theft http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1101/all en-US 3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/enjoying_a_trip_together.jpg" alt="Enjoying a trip together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long day of traveling, being forced to listen to an upsell for extra insurance at the car rental counter can be frustrating.</p> <p>Some extra rental car insurance may be worthwhile, however. Your own personal car insurance policy may not cover rentals, for example, or maybe you don't have car insurance at all.</p> <p>On the other hand, you may not want to buy insurance from a rental company if it duplicates what your credit card offers, or if your auto insurer already provides rental car coverage through your regular policy.</p> <p>Here are some things to be aware of before a car rental agent tries to pressure you at the rental desk.</p> <h2>Know what is and isn't covered by rental car insurance</h2> <p>There are two types of damage waivers that are commonly sold by rental car companies: Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). They're often packaged together as CDW/LDW coverage.</p> <p>They serve the same basic function. These waivers aren't necessarily insurance so much as an optional service where the rental car company will cover you if an accident or some other event damages your rental car, or in the case of theft. The waiver only covers the rental car and waives the rental company's right to pursue you, the renter, for damage.</p> <p>What a rental damage waiver won't cover are hospitalization costs if you cause an accident and someone is injured &mdash; that falls under liability coverage. The rental damage waiver also won't cover risky behaviors such as drinking and driving or speeding. If <em>you're</em> hospitalized, your auto insurance policy will take effect.</p> <p>Another type of insurance that you may be offered at the rental counter is supplemental liability insurance. This covers damage to other people's property, such as their cars, and their medical costs if you caused the accident.</p> <p>This extra liability insurance may be worthwhile if your auto or homeowners insurance policies won't cover you. Another option is to buy umbrella liability insurance through the company that provides your auto or homeowners liability insurance, so that you have extra protection while driving a rental car.</p> <h2>When you should consider buying</h2> <p>If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your personal auto policy, it will typically cover damages to a rental car. However, you will still need to pay your deductible in the event of a claim &mdash; and of course, filing a claim can cause your personal auto insurance rates to spike. Rental damage waivers will typically cover all of the vehicle repair costs, including a deductible. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of paying a high deductible, or filing a claim, you can consider purchasing the CDW/LDW coverage.</p> <p>You may also be renting a vehicle with a far higher market value than the car you own. Your insurer will only pay the value of <em>your</em> car &mdash; not the value of the rental car that's damaged. So if your car isn't worth as much as the rental car, then you may want to consider additional coverage to account for the gap between the value of your personal car and the value of the rental car.</p> <p>If you have <em>no </em>auto insurance, or a personal auto policy with bare minimum liability coverage, you may also want to consider adding supplemental liability protection through the rental company. This will protect you in the event you damage someone else's vehicle or property, or cause injury.</p> <h2>Don't overlook your credit card benefits</h2> <p>When renting a car with a credit card, you're likely to get insurance protections that you may not even realize you have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Many credit cards provide free collision damage protection for rental cars, with some caveats. First, you must pay for the rental in full with the card, and then decline all optional coverage offered by the rental company.</p> <p>Coverage can vary, but typically a credit card's coverage will be secondary &mdash; meaning it only pays what you can't recover from other insurance. Sometimes cards do offer primary insurance, which would prevent you from having to file a claim with your personal auto policy. You may have to pay upfront for the full damage and get reimbursed later by the credit card company, and coverage is often limited to a two-week rental.</p> <p>Call your card issuer to find out the specifics of what your credit card offers. If you have multiple credit cards, it's worth comparing them to find out which one offers the best coverage on rentals.</p> <p>Credit card rental coverage typically excludes injuries, as well as damage or loss of personal items. Many cards also won't cover any of the rental car company's administrative fees, &quot;loss of use&quot; charges, or the difference between the rental car's actual value and its replacement value.</p> <h2>The bottom line</h2> <p>However you buy rental car insurance, know that you could be on the hook for the costs of an incident until your insurance provider or credit card company comes to an agreement on the cost of repairs with the rental car company.</p> <p>Before driving your rental car off the lot, check it carefully for existing damage and document anything you find with photos. Then, tell the clerk at the rental counter. You don't want to end up paying for damage you didn't cause or fighting with a rental car company. That certainly won't make for a pleasant vacation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-right-rv-and-vehicle-insurance-protects-your-summer-fun">Here&#039;s How the Right RV and Vehicle Insurance Protects Your Summer Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance accidents auto policies damage waivers deductibles liability protections rentals cars theft travel vacation vehicles Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1957905 at http://www.wisebread.com Top 5 Ways Thieves Use Your Stolen Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_phishing.jpg" alt="Credit card phishing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be a shock. You go online to check your credit card statement, and you're presented with a series of hefty transactions you know you didn't make. Thousands of dollars, gone in the blink of an eye.</p> <p>Luckily, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison" target="_blank">credit cards have fraud protections</a> not offered by debit cards. As long as you report the errors quickly, you're covered for these fraudulent charges. But it does make you wonder &hellip; how do the thieves do it, and how might they have used your stolen card? Here are the five most common uses for a card that has been &quot;liberated.&quot;</p> <h2>1. A blowout shopping spree</h2> <p>Once the thieves have a working copy of your credit card information, they are off to the races. Timing is paramount for thieves, because they know the second you realize what's up, you'll call and cancel the card. Plus, credit cards these days will stop working on their own if the bank's algorithms detect suspicious activity, such as purchases of many high-cost items in one go, or purchases made out of state.</p> <p>So, credit card in hand, thieves hit up several different stores in a mall, or anywhere else that has a variety of stores close by each other. They pick out items that they can sell easily with a good return, such as electronics, designer clothing, and jewelry. They are lightning-fast &mdash; they can rack up thousands of dollars in purchases in under 30 minutes. By the time the card is shut down, they have already made off with quite a haul. Sadly, the stores and the credit card companies rarely catch them.</p> <h2>2. ATM withdrawals</h2> <p>Most people assume that a stolen credit card won't be used for ATM withdrawals because those require a PIN. However, depending on how the thief got your card, that may be wrong. If the thief stole your entire wallet or purse, they can often get clues from the contents, including your birth date (still a common PIN used by many people) and house number.</p> <p>Your best defense here is to choose strong passwords and PINs. If your PIN is still somehow compromised, report the card stolen as soon as possible. Luckily, you won't be on the hook for the money withdrawn, as long as you can prove it was a result of theft.</p> <h2>3. Sold to other criminals as part of a bulk lot</h2> <p>When your card details are breached, it's not always the thief's intention to use the information on goods or cash withdrawals. More sophisticated thieves will collect a large number of cards and then sell those details to cybercriminals as part of a &quot;job lot.&quot;</p> <p>Interestingly, these cybercriminals price the cards in different ways, depending on how much information is provided. If it is simply the card number and expiration date, it will not bring much money. These cards are sold for a few bucks, because the chances of successfully making off with a chunk of money is slim. If the security number on the back is added, the price goes up. If the PIN is known, the asking price is higher. The highest price goes to sellers who can provide additional data, including purchasing behaviors and security question details.</p> <p>Of course, once cybercriminals have the info, they either use it quickly, or resell it again. The black market for card numbers is vast.</p> <h2>4. Gift cards</h2> <p>A simple form of money laundering is for criminals to use the stolen credit card to buy up a large number of high-denomination gift cards. If you think about it, it's the simplest way to turn a liability into cold, hard cash.</p> <p>The thief will hit a local grocery store and pick up handfuls of different gift cards. If the store clerk questions the large purchase, the thief simply says it's a great way to buy goods and services from merchants that won't take credit cards.</p> <p>By the time the stolen card is reported and canceled, the thief has made off with thousands of dollars in gift cards. Now, the criminal has all the time in the world to spend them, or sell them to someone else, because these cards are 100 percent legit and won't be shut down. Even if the thief only gets half the face value of the gift cards, it's all profit for them.</p> <h2>5. Online shopping</h2> <p>Thieves have many options when it comes to buying merchandise online with a stolen card. Only the dumbest thief will actually use a stolen credit card to have a big-screen TV delivered to his or her own home. Instead, the criminal can have the products delivered to an address they know to be vacant. They can use a mail drop scheme, which is basically a remailing service that makes the final destination of the product impossible to trace. They can also set up an intricate &quot;triangulation&quot; scheme on auction sites like eBay.</p> <p>All in all, if you think your stolen credit card will not be used online, you're in for a rude awakening. Thieves are always thinking ahead.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance atm withdrawals black market crime gift cards online shipping prepaid cards shopping spree stolen credit cards theft Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1958435 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498559502.jpg" alt="Man learning his insurance may not cover these losses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might think that you have enough insurance protection. After all, you have car, homeowners, life, health, and disability insurance coverage. What else could you possibly need?</p> <p>Here's an unsettling truth: Even if you've taken out all the insurance policies necessary to protect yourself and your family, you might still face coverage gaps. Review your policies regularly. And when you do, watch for these potential gaps in your coverage.</p> <h2>1. Life insurance</h2> <p>Many employers offer group life insurance to their workers as an important financial benefit. The American Council of Life Insurers said that at the end of 2015, group life insurance represented 44 percent of all life insurance policies issued in the United States.</p> <p>Employees like this insurance because it is usually inexpensive. But there are some negatives: Most group life insurance policies end if you leave your employer, and the next company at which you work might not offer this coverage. Secondly, the payouts for group life policies tend to be smaller than for an individual life policy that you'd buy for yourself. Usually, the death benefit with a group life policy is one to two times your annual salary. That's a nice bit of cash, but it's certainly not enough to provide for your family long-term should you unexpectedly pass away.