Targeting Your Personal Info and Money Thanks to Election Season

Have you noticed the phone ringing a bit more than usual lately? It may be thanks to Election Day, which is almost here and giving scammers a way to steal your personal information and hard-earned money. A loophole in the National Do Not Call Registry allows political organizations to call you. Don't let a scammer pull one over on you by asking for a donation or to verify your voter registration.

How Do You Protect Yourself From Unfair Charges for Rental Car Damage That You Didn't Cause
20Oct

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?

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

If You Lose Your Credit or Debit Card Only to Find It a Short Time Later, Cancel It Anyway
13Oct

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.

Your Auto Insurance Premium Changes Based Upon Insurance Points Each Time You File a Claim
12Oct

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.

Don't Race to Replace Your Electronic Devices Now That Faster Bluetooth 5 is Finally Here
9Oct

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.

You Can Protect Yourself From Identity Theft by Keeping Your Private Information Private
7Oct

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.

Beware of Graduated Payment Plans That Promise Very Low Payments When You Buy Your Next Car
6Oct

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.

Seven Key Things You Need to Know About Your Home Insurance Policy Before Disaster Strikes
21Sep

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.

Here's What You Need to Know in Order to Dispose of Old and Leftover Medications Properly
16Sep

Here's What You Need to Know in Order to Dispose of Old and Leftover 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.

IRS Scam Again Targeting Consumers With Recorded Messages Threatening Arrest Unless You Pay
10Sep

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.

Be on the Lookout for Home Repair Scams and Shady Contractors Following Natural Disasters
9Sep

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.

Yo-Yo Auto Scams: Your Financing 'Fell Through' So You Have to Return the Car or Pay More
8Sep

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.

Auto Shop Fluid Flushes Are Rarely Needed, Can Cause Damage, and Hardly Ever Fix Problems
2Sep

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.

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