</p> <p>That's why you should use a group policy as a supplement, not a replacement, for an individual life insurance policy. Yes, an individual policy will cost more, but you'll also receive a far larger death benefit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dog bites</h2> <p>According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability funds paid out in 2016. That equaled 18,123 claims, with the average cost for each claim coming out to $33,230.</p> <p>The challenge with dog bites is that many insurance providers won't insure homeowners who own certain breeds considered &quot;dangerous.&quot; Insurance companies vary on this, but many won't insure pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, or Doberman pinschers. If you have a dog, check with your insurance company to make sure that it is covered. Paying for a dog bite without the help of your insurer can prove costly.</p> <h2>3. Transportation expenses</h2> <p>Your car insurance policy will cover the damages to your vehicle following an accident as part of its collision coverage. But what if you need to rent a car to get around while your vehicle is in the shop? That can be expensive.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most auto policies don't provide what is known as transportation expenses coverage. And when policies do provide it, the amount they'll give you to rent a car &mdash; often as little as $20 a day &mdash; might not be enough to cover the whole cost.</p> <p>Check your policy to determine if it will cover a rental car. If it does, make sure you know exactly how much you'll be getting. If you're not satisfied, it might be time to pay to boost this coverage.</p> <h2>4. Extra liabilities</h2> <p>What if a neighbor drowns while swimming in your pool? Will your homeowners insurance provide enough coverage if your neighbor's family files a costly lawsuit against you?</p> <p>Probably not &mdash; and that's where an umbrella insurance policy comes in. An umbrella policy provides extra liability coverage above the limits of the coverage provided by your auto or homeowners insurance. Maybe your homeowners insurance policy provides liability coverage of up to $500,000. If someone sues you for $1 million, you then might be on the hook for the extra $500,000.</p> <p>An umbrella policy can protect you from this. It kicks in when a legal action against you supersedes the amount of liability coverage you have. In the example above, your umbrella policy would cover the extra $500,000 that the homeowners policy would not. An umbrella policy can offer you the same kind of extra protection if you cause a serious car accident.</p> <p>Umbrella insurance isn't overly expensive. The Insurance Information Institute says that consumers typically pay between $150 to $300 a year for $1 million worth of umbrella liability protection. This investment might help you avoid a financial catastrophe.</p> <h2>5. Not enough disability coverage</h2> <p>You might think you've taken the steps to protect yourself and your family by taking out a disability policy. If you are injured or become ill and can't work, this policy will kick in to provide you and your family regular payments.</p> <p>Here's the challenge, though: Most group disability insurance plans only pay out 60 percent of the insured's base salary. And employees who rely on bonuses and overtime won't receive any pay out for those extras.</p> <p>Receiving 60 percent of your pay even though you are not working might sound like a good deal. But it can be challenging to live on just a portion of your regular income. Could you afford to cover all your monthly expenses if 40 percent of your income suddenly disappeared, especially if you've got medical deductibles and other costs to cover?</p> <p>If not, consider investing in supplemental disability insurance. You will have to pay for this, of course, but this extra coverage could protect you in case medical problems keep you out of work.</p> <h2>6. Wind or hurricane damage</h2> <p>A 2016 report from Travelers Insurance identified heavy wind storms as the cause of the greatest number of homeowners insurance claims from 2009 through 2015.</p> <p>You better make sure, then, that your homeowners insurance policy provides adequate coverage for wind damage.</p> <p>The Insurance Information Institute says that many insurers, especially those clustered along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, include deductibles for hurricane and wind damage that are separate from those for incidents such as fire or lightning strikes. These can be expensive. Your standard deductible for most forms of home damage might be as low as $500, meaning that you'll have to cover the first $500 of any repairs before your homeowners insurance kicks in. But an extra deductible for wind or hurricane damage may instead be a percentage of the insured value of your home.</p> <p>Say your home's insured value is $300,000 and your insurer's wind or hurricane deductible is 5 percent. This means that you'd have to cover $15,000 in damages out of your own pocket before your insurance coverage would kick in.</p> <p>If you live in a storm-prone area, check your coverage. If the deductible for wind or hurricane damage is too high, it's time to shop for a new policy.</p> <h2>7. Flooding</h2> <p>If a heavy rainstorm causes your basement to flood, a standard homeowners insurance policy won't cover the damages caused by the water.</p> <p>If you want to protect yourself from floods, you'll need to purchase a separate form of protection known as flood insurance. You can usually purchase one of two policies &mdash; one that covers your home for up to $250,000, and a second that covers your personal property for up to $100,000.</p> <p>Flood insurance will <em>only</em> cover water damage resulting from a flood. It won't provide coverage if your water heater bursts and floods your basement or if water backs up from your toilets.</p> <p>Flood insurance doesn't do much to protect your personal belongings if they are stored in a basement, either. This insurance only covers damages to mechanical systems, electrical systems, and structural elements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <h2>8. Fire</h2> <p>What if a fire destroys your home? Yes, your homeowners insurance policy will help you rebuild. But don't expect it to pay for the full cost.</p> <p>Most insurance policies place caps on the amount of coverage they'll pay out. They also factor in depreciation when determining the value of the possessions that were destroyed in the fire. You might receive a much smaller payout than you expect when it's time to rebuild your home.</p> <p>Call your insurer to make sure that you will receive enough coverage should a fire destroy your home. If that coverage isn't enough, you might have to pay for extra protection.</p> <h2>9. Theft</h2> <p>According to the Insurance Services Office, the average loss in a home burglary is $3,786. Your homeowners policy can help you recover some of the costs from your stolen personal property, but don't assume it'll reimburse you completely. Often, the payout comes up very short.</p> <p>In order to keep premiums down, homeowners policies put caps on some valuable items, such as jewelry, electronics, or artwork. Even cash often has a measly limit of $200. Let's say your homeowners policy puts a $1,000 threshold on jewelry, and your $3,000 diamond ring is stolen, along with several other expensive necklaces. You'd be out thousands of dollars. The payout wouldn't come close to the value of what was stolen.</p> <p>If you have valuable items in your home, you may want to consider purchasing an additional rider (or &quot;floater&quot;) policy that will cover items beyond what homeowners will offer. Some providers offer special riders for unique items, such as jewelry or camera equipment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance damages disability dog bites fire floods gaps homeowners insurance hurricanes liabilities life insurance policies theft weather Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1949204 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid a "Sweetheart Scam" http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-476845526.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to avoid a sweetheart scam" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The &quot;Sweetheart Scam&quot; is nothing new, but the internet and dating sites have made it much easier to pull off. Scammers scour online profiles and use their charm to convince the victim that it's love at first sight. Before they know it, they're handing over all their money and valuables. Then, the scammer moves on.</p> <p>The FBI reports that <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/news-podcasts-inside-sweetheart-scams.mp3/view" target="_blank">losses from sweetheart or dating scams</a> have doubled in the past 10 years to between $15,000 and $20,000 per victim.</p> <p>It's a horrible crime. But, you can use these tips to avoid it, or stop someone you know from getting taken in by this heinous con.</p> <h2>1. Try not to get involved with anyone right after a relationship</h2> <p>Be wary about getting involved with someone else soon after an ended relationship. The sweetheart scam preys especially on those who are divorced, widowed, or recently single.</p> <p>At this time, you're at your most vulnerable. You're emotionally unstable, and you may be craving the attention of a new partner. You are more likely to be open to suggestion. Scammers are superb at reading your emotional state and manipulating you. So, be aware of anyone who approaches you soon after a break up of any kind, and if money comes up, walk away.</p> <h2>2. Don't give money or valuables to anyone</h2> <p>You could have met the nicest person in the world. They seem kind and honest. They are charming. They tell you everything you want to hear. But, pretty soon after laying this groundwork, the requests come in for money and valuables.</p> <p>They're small at first. They may ask for a few bucks to help cover a phone bill until payday, and they promise to pay you back. However, the requests will only get bigger as they gain your trust. Before you know it, you're handing over hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to someone because you genuinely think they love you. All they love is your cash. Once they have bled you dry, they'll move on. Don't give anyone money until you have a long, proven relationship, and know everything about them.</p> <h2>3. Research your new sweetheart<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Never take anyone at face value. The internet has given scammers an incredible resource. They can find images of people they want to look like, create fake websites, steal personal videos, and even create hundreds of phony friends.</p> <p>Even if everything is going great, do some digging. It doesn't hurt to do a background check; they're inexpensive and can give you a great deal of information. If you discover they have horrible credit and a history of bad debts and dubious deals, you may want to ask them about it. Do a reverse image search on their photos. Are they who they say they are? Are they insanely good looking? Check phone numbers. Check places like LinkedIn and Google+ to see if the information they have told you checks out. It never hurts to be too careful. If they're too good to be true, they probably are.</p> <h2>4. Talking on the phone isn't enough</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with beginning a long-distance relationship, and for thousands of people every year, it works. But scammers love to operate over phones and emails. They'll refuse to show their real face, or meet in person. You've probably seen Catfish, the MTV show, and know how this goes. Fake photos, fake Facebook and Twitter profiles, sometimes even phony voices. Although seeing someone's face over a video call like Skype won't automatically protect you from a scam, it's a step in the right direction.</p> <p>If you get resistance, and a bunch of excuses, block this person. There is no reason someone cannot video chat in this day and age. Technology is dirt cheap, and even libraries have computers with webcams.</p> <h2>5. Find a safe place to meet and talk</h2> <p>If you want to avoid a sweetheart scam, meeting someone in person is essential. You'll get a much better impression of them face to face. So if you've reached the point where you're ready to meet, do it in a safe place. That is not your home, and it's definitely not their home.</p> <p>You are looking for a place that is well known to you, is occupied by people and/or staff, and has an easy way for you to leave. A public park is fine if it's during the day and plenty of people are around. But your best bet is usually a busy coffee shop or restaurant. These days, many bars and restaurants are staffed with people who know about the dangers of meeting people online. They may have notices posted in the bathrooms, providing code words that you can use to get you out of the situation.</p> <h2>6. Be wary of an early &quot;I love you&quot;</h2> <p>Do lightning-fast romances happen? Of course. Are two people meant to be together, and feel it the second they meet? Yes, sometimes. But the vast majority of people fall in love over time. You get to know the person intimately. You find out their flaws, and love them for every single one. You meet their family and friends. It's a process. If someone you meet blurts this out after a week or two, alarm bells should be ringing.</p> <h2>7. How's their grammar?</h2> <p>Many sweetheart scams originate in places like Nigeria, where English is a second language. Although technology like Google Translate helps to disguise this, you should pick up on mistakes that feel weird. This is not to say you should become a grammar Nazi, but if the texts and emails you get are worded in an odd way, with spelling errors most people wouldn't make, you may want to do some digging. Of course, talking on the phone, video chatting, and meeting in person would easily clear up this particular point of contention.</p> <h2>8. Listen to your friends and family</h2> <p>There's an expression that directly applies to sweetheart scams; you can't see the forest for the trees. When you become involved with someone, the heart rules the head for a while. You can get caught up in the other person so much, you don't see the obvious; that they're taking you for a ride.</p> <p>So, during this time, listen to your friends and family. At first, they may just give you subtle hints. But as you begin handing over money, they will usually raise the red flags and tell you to get out of the relationship. Don't ignore them. If they suspect your new love is not all he or she appears to be, take a step back. Do the research. They may be wrong, but if enough of them raise concerns, you should be worried.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology con artists Internet manipulation online dating online relationships sweetheart scams theft warning signs Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Paul Michael 1921002 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/611293320.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post brought to you by <a href="https://bob.dmpxs.com/bob_007.gif?s=post&amp;l=289%7C921%7C3488&amp;e=click&amp;p=disclaimer&amp;ids=null&amp;imp_hash=%7BIMP_SIGNATURE%7D&amp;bobredir=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Ftrackclk%2FN4492.127014FEDERATEDMEDIA%2FB10893953.145514384%3Bdc_trk_aid%3D317173286%3Bdc_trk_cid%3D78536406%3Bdc_lat%3D%3Bdc_rdid%3D%3Btag_for_child_directed_treatment%3D&amp;c=113322" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>. See how much <a href="https://bob.dmpxs.com/bob_007.gif?s=post&amp;l=289%7C921%7C3488&amp;e=click&amp;p=disclaimer&amp;ids=null&amp;imp_hash=%7BIMP_SIGNATURE%7D&amp;bobredir=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Ftrackclk%2FN4492.127014FEDERATEDMEDIA%2FB10893953.145514384%3Bdc_trk_aid%3D317173286%3Bdc_trk_cid%3D78536406%3Bdc_lat%3D%3Bdc_rdid%3D%3Btag_for_child_directed_treatment%3D&amp;c=113322" rel="nofollow">Progressive </a>could save you when you bundle your policies.</em></p> <p>Homeowners insurance is absolutely essential if you want to protect your house and assets. If you take a look at a typical insurance policy (commonly known as an HO-3), you&rsquo;ll find it protects homeowners from a wide range of mishaps, from fires to vandalism, lightning strikes and tree falls. But do you know the full scope of what your homeowners policy covers?</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a look at some of the surprising things that you may find are covered by homeowners insurance.</p> <h2>1. Patios, Gazebos, and Sheds</h2> <p>You may think that you&rsquo;re only buying insurance for your home. But in reality, the homeowners policy usually covers your entire property, including all structures such as storage sheds, gazebos, and that luxury doghouse you just had built for Fido. Be sure to let the insurance company know ahead of time, however, that you have these structures on your property. This will ensure you have documentation for coverage.</p> <h2>2. Tombstones</h2> <p>Believe it or not, grave markers at a cemetery are considered &ldquo;personal property&rdquo; and are therefore covered under most homeowners policies. Thus, most people are covered up to $5,000 worth of damage. It&rsquo;s important to note, however, that some gravestone damage is caused by the cemetery&rsquo;s own landscaping equipment, and would therefore be covered by the cemetery&rsquo;s perpetual care fund. So be sure to check the source of damage before making an insurance claim.</p> <h2>3. Riots</h2> <p>A typical HO-3 will cover your home and personal property in the event that they are damaged during civil unrest. (Some policies refer to it as &ldquo;civil commotion.&rdquo;) Vandalism, fire, and explosions are usually covered. If a State of Emergency is declared in your area due to rioting that could help your case when filing a claim. If not, it&rsquo;s a good idea to get a police report to document the event and damage.</p> <h2>4. Volcanoes (But Not Earthquakes)</h2> <p>Most of us outside Hawaii don&rsquo;t have to worry about this, but if your home is in the path of an erupting volcano, rest assured you&rsquo;ll be covered. It&rsquo;s worth noting, however, that earthquake damage (sometimes referred to as &ldquo;ground movement&rdquo;) is not covered under most standard policies.</p> <h2>5. Flooding (In Some Specific Cases)</h2> <p>A typical homeowners policy does not cover flood damage. You&rsquo;ll need separate insurance to cover damage caused by persistent rainfall, an overflowing creek bed, or flooding of a similar nature. But, some policies will cover water damage caused by things like a faulty sump pump, busted water heater or broken pipe. And you may find that water problems may be covered if the water is the indirect result of other kinds of damage (for example, a roof blowing off during a storm). Be sure to check your policy carefully to see what&rsquo;s covered when it comes to water.</p> <h2>6. Your Kids&rsquo; Stuff at College</h2> <p>If you send your child off to school and he&rsquo;s living in a dorm, his items are usually covered under your homeowners policy. That&rsquo;s because most policies cover anyone in your household as well as students under the age of 24. Not all policies cover students living in off-campus housing, however. It&rsquo;s also worth noting that liability limits on students&rsquo; items may be lower, so if they have expensive items like a computer or bicycle, it may be a good idea to get some renters insurance as well.</p> <h2>7. Identity Theft</h2> <p>If some nefarious person gets ahold of your sensitive data, it can become difficult to straighten out. Fortunately, many homeowners policies now allow for reimbursement of the cost of fixing your credit reports and restoring your identity. This can include the cost of lost wages, phone bills and possibly even legal representation. If this coverage is not included in your basic policy, it may be available as a low-cost add-on or endorsement, so check with your insurance provider.</p> <h2>8. Anything You Travel With</h2> <p>Most homeowners policies cover your belongings wherever they go, under something called an &ldquo;off-premises&rdquo; provision. That means that if your laptop or luggage is stolen while you&rsquo;re on vacation in Europe, you&rsquo;re usually covered. For pricey items, like your engagement ring or your triathlon bike, it may be worth getting an additional rider to ensure you have enough coverage.</p> <h2>9. Spoiled Food</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s say a big storm blows through your town and you&rsquo;re without power for six days. Say goodbye to whatever was left in your refrigerator. The good news is that most homeowners policies will cover the cost of replacing spoiled food. Just make sure you take pictures of the food. Also, take note of the deductible on your plan. Some policies have no deductible on food spoilage claims, others may have a high deductible, which would make filing a claim pointless.</p> <h2>10. Dog Bites</h2> <p>If your dog bites someone, your homeowners policy may cover the cost of medical care, usually up to as much as $300,000. Just be aware that some dogs can do serious damage when they bite, and may require additional insurance to cover the cost of any potential claims.</p> <h2>11. Home Upgrades Required by Law</h2> <p>If your local government passes an ordinance requiring your home to have a new roof, the cost of that improvement is often covered. This is nice to have if, for instance, your home is damaged in a storm and the repairs must be in line with new zoning laws. There are usually limits to this coverage &mdash; insurance may not pay for full demolition, for instance &mdash; but it&rsquo;s nice to have for homeowners who may live in older houses. Check your insurance policy to see if this coverage is included in your basic plan or available as a low-cost endorsement.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="https://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/113322921/289_3488.js"></script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn&#039;t Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Have Renters Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing coverage dogs flooding homeowners insurance progressive insurance state of emergency theft volcano Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:15:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1888619 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-509629604.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2017. Most people aren't really thinking of filing taxes just yet, but they are starting to collect the information needed to file by the April deadline. That means the scammers are out in force again, ready to trick millions into submitting personal information, or to make payments that will go into the pockets of thieves.</p> <p>These six scams are the biggest offenders, and once again, they'll be used widely this year. Watch out for them.</p> <h2>1. The &quot;You've Got a Refund&quot; Email</h2> <p>Who doesn't love getting money back from the IRS? When you get this one in your inbox, you could certainly be fooled into thinking it's legitimate. Unlike many of the phishing emails, it appears to have decent grammar, it's well formatted, and it has something of an official look to it. What's more, the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/phishing_email.pdf" target="_blank">refund isn't huge</a>. If it had stated you were getting many thousands back, you may pause for thought. But a small sum, under $100, is less likely to trigger alarm bells. It all seems legit. But, it's not. And by clicking the link in the email, you are going to a fraudulent site designed to collect personal and banking information.</p> <p>As the IRS clearly states on its website, it will never initiate contact with taxpayers over email, text messages, or social media channels. The main contact is snail mail, and while you may get actual calls, they will be easy to verify (more on that later).</p> <p>Do not look at the &quot;from&quot; email address, either. These can be simulated to look like they have come from an official agency. Look at the link address in the email; this will definitely be going to a site that tries to look official, but isn't, such as <a href="http://www.irs-gov.com/refund" title="www.irs-gov.com/refund">www.irs-gov.com/refund</a>. The bottom line: Any kind of &quot;you've got a refund&quot; email from the IRS is a scam, and should be <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing" target="_blank">reported to them immediately</a>.</p> <h2>2. The &quot;The Bill Was Lost in the Mail&quot; Call</h2> <p>If you receive a call from the IRS saying you owe money, it's a scam. That's just a hard fact. The IRS clearly states on its website that it will never call you if you owe taxes, without first sending you a bill in the mail. Of course, thieves are getting wise to this being common knowledge, and are now saying that the bill must have gotten lost in the mail.</p> <p>At this point, you may well be put into a world of self-doubt; and that's when the scammer jumps on the opportunity. They hear the hesitation in your voice, and start alarming you. They will say that as the bill has been long overdue, you are now in serious trouble. You have to pay the back taxes immediately or risk going to jail. It's at this point that many people become so scared that they pay up. This is all a con, and you can easily verify this.</p> <p>For starters, a real IRS agent will not ask for money over the phone. If this is the request, hang up. They also will not threaten you with arrest or deportation. You can also ask for their IRS badge number and call back number. The scammer will hang up on you.</p> <h2>3. The &quot;Affordable Care Act&quot; Email</h2> <p>One of the downsides of the Affordable Care Act is that it is still quite new, and therefore, has many unknowns. There is even a page on the IRS website dedicated to the intricacies surrounding the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/the-affordable-care-act-whats-trending" target="_blank">new health care law</a>; and that is perfect fodder for a scammer. Where there is doubt, there is a chance to profit.</p> <p>The scam will come as an email (and in some rare cases, a letter) alerting you to something called a CP2000 notice. It's worth noting that this is, in fact, a real type of notice. But in this case, it's completely fake. The big giveaway is that it is issued from an Austin, Texas address, with a phony payment voucher number called a 105C.</p> <p>The scam uses language designed to scare you into paying the bill, and here's another huge red flag &mdash; the check should be made payable to &quot;I.R.S.&quot; at an Austin Processing Center address. If you receive anything like this via email, forward it to the IRS. They are currently <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-and-security-summit-partners-warn-of-fake-tax-bill-emails" target="_blank">investigating this nasty scam</a>.</p> <h2>4. The &quot;Please Verify Your Tax Information&quot; Call</h2> <p>Not all IRS scams are designed for immediate profit. This one is designed to harvest your personal information, which can then be used for identity theft, or to actually grab a refund owed to you before you even claim it. In 2013, the IRS paid out over <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-119" target="_blank">$5.8 billion in stolen tax refunds</a>, and the problem is not going away.</p> <p>As the scammer is not asking you to pay a bill, it can feel much less threatening. The fake agent will be very polite, and will say that the IRS needs to verify some information on a tax return you previously filed. They may even have some personal information that makes it sound like they have your file right there in front of them. But, the information they really want, like your SSN or bank details, will not be available.</p> <p>Questions will start out simple: &quot;I have your name as John S. Doe, could you spell that please?&quot; But this will quickly lead to &quot;And could you verify your social security number for me?&quot; At this point, the scammer won't have anything to work with, and is hoping you simply parrot back the response.</p> <p>Remember, the IRS will not call you asking for this kind of information. If you do have an issue with a former return, you will get an official notice in the mail, asking for the information to be verified. And if you doubt that, call the IRS directly.</p> <h2>5. The &quot;IRS Taxpayer Advocate&quot; Email</h2> <p>In 2014, the IRS warned of a new scam that was designed to solicit personal information, leading to identity theft and stolen tax refunds. This is known as the &quot;<a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-warns-of-new-email-phishing-scheme-falsely-claiming-to-be-from-the-taxpayer-advocate-service" target="_blank">IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service</a>,&quot; and comes complete with a legitimate-looking case number, and language designed to grab sensitive personal and financial information.</p> <p>The email, which comes with a &quot;from&quot; address designed to look real, tells you that a former tax return you filed was flagged for review due to a document processing error. Once again, you will always be notified of any problems like this via regular mail, not email.</p> <p>The email will then say that you must click on a link to submit the missing or erroneous information, which will expedite the filing of the return to avoid any fees or charges. Of course, that link leads to a page hosted by the scammer, designed to collect and abuse your information.</p> <h2>6. The &quot;Federal Student Tax&quot; Call</h2> <p>A new tax scam surfaced last year, and it sadly tricked a few unsuspecting people into handing over iTunes gift cards, W-2 information, or tax return data. If that sounds a bit obvious, it's all done in a way that makes it feel legitimate.</p> <p>The scammer will call a student and tell them that they owe &quot;Federal Student Tax,&quot; which must be paid immediately. There's no such thing as the Federal Student Tax. It's a complete fabrication.</p> <p>However, the scammers have become much more sophisticated. For example, they are using caller ID spoofing to make the call look like it is coming from an official government line. Plus, information made available on the dark web can give them all sorts of information about the student's background. Together with a very professional sounding &quot;agent,&quot; this can all work to convince the student the tax must be paid. And often, they request the money in the form of gift cards, which is another huge red flag. Again, the IRS won't call and ask for money. If this is happening to you, or someone you know, tell them to hang up and <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/report-phishing" target="_blank">report the incident to the IRS</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016">Top Three Tax Facts to Know for 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/most-popular-ways-americans-spend-their-tax-refunds">Most Popular Ways Americans Spend Their Tax Refunds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-best-tax-preparer">How to Choose the Best Tax Preparer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes emails fraud IRS phishing scams safety scams tax refunds theft Wed, 25 Jan 2017 11:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1878111 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid Theft While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wallet_theft_187934619_0.jpg" alt="Woman avoiding theft while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel can be a beautiful and life-changing experience, however, it does come with its own set of risks. By setting out in a prepared way, you can reduce the chance of having a horror story to bring back home with you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>While some destinations have reputations for being dangerous, petty crime like pickpocketing and theft can occur in pretty much any major city in the world. It exists in Paris, just as it does in New York. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a>.)</p> <p>You may want to research your destination before you leave home to get an idea for the major concerns that you will face on arrival, and to develop the strategies you might follow once you're there. It helps to have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?ref=internal">credit card that offers purchase protection</a> insurance against theft or accidental damage. While it doesn't help to be suspicious of everyone, you do need to be aware of some basic procedures and guidelines for safety. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>Be Aware, Not Afraid</h2> <p>While you're traveling, you may find yourself at times out of your comfort zone. This is a completely normal part of traveling and it can arise from something as simple as not speaking the local language. Your discomfort does not mean that you're in a particularly risky situation.</p> <p>However, regardless of how you're feeling, it's important to project an attitude of confidence. If you do find yourself in a situation that you're uncomfortable with, confidently take action to get yourself out of that situation.</p> <p>If you appear to be frightened, you may make yourself seem like an easier mark for petty crime. Instead, you should focus on having a good time while always being aware of your surroundings.</p> <p>Be especially alert when taking public transportation as this is a common place for pickpockets to strike. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use a Decoy Wallet When Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>Keeping Your Stuff Safe</h2> <p>What kind of bag did you choose to bring with you? The most secure bags for traveling always close securely. This means they have a zipper or a front flap that closes tightly so that pickpockets can't get their hands into them easily (or at all!).</p> <p>Avoid walking around with valuables or money in your back pockets. Instead, put your stuff in your front pockets where you'll notice if anyone's trying to grab it.</p> <p>Sometimes pickpockets work in groups, so there may be someone chatting with you as a distraction. This doesn't mean you need to be wary of every person that comes your way to talk to you, but if the situation doesn't feel comfortable, listen to your intuition and find a way to get out of it quickly &mdash; and confidently. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a>)</p> <h2>Understand Your Surroundings</h2> <p>Travel is amazing because it means you get to check out uncharted territory. However, it's always a good idea to either research online or talk to locals once you get there. If there are neighborhoods that they avoid, for example, it's better to know about them before you end up wandering there.</p> <p>Some places will be perfectly safe to walk around during the day, but are better off avoided at night. Know how and where to get a reliable taxi. You can ask the receptionist or concierge at your hotel and they will likely give you an informed answer. Just make sure you take the time to ask; then you can explore in a carefree and safe way.</p> <h2>Avoiding Theft at Your Hotel</h2> <p>If there is a safe in your hotel, it's a good idea to store your valuables (cash, passport, credit cards you won't be using) there. If you don't have a safe, consider another secure place. Remember, your wallet may not be the best choice since it's the most obvious place that a thief would check for cash.</p> <p>If you're staying in hostels, they will usually have a locker where you can put your belongings. Remember to travel with your own lock since sometimes a hostel won't provide them, and if they do provide them, you have no way of knowing who else has a copy of the key. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-laptop-safe-when-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Keep Your Laptop Safe When Traveling</a>.)</p> <h2>And During Transport</h2> <p>Airlines rightly recommend that you never check valuables. Tablets, cameras, and computers all need to be packed into your carry on bag. The reason for this is straightforward; a checked bag will be out of your eyesight and in the hands of strangers for the majority of your time in transit. Keep them close.</p> <p>For train and bus travel, be cautious especially during overnight trips. Again, the bag that you check under the bus or at the end of the aisle of a train car is the bag that's at a higher risk of going missing.</p> <p>For overnight buses or trains, consider a money belt that you can tuck into your pants while you sleep. This will give you peace of mind and a reasonable defense against pickpockets or thieves who will look to target you in your sleep. You are at a higher risk while traveling alone, so you may want to find a travel buddy, even if it's just for a few days.</p> <h2>To Money Belt or Not?</h2> <p>Outside of those overnight journeys, you may want to use a money belt for daily use, too. This is a personal choice and there are solid arguments on either side of it. Some people will never use a money belt because it feels clunky. You can argue that when you pull out or otherwise show the money belt, it will pinpoint you as a tourist and may make you a more likely pickpocketing target. If locals aren't using money belts, why should you?</p> <p>However, if you feel comfortable hiding money on your person in this way, there's nothing wrong with that either.</p> <p>If you're keeping money in a bag, be sure that it's in a zipped compartment. You may also want to consider separating your money, so maybe you have some in your pocket and some in your bag. This way if some of it does get stolen, chances are that not everything will get lifted. Also consider keeping some emergency cash or credit card with a list of contacts somewhere very safe, in case you do lose everything you're carrying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Avoid%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg" alt="How to Avoid Theft While Traveling" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation">5 Things You Should Never Pack for Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel luggage money belts out of town pickpockets protection safety theft transportation vacation valuables Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870055 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_phone_park_621595942.jpg" alt="Man learning how to spot a charity scam from a mile away" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to donating to charity, people have good intentions. They want to give to a worthy cause, but unfortunately, so many individuals do very little research before opening up their checkbooks.</p> <p>While many charities are legitimate, there are several that should be avoided. They are the ones that rate low, with the majority of their funds being funneled into the pockets of CEOs or marketing efforts. For example, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is one charity that is low-rated by <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=topten.detail&amp;listid=8">Charity Navigator</a>, yet has one of the highest paid CEOs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity?Ref=seealso">Surprisingly Easy Ways You Can Support Charity</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to make sure your donation is winding up in the right hands.</p> <h2>Make Sure the Name Is Right</h2> <p>Some notable low-rated charities have made it a point to choose names similar to popular nonprofit organizations. For example, Cancer Research Institute is a highly rated charity, but Cancer Survivors' Fund and American Association for Cancer Support are both low-rated charities, according to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">Consumer Reports</a>. Both of the low-rated charities have important sounding names, and it can be easy to confuse them when there are so many to keep track of.</p> <h2>Avoid Callers</h2> <p>Don't give in to pesky callers asking for donations. Often telemarketers are hired by select charities to help raise funds. However, the charity does not get all of those funds. Instead, a lot of your donation will end up going to the marketers rather than your cause. Definitely do not give any personal information, such as your credit card or Social Security number to any charity. Most importantly, if anybody pressures you to give money, then it is best to walk away.</p> <h2>Know Where the Money Goes</h2> <p>The highest rated charities are very transparent about where their money goes. You should be able to see the organization's annual expense reports or the charity's Form 990. Churches and other big religious groups are not required to file 990s, so be sure to check them out at <a href="http://www.ministrywatch.com/">Ministry Watch</a>, a website that helps alert donors to fraudulent religious charities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>Don't Donate Cash or Give Through Wire Transfers</h2> <p>Never give any charity cash or send money through wire transfers. If the charity insists on cash or a wire transfer, it should make you suspicious of the organization. But what about religious tithing? While dropping cash in your local place of worship's donation bucket doesn't mean you are donating to a scam charity, it is still wiser to write a check or donate online. This will allow you to keep track of your charitable giving for tax purposes. If you do give cash, try your best to get a receipt.</p> <h2>Be on Alert</h2> <p>During the holidays, more for-profit charities are likely to increase their marketing. Expect more calls and emails that will appeal to your emotions. Of course you want to help wounded veterans, homeless children, and abused pets but if you have never heard of the charity, then don't rush into donating. Charity scams also are more likely to pop up after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.</p> <p>Ask a charity if they are registered, and if they claim they are, then get the registration number. Also know that most respectable charities do not ask for donations via email, unless an individual has already signed up for the mailing list.</p> <h2>Do Some Research</h2> <p>Before you donate a large sum of money to any charity, spend a few minutes researching the organization. You should be able to find the rating of charities on the <a href="https://www.bbb.org/">Better Business Bureau</a>, <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a>, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/">Charity Watch</a>, <a href="http://www.give.org/">BBB Wise Giving Alliance</a>, and <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/">Consumer Reports</a>.</p> <p>It is best to decide at the beginning of the year what your annual charitable giving will be and which charities you want to donate to. This then puts you and your budget in the right place for donating money and helping those in need.</p> <p>Charity scammers take advantage of people's goodwill and desire to help. However, these scammers can steal more than just your money. They can steal your identity if you give out too much information. Give to causes you care about while also protecting your bank account and personal information.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-safe-is-craigslist">How Safe Is Craigslist?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails">Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs charity donating fraud Giving Back scams theft things to watch out for wire transfers Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849882 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_fraud_56707570.jpg" alt="Learning ways to avoid credit card fraud while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card fraud is more than just a mild annoyance and risk when you're on the road &mdash; it can bring your travel plans to a halt. But you can outsmart thieves. By using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">best travel rewards credit cards</a> and following these seven tips, you can minimize the risk of fraud and better enjoy travel!</p> <h2>1. Get an RFID Blocked Wallet</h2> <p>Did you know that credit card thieves don't actually have to touch your wallet in order to steal your credit card? They never even have to see your card or your wallet. All they have to do is brush up against you with an RFID scanner and they'll have your full name, credit card number, expiration date, and even your passport information.</p> <p>To easily avoid this, you can pick up an <a href="http://amzn.to/2aOhoUD">RFID Blocked wallet</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2anT8up">passport case</a> on Amazon for around $15. They look like normal wallets but they protect your cards and your personal information from would be identity thieves and credit card hackers.</p> <h2>2. Beware of Insecure Internet Connections</h2> <p>It's inevitable when you're traveling that you'll see this message on your screen at some point:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%207.00.36%20PM.png" width="605" height="408" alt="" /></p> <p>When you're using unsecured Wi-Fi connections at hotels, Internet cafes, restaurants, bars, and public parks, everything you type into your browser could potentially be monitored and stolen from you.</p> <p>Whenever you see this warning before browsing, try your best to avoid entering passwords, especially those on your banking and credit card sites. Most banking sites will allow you to access their secure page. Make sure any URL is preceded by <strong>https://</strong> rather than <strong>http://</strong>.</p> <p>You can also get a plug-in for your browser like HTTPS Everywhere (available on <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/https-everywhere/">Firefox</a>, <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/https-everywhere/gcbommkclmclpchllfjekcdonpmejbdp?hl=en">Chrome</a>, and <a href="https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/https-everywhere/">Opera</a>), which will do this automatically. Another solution is SurfEasy VPN, which helps encrypt your data when you're using a public connection.</p> <h2>3. Clear Cookies, Passwords, and Browsing History</h2> <p>Make sure you log out of everything, delete your history whenever you access your email or other password-sensitive web pages from a computer other than your own, and clear cookies and caches on the browser. You want to leave no traces of your personal identification or password information on public computers. To prevent ever having to clear the cache, you can also browse &quot;incognito&quot; in Chrome or &ldquo;private&rdquo; in Firefox.</p> <h2>4. Never Let Your Card Out of Sight</h2> <p>In some places, it's very common to have your credit card information stolen by wait staff at restaurants when you give them your card to pay. If you can, always keep an eye on your card and never let it out of your sight. Consider going up to the counter to pay, rather than leaving it in the bill slip for the waiter to deal with.</p> <h2>5. Memorize (or Write Down) the Theft Hotline Number</h2> <p>The minute you notice that your card has been lost or stolen, you should report it. The sooner you can submit a claim to the lost or stolen card office, the more likely you will be protected against unauthorized charges.</p> <h2>6. Set an Alert</h2> <p>Many credit card providers offer email and SMS alerts that will beep at you when your balance goes over a certain amount. If someone does end up stealing your card and spends a bunch of money all at once, you'll be notified.</p> <p>You may be surprised at how long it takes for people to realize that they've had their card stolen. It can be weeks or even months, depending on how many cards are in the wallet and how often the stolen card is used.</p> <h2>7. Monitor Spending Even After You Return Home</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to do a quick follow-up on your credit card history even after you return home. Smart credit card thieves will steal your credit card information, and wait until you&rsquo;re not so on guard to use it.</p> <p>For a couple of months after returning home, go online and check your statements to make sure that you can account for every single purchase. If there is one that you don't recognize, contact your credit card provider right away and start an investigation.</p> <h2>Be Smart... Not Scared</h2> <p>Credit card fraud is a legitimate worry while traveling, but with increasingly effective fraud protection programs and great credit card customer service lines, you really aren't at too much risk of personal loss, as long as you quickly claim any unauthorized purchases on your account. Travel safe, keep your card close, and be aware of your charges.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel computers fraud protection online shopping passports passwords stealing theft unsecure wi-fi Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1767287 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_theft_wallet_50012006.jpg" alt="Man learning ways to protect himself from theft abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation is a time for rest and relaxation. But your good-time getaway can quickly turn into a living nightmare if you're the victim of theft while you're away from home. Lock down your loot and guard your identity <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling" target="_blank">when you travel abroad</a> with these helpful tips on how to protect yourself.</p> <h2>1. Keep Your Money Hidden</h2> <p>Listen, we all know you're a baller with the big bills on vacay, but let's keep that our little secret. The less money you flash around in public, the fewer chances a would-be thief has to target you.</p> <p>&quot;I always kept my money hidden, and never ever pulled money out,&quot; says frequent traveler and blogger Stephen Roe, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico for five years without becoming a victim of theft. &quot;Other Americans would pull out a wallet to pay. I would always choose to select the money in my pocket and only pull out the amount I needed. That way, potential criminals wouldn't know how much I had.&quot;</p> <p>Roe adds, &quot;In addition, it's best to pay in the local currency whenever possible. Whipping out American dollars, even if it is accepted, can mark you as a potential target.&quot;</p> <p>Travel author <a href="http://amzn.to/29WGmnO">Susan Schenck</a> suggests a similar strategy with your debit card.</p> <p>&quot;When going to an ATM, have the card in a money belt,&quot; she relays. &quot;Make sure there are no loiterers around the area, though often they are even across the street. Go into the bank to count the money. There is a security guard there, often with a gun. Then place it all in your money belt. This is critical. I have so many friends who stuck the money in a pocket only to find it was gone when they got home. Pros can pickpocket you without your feeling anything. Keep the money belt well hidden under your pants.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use Credit Cards Wisely</h2> <p>First, never use a debit card abroad. If it gets stolen, your funds can get depleted and it will take time for the bank to release the funds, if they decide you weren't responsible. Trying to settle these types of matters while you're on vacation abroad is definitely not ideal.</p> <p>Travel expert Ferdinand Goetzen suggests avoiding using your card in questionable places. &quot;This is especially important when traveling in less developed nations,&quot; he says. &quot;Payment security infrastructure can often be lacking so it's best to avoid using your card unless it is a trusted venue or bank.&quot;</p> <p>But credit cards can be helpful when used in safe environments, and can be a better alternative to carrying cash around. It's better to lose a credit card than cash. Credit card companies typically don't hold you accountable for fraudulent charges, as long as you report it quickly. Keep track of your cards carefully so you know if you've lost one, and set up alerts to notify you of purchases so you can see right away if someone has stolen your card information.</p> <h2>3. Use Caution When Taking Taxis</h2> <p>Taxis and nefarious taxi drivers can cause unnecessary trouble if you don't keep your wits about you. Schenck advises to write down the cab number before you get in for reference if you accidentally leave something behind. When exiting a cab, if you have luggage in the trunk, <em>do not </em>get out of the cab until the driver does; they've been known to high-tail out of there with your valuable belongings in tow. And never ask a taxi to wait while you go to the ATM if you leave stuff in the cab. &quot;One friend lost her laptop that way,&quot; Schenck says.</p> <h2>4. Use a Dummy Wallet for Fake-Outs</h2> <p>Want to trick the trickster? Have a fake wallet with outdated credit cards and maybe $20 in it that you can hand to anyone who holds you up. They want a quick getaway and aren't going to sit there and check the dates on the cards, says Schenck.</p> <h2>5. Keep $20 Where the Sun Don't Shine</h2> <p>Well, maybe not in the sense that you're thinking of, but it's not a bad idea to keep a $20 bill in your socks, bra, or other safe, close-to-your-body area in a hidden garment in the event that you're robbed. Twenty dollars goes a long way in many countries, and you'll at least be able to get home or to the nearest police station.</p> <h2>6. Bring a Separate Small Backpack for Valuable Objects</h2> <p>&quot;One of the most common thefts occurs when people leave valuables in their main luggage and leave it in the hotel lobby or in the baggage compartment on buses or trains,&quot; Goetzen warns. &quot;I always bring a small backpack with all of my most important belongings because I don't like to let them out of my sight.&quot;</p> <p>Also, stop assuming that your belongings will be safe with the friendly, nice-looking people next to you at transportation hubs while you go to the bathroom. Even friendly, nice-looking people steal things, and you'll be quite S.O.L. (and super P.O.ed) if they gang the bag with your tickets, passports, and wallet while you're taking a whiz.</p> <h2>7. Use Common Sense</h2> <p>Don't travel to areas that aren't policed, stay out of dark alleys, and don't go anywhere with anybody you don't know. Don't drink so much when you're in unfamiliar territory either. It makes you do stupid things and make poor decisions, and you become a sitting duck for criminals. Your mom totally would've told you so.</p> <p><em>Do you have tips on how to protect yourself when traveling abroad? Let's discuss in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script><p></p> <script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad cash caution money pickpocket safety theft thief vacation Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Mikey Rox 1757847 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do When You Suspect a Scam http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_using_phone_39165382.jpg" alt="Man reacting when he suspects a financial scam" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Within days of filing my taxes this year, I started getting suspicious phone calls. Apparently, the IRS was suing me and I had to pay a &quot;settlement&quot; amount, or I would be hearing from lawyers pursuing a much greater amount of money.</p> <p>Fortunately for me, my husband works in the financial industry and knows <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-the-irs-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-them" target="_blank">how the IRS works</a> &mdash; they always send a letter first. Since I knew from the outset that the call was a scam, it was actually kind of funny to be on the receiving end of one of these calls that I'd heard so much about.</p> <p>But for many, many people &mdash; up to one in 10 in <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9401927/One-in-ten-people-fall-victim-to-scams-investigation-finds.html">the general population</a>, and one in five in <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303330204579248292834035108">the over-65 demographic</a> &mdash; these calls aren't funny at all. They are terrifying, and people will spend whatever they have to in order to keep the supposed IRS off their backs. And this IRS scam isn't the only one!! In fact, there are several common phone scams that take financial advantage of people who simply don't know any better.</p> <p>Wondering how to spot one of these scams, both in the calls you get and in the lives of those you care about? Here are some ideas.</p> <h2>Government Agencies Won't Call You Out of The Blue</h2> <p>Most government agencies will <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/scam-phone-calls-continue-irs-identifies-five-easy-ways-to-spot-suspicious-calls">contact you first by mail</a>, even if they think you owe them quite a bit of money. So if someone calls and claims to be from the IRS, FBI, local law enforcement, jury duty enforcement, or any other government agency, you can be pretty sure that they are scamming you. This is especially true if they are asking you for money, for you Social Security Number, or anything else like that.</p> <p>If you're unsure as to the legitimacy of the call, tell the scammer that you are driving and cannot pay right now, but you'd like to call back as soon as you've stopped. Get as much information as you can, like the name and the official title of the person calling you, and the name of the department they claim to be representing. Then, when you're off the line, do some research. Find a phone number or email address for the department and call them directly. Explain the call you received and that you aren't sure it was legitimate, and let them help you figure it out.</p> <p>These calls can be especially harmful to people who feel vulnerable or afraid, like many elderly people, people living alone, etc. If you know or love someone in one of these categories, make sure they know that these calls can be fake. Offer to back them up if they ever need it, and remind them that they have rights, too.</p> <h2>Cold Calls From Charities</h2> <p>Did you ever get a call out of nowhere from a charity, cause, or campaign asking for an immediate donation? These can be among the most confusing calls to receive, because some non-profits use this as a legitimate marketing technique.</p> <p>If you aren't sure that the call is legit but you're interested in a cause, explain that you are uncomfortable giving out financial information over the phone. Get the exact name of the organization and Google it. See if you can find any reviews of the organization. Then, donate online or call the number provided on the website to make your donation.</p> <p>Also, don't share personal information, like your Social Security Number, over the phone. It is perfectly acceptable to simply say that you don't give out that data that way. If they pressure you, they either aren't legitimate or they might not be an organization you'd want to donate to anyway.</p> <h2>Computer Support Scams</h2> <p>If anyone ever calls you out of the blue and <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/consumer-protection/how-to-identify-a-phone-scam/">asks you to install</a> something on your computer, run away. The programs they have you install will mine your personal data and collect things like usernames and passwords, which the scammer can then use to steal your identity and your money.</p> <p>Instead of following the directions a cold-calling supposed computer tech gives you, you can either tell them that you're not worried about your machine or you can thank them for their information and tell them you'll have someone look at the machine in person (and you can actually do this, if you're concerned).</p> <h2>If You Get Scammed, Act Fast</h2> <p>If you get scammed, take a deep breath. There are still some things you can do to give yourself the best chance of recovery. First, create an <a href="https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/">identity theft report</a> through the Federal Trade Commission. This might not get you your money back immediately, but it will help them follow up on and catch scammers.</p> <p>Next, place a fraud alert on your credit report with one of the three credit reporting agencies (<a href="http://www.experian.com">Experian</a>, <a href="http://www.transunion.com">TransUnion</a>, and <a href="http://www.equifax.com">Equifax</a>). This automatically causes all three agencies to tell potential creditors to take extra steps to confirm your identity before opening any sort of line of credit, which can stop scammers in their tracks.</p> <p>If you think your Social Security number might be compromised, contact <a href="https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/Article/3792/What-should-I-do-if-I-think-someone-is-using-my-Social-Security-number">Social Security</a> and the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft">Internal Revenue Service</a>. They will help you take steps to ensure your number is not used fraudulently.</p> <p>Even if you don't get scammed, report potential scam calls to the FTC. This helps them track and stop scammers before they hurt someone else.</p> <h2>Helping Potential Scam Victims You May Know</h2> <p>Maybe you feel confident that you could avoid being scammed, but you're concerned for elderly relatives or other people you know. Start by having a conversation about the types of scams that are out there and the impact they could have. If you are in a place to do so, set up a system for a loved one where you or another close friend or family member can verify the legitimacy of an organization before the vulnerable person donates. Having this in place ahead of time can help stop the scam before it starts.</p> <p>If you can't have that conversation or you're not sure how well the other person took it, keep your ears open. Many scams play on fear and anxiety, and people who have given into that often talk about it. If someone mentions owing money to the IRS or another government agency, ask some more questions.</p> <p>Similarly, listen for discussions about donating money, prepaying funeral expenses, and more. Even if your loved one has already been scammed, keeping your ears open can help you nip the problem in the bud before it destroys their financial future.</p> <p>If you have a loved one who has been scammed in the past, it might behoove you to set up some sort of joint access to their bank and credit card accounts. That way, you can monitor any money movement and spot transactions that might be fraudulent.</p> <p>You can also teach yourself and your loved ones to become scam resistant. Don't answer calls from numbers you don't recognize (if they have something to say, they can leave a message!). Google the numbers before you call them back, as there are websites that will report on whether or not the number belongs to a fraudster. Look up the numbers for the folks who call you independently, so you can check on the legitimacy of the call before you disclose any information.</p> <p>Maybe most importantly, learn to control your own feelings. Dealing with scammers is difficult because they try to manipulate emotions. Staying calm is usually more than half the battle, rather than giving in to fear, anxiety, a desire to help, and more. Train yourself to do this and help the potentially vulnerable people in your life to do the same, and you will be nearly scam resistant.</p> <p><em>Have you or a loved one been scammed? What was the scam and how did you recover?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails">Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-credit-repair-scam">How to Spot a Credit Repair Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card">Top 5 Ways Thieves Use Your Stolen Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance crime elderly fake calls federal trade commission financial abuse fraud IRS scams theft Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1749903 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters' Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_holding_umbrella_000079724871.jpg" alt="Man learning reasons he definitely needs renters&#039; insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the U.S., the national rent average rose 3.3% over a year ago rents &mdash; although some cities saw even greater annual increases. Since last year, renters saw their median rent climb 5% in Detroit, 8.5% in Kansas City, and a whopping 14.9% in San Francisco.</p> <p>Faced with ever-increasing rents, many Americans may opt to skip renters' insurance. But while there are many kinds of insurance that aren't worth it, renters' insurance simply isn't one of them. Here are five good reasons why you <em>totally</em> need renters' insurance.</p> <h2>1. Protection for Your Personal Property</h2> <p>A very common renters' misconception is the belief that their landlord's property insurance will cover damage or loss in case of fire or a break-in. But a survey from insurance company Nationwide revealed that 68% of renters ages 23 to 35 would <a href="http://www.nationwide.com/about-us/040814-renters-insurance-survey.jsp">spend an estimated $5,000</a> to replace their belongings if an unfortunate event did occur. Despite the potential big loss, a stunning 56% of the surveyed renters didn't have renters' insurance.</p> <p>A standard HO-4 insurance contract, commonly referred to as renters' insurance, provides the necessary protection for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-need-an-inventory-of-your-stuff-and-its-easier-than-you-think">your personal property</a> against covered perils, including fire, theft, vandalism, and even volcanic eruption. A best practice is to look for a policy that provides 100% replacement cost protection, which may be a bit more expensive &mdash; but ultimately worth every penny. After all, you want to replace your loss with the latest TV model, not one from two years ago.</p> <p>Another best practice: If you're an avid comic book collector, have a taste for expensive imported furniture, or are an early adopter of all things high-tech, look into floater insurance to get the necessary higher-limit coverage that you need for any specialty belongings.</p> <h2>2. Additional Coverage Away From Home</h2> <p>Most policies provide protection for your personal property up to 100 feet from your home, so your stuff is covered when moving or using your building or community's facilities, such as a shared pool or clubhouse.</p> <p>However, there are additional benefits for owning renters' insurance. Depending on your policy, your personal property may also be covered in case of theft <em>outside</em> the premises of your home. Let's imagine that you're using your laptop and expensive high-definition earphones at a coffee shop. You walk away to get a refill and somebody makes a run with your items. The &quot;off premise theft&quot; clause of your renters' insurance may enable you to make a claim for the stolen items.</p> <p>Consult your insurance agent and read the fine print of your policy to learn more about applicable coverages and limitations. For example, if you store many items in a trailer or storage facility for part of the year, you should ask about extended theft coverage.</p> <h2>3. Liability Protection</h2> <p>Life happens. Say one night one of your friends slips and falls down the stairs at your apartment, severely hurting her back. Or your dog bites your neighbor's son, requiring your neighbor to spend several hundred dollars in medical expenses. While you can't prevent every single event, you can buy coverage against potential lawsuits.</p> <p>If you are held legally liable by a court, then the liability portion of your renters' insurance would cover payouts for medical bills related to the accident, or replacement costs for the other party's property damaged at your home.</p> <p>Keep in mind that your dog's breed may affect your monthly premium or even your eligibility for coverage. Many insurance companies will deny coverage for pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, doberman pinschers, rottweilers, and German shepherds. When shopping for renters' insurance, provide full disclosure of your dog's breed and history of biting or abuse (in the case of rescue dogs).</p> <h2>4. Affordable Price for Loss and Liability Protection</h2> <p>In the survey from Nationwide, three out of four of those without renters' insurance don't realize they can get monthly coverage for as little as the cost of a pair of movie tickets.</p> <p>According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renters' insurance policy costs between <a href="http://www.naic.org/documents/consumer_alert_renters_0812.htm">$15 and $30 month</a> for $30,000 to $50,000 of property coverage, with a deductible ranging from $500 to $1,000.</p> <p>However, lower prices are possible. In 2014, a writer for Forbes magazine was able to find a renters' insurance policy to cover $25,000 of his personal property for an <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2014/04/08/renting-an-apartment-this-mistake-could-cost-you-5000-or-more/">annual lump sum payment of $150</a> ($12.50 per month). Paying 0.60% to fully protect all of your stuff is as affordable as it gets.</p> <p>Check for additional potential savings for:</p> <ul> <li>Having certain security or fire-prevention systems;</li> <li>Being a non-smoker;</li> <li>Being part of a special interest groups (e.g. labor union, alumni association);</li> <li>Bundling with existing car insurance policy;</li> <li>Staying claim-free for a specific period of time; or</li> <li>Having special status (e.g. senior citizen, college student, or military).</li> </ul> <h2>5. Greater Choice of Rental Opportunities</h2> <p>Last but not least, making the investment in renters' insurance may expand your options when looking for apartments. More and more landlords are requiring renters' insurance from their tenants.</p> <p>The cost of homeowners' insurance is rising faster than that of renters' insurance. For example, in 2012, the average premiums for homeowners' insurance and renters' insurance increased by 5.6% and 0%, respectively, from the previous year.</p> <p>A landlord can only legally require tenants to carry renters' insurance when signing a new contract or renewing an existing lease. By shopping in advance for an adequate policy, you can have ammunition to prevent a rent increase &mdash; or be ready to find a new and better place!</p> <p><em>How are you protecting the personal property in your home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Have Renters Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing apartments liability property damage renters insurance renting theft Wed, 02 Dec 2015 18:07:53 +0000 Damian Davila 1617556 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Powerful Ways to Protect Your Money From Cyber Theft http://www.wisebread.com/6-powerful-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-cyber-theft <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-powerful-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-cyber-theft" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_stolen_identity_000023163541.jpg" alt="Man finding ways to protect his money from cyber theft" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since 2013, cyber criminals have been pulling off what amounts to the largest bank heist in history &mdash; hitting at least 100 banks across the globe. During this two-year period, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/cyber-crime-you-re-the-mark">cyber criminals</a> released malicious software targeting bank employees that allowed them to infiltrate bank security systems. The undetected malware resulted in the theft of $1 billion stolen directly from banks.</p> <p>Cyber attackers like these and others are at large, and while there's nothing you can do to stop attacks on financial institutions, there are measures you can take to protect yourself and ensure the financial data you share over the Internet is kept safe. Don't compromise your financial transactions. Take these steps to keep cyber thieves at bay and keep your money safe.</p> <h2>1. Use a Separate Computer for Financial Transactions</h2> <p>One of the safest measures you can take to protect your finances is to use a designated computer when accessing investment accounts. Cyber criminals steal your information using programs that only you can give them access to &mdash; when you click on an infected download, advertisement, e-mail, photo, or attachment.</p> <p>Use a designated device like the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=2858603011&amp;pf_rd_i=google%20chromebook&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=2079390022&amp;pf_rd_r=1B11JC1SF66HF33CWNEC&amp;pf_rd_s=desktop-auto-sparkle&amp;pf_rd_t=301&amp;qid=1432218150&amp;ref=spks_0_0_2079390022&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CVEJDSJLFEM472K6">Google Chromebook</a> that only connects to Internet. They're inexpensive &mdash; around $200 &mdash; and are a good option for managing your finances online.</p> <h2>2. Install Malware Scanners</h2> <p>Install an Internet security program, like Kaspersky Internet Security Safe Money Technology, to clean up your machine and systematically scan and remove potential new threats before they corrupt your system.</p> <h2>3. Use Unique Usernames and Passwords</h2> <p>Create highly unique usernames and passwords, and change them periodically. Choose a password with six or more characters comprised of both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. And as an added precaution, make a habit of changing your password every 60&ndash;90 days.</p> <h2>4. Monitor Transactions</h2> <p>It's a wise decision to sit down every so often and review your financial statements for errors or suspicious activity. Try to do so at least once a month, even if you have not initiated a transaction and don't expect activity on your account.</p> <h2>5. Get Security Alerts</h2> <p>Sign-up for security alerts &mdash; receive notifications when there's unusual activity for a wide variety of activities, including wire transfers, new-account setups, foreign transactions, and changes in bill payee information.</p> <h2>6. Use Two-Factor Authentication</h2> <p>In addition to your username and password, some major financial institutions offer two-factor authentication, which prompts you to enter an additional verification code when accessing your accounts. Choose this option whenever it's available.</p> <p><em>How do you protect your money from cyber theft?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-powerful-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-cyber-theft">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-passive-income-online">5 Ways to Make Passive Income Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-declutter-your-digital-life">5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again">Quick Vista Hack to Get You Browsing at High-Speed Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-teenager-started-a-multi-million-dollar-online-business-with-a-parrot">How a Teenager Started A Multi-Million Dollar Online Business with a Parrot. UPDATED</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Banking cyber criminals Internet online theft Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1437167 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/unhappy_male_employee_000059722000.jpg" alt="Man at work deciding if he should speak up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are times during anyone's career when it's preferable to stay quiet, and avoid confrontations or drama. And, there are other times when staying quiet may be the easy thing to do &mdash; but not the right thing. You may be put in a situation that requires you to speak up for the good of the company, yourself, or another employee. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">Your job</a> could be put in jeopardy by <em>not </em>speaking up. You could simply be doing yourself a disservice by not speaking your mind, and letting others know just how you feel. Here are 10 of those times. In these situations, speak up, and do it quickly.</p> <h2>1. Any Time You Are Being Harassed</h2> <p>Whether sexually, physically, racially, or emotionally, the workplace should be harassment-free. Most employers require you to take harassment training courses these days, and with good reason. Harassment is not only disruptive to the work environment, it can lead to deep psychological scarring, lawsuits, and in the worst cases, suicide. The moment you suspect anything has gone from playful banter to something much more serious, you must arrange a meeting with someone from your HR department. If you don't have one, then you need to talk to your supervisor, or someone else in a position of authority. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get.</p> <h2>2. When You Witness Harassment</h2> <p>Look out for fellow employees who may be too afraid to take action against harassment themselves. If you notice that someone is experiencing any kind of harassment that could be contributing to a hostile work environment, follow the procedures set in place by your HR department, or superiors. This is not just a &quot;nice&quot; thing to do &mdash; it's actually your responsibility to the people you work with. Again, this needs to be nipped in the bud quickly, before it gets out of hand and creates a very serious situation.</p> <h2>3. During Brainstorming Meetings</h2> <p>If you work in an environment that requires brainstorming sessions, be they about finances, advertising, engineering, or just the holiday party, you must not make the mistake of staying quiet in these meetings. Whether it's from shyness, self-doubt, or preferring to listen instead of contribute, your lack of involvement will only be viewed in a negative light. You will be seen as someone who doesn't contribute, has no ideas, or is apathetic to the task at hand. To combat this, speak up early; ideally within the first few minutes. This is a great way to make sure you break the silence, boost your confidence, and avoid searching your brain for an idea that is not already on the table.</p> <h2>4. When You Don't Understand the Assignment</h2> <p>There's a famous episode of Seinfeld (&quot;The Bottle Deposit&quot;) that involves George receiving a very important assignment from his boss, Mr. Wilhem. As George is getting briefed, Mr. Wilhelm enters the bathroom, and George stays outside. But when he eventually follows him in, Wilhelm has finishes the briefing and thinks George heard every word. The comedy comes from George trying to figure out what on earth Wilhelm wants, without asking him to repeat the instructions.</p> <p>Don't be like George. If you misunderstand any part of the brief, go back and ask questions; explicit questions. This is not the time to beat around the bush, and your boss will appreciate you making sure you are going in the right direction. Of course, there is one caveat; don't continue to ask the same questions over and over. Getting clarification is one thing, but if you have to be told something five times before it sinks in, you may not be in the right career.</p> <h2>5. If You're in Physical Pain</h2> <p>It doesn't matter if you do a desk job, or you're out doing hard labor. If you're in pain, you must speak up, and quickly. Experiencing pain on the job can severely impact your performance, and also make the cause of the pain even worse. If it's a migraine, take the day off if you have sick days. If you don't have sick days left, see if it is possible to work from home after the pain has eased a little. If you're experiencing physical pain, like a bad back or shoulder, explain it to your supervisor. It could be work-related, in which case the company may be obligated to help you eliminate the cause of the pain. These days, many office workers find it better to stand at their desks, and your employer could provide you with the appropriate desk and equipment.</p> <h2>6. When You Witness Something Illegal</h2> <p>Your company's code of conduct will likely cover compliance issues, and how to make sure you are not breaking any laws (even accidentally) while at work. If you should notice someone breaking these rules or laws, you need to speak up. Your employer should have a whistleblower policy to cover this, and you will be able to report the incident anonymously. If there is something systemic going on, like the Enron scandal, your quick action could save hundreds of jobs. If you believe you, yourself, may have inadvertently broken a law, you must also speak up. It is far better that it comes from you, than someone who notices your genuine mistake and reports it to your superiors.</p> <h2>7. As Soon as You Know Something is Wrong</h2> <p>Wrong? How? Well, it all depends on the kind of job you have. If you're in accounting and you notice a mistake in the numbers, don't wait until the financial report is at the printers. Say something when you first notice the mistake. If you're in advertising, don't stay quiet when something is clearly wrong with the ad (or bottle&hellip; as <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/john-oliver-mocks-bud-lights-creepy-ad-campaign-if-a-nickel-could-urinate-it-would-taste-like-a-bud-light/">Bud Light found out recently</a> to much blowback). If you're in engineering, and see something that could cause major problems later on (such as <a href="http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2015/05/approved_death_claims_related_19.html">GM's poorly-made ignition switch</a>), for goodness sake speak up. These mistakes can cost lives. Staying quiet because it's easier than causing a fuss is not good enough. Be brave, speak up, and do the right thing.</p> <h2>8. When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work</h2> <p>It happens a lot in businesses all over the world. You have a great idea, you say something to someone, and the next thing you know, they're claiming ownership. They get the pay raise, the new account, the promotion, the accolades, and you're left holding with a whole lot of bitterness. These &quot;leeches&quot; work everywhere, and are quite happy to take the credit and climb the ladder, be it in a Fortune 500 company, or the local bakery or autoshop.</p> <p><em>How </em>you speak up is important though. It can't come down to whining and complaining. Make sure you approach your supervisor, show them the work you had done beforehand (if you have it) and calmly discuss the fact that this was your idea. You may want to approach the person who stole the idea first; sometimes, they may be unaware of their mistake. In those rare cases, they may be quite happy to speak up on your behalf. Either way&hellip; take what's yours.</p> <h2>9. If Anything You Own Goes &quot;Missing&quot;</h2> <p>Make no mistake: there are sticky fingers in offices and businesses around the country. It can be as small as someone using the milk you brought in for their own cup of tea. Or, it can be more expensive items, including money, electronics, clothing, or even collectibles. When you start noticing that your things are going missing, report it immediately to HR or your superiors. It's important to at least get them alerted to the problem. It could be an internal person, someone from the cleaning staff, or anyone else trusted to walk around your business or office. HR can even install security cameras if it is serious enough.</p> <h2>10. When Rumors and Gossip Are Running Riot</h2> <p>You can't avoid water cooler chats and idle gossip in businesses. It happens in kitchens, bathrooms, conference rooms, and anywhere else people congregate to chat. However, when this gossip goes from a little harmless griping, to something much more toxic, you need to speak up. You can either put a stop to the chat instantly when you hear it (i.e. &quot;No, she didn't say that, and was never even in that meeting&quot;) or you can take your concerns to your superiors so that they can address the issues. Gossip can be very destructive, and needs to be stopped.</p> <p><em>When has speaking up at work made you most proud?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work">5 Unmistakeable Signs You&#039;re Slacking at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building harassment Office speaking up theft work Mon, 18 May 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1421691 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Weirdest Cases of Credit Card Theft http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-weirdest-cases-of-credit-card-theft <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-weirdest-cases-of-credit-card-theft" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-theft-479259989-small.jpg" alt="credit card thief" title="credit card thief" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When someone robs your home, they're invading not just your property, but your privacy as well. No fun. But when someone steals and uses your credit cards, you at least get to spy on the perpetrator by reading on your credit card statement what he or she tried to buy with your good name. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fraud-and-how-to-avoid-it?ref=seealso">How to Deal With Credit Card Fraud</a>)</p> <p>If you think your identity has been stolen and new accounts have been opened in your name, you won't have much time for idle reading, since you'll have to file a police report and jump through a lot more hoops to clear your name.</p> <p>But if it's a simple matter of a stolen card or card number, you probably don't have much to worry about. Since <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0093-credit-card-loss-protection">federal law limits consumer liability</a> for credit card theft losses to $50 &mdash; and most card companies won't even hold you responsible for that &mdash; once you report the crime to your card company, you can afford to sit back and enjoy this peek into the life of a crook. You may not end up developing a relationship with your scammer and learning life lessons the way things worked out in the movie <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CCLPIAM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CCLPIAM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XOB56AQKCY4HGHBN">Identity Thief</a>, but you might at least have a laugh.</p> <p>Especially if your scammer's purchases are anything life these real-life examples of the weirdest cases of credit card theft.</p> <h2>1. Must Have Been a Really Nice Litter Box</h2> <p>Martin Bowling, who had been a well known success in the search marketing field, was <a href="http://www2.webmasterradio.fm/martin-bowling-sentenced-to-three-years-for-computer-fraud.html">convicted of stealing a subscriber list from a former employer, Woodcraft Magazine</a>, and using the information to charge more than $4,000 worth of goods, including a home beer brewing kit and a self-cleaning cat litter box. In Bowling's defense, most cat owners have had moments when they would do almost anything to avoid having to scoop the litter box.</p> <h2>2. Unusual Wallet</h2> <p>For Pompano Beach, Fla., resident Ann Hernandez, it's not what she allegedly bought &mdash; power tools &mdash; but where she allegedly stashed the illicit credit cards and driver's license that was weird. I'm not going to say where, but police probably had to get her to squat and cough to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/19/ann-hernandez-hid-stolen-identity-in-vagina_n_863899.html">reveal the evidence</a>.</p> <h2>3. I Just Wanna Be Me</h2> <p>Graduate student Li Ming tried to commit credit card fraud by impersonating&hellip; himself. Confused? What happened was, Li (who is from China, where last names come first), ran up tons of charges on his cards. Instead of paying up, Li faked his own death, got an obituary printed in the paper, and then later quietly tried to use a copy of his birth certificate to apply for a new driver's license. He figured that because his surname is one of the most common in China, no one would notice. Unfortunately for him, the DMV did indeed notice, and Li was busted.</p> <h2>4. Weekend at Eunice's</h2> <p>In England, an <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2543471/Widow-Afghanistan-war-hero-posed-91-year-old-churchgoer-steal-14-000-pay-clothes-flights-credit-card-bills.html">Afghan war widow received a bank statement</a> addressed to the former owner of her home. A little sleuthing told Nicola Marlton-Thomas that the accountholder, Eunice Lees, had died two years earlier, leaving no heirs. Marlton-Thomas cleaned out the woman's accounts and applied for credit cards in her name, buying business supplies, camping gear, and clothes before security monitors realized that these were not typical purchases for a 91-year-old woman.</p> <h2>5. The $9.84 Scam</h2> <p>Earlier this year, hundreds of consumers began complaining about <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/credit-card-scam-alert-mysterious-984-charges-appearing-on-accounts-b99193957z1-242753731.html">mysterious charges appearing on their bills</a>, always for $9.84. It was unclear who might be doing this or whether the victims had a common link, but one thing is apparent: Thieves are banking on the fact that most of us won't <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-credit-card-statement-is-keeping-you-in-debt?ref=inarticle">check our statements</a> carefully enough to notice a random charge under $10.</p> <h2>6. Straight to the Top</h2> <p>The case of Abraham Abdallah is bizarre in its brazenness. The busboy picked up Forbes' list of richest Americans and went right to the top, gathering the luminaries' social security numbers, birthdates, home addresses, and even credit card numbers with a combination of Internet research and social engineering. Abdallah then attempted to use the credit card numbers of none other than Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Warren Buffett to purchase expensive goods, and may have even bought not one but two brownstones in Brooklyn, <a href="http://nypost.com/2001/03/21/cyberthiefs-empire-spans-globe-cops/">according to the New York Post</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-your-credit-card-safe-while-shopping-online?ref=seealso">Online Shopping Safety Tips</a>)</p> <h2>7. Spielberg Part Deux</h2> <p>Abdallah wasn't the only con artist to try and victimize Steven Spielberg. James Rinaldo Jackson managed to <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5763781/ns/technology_and_science-security/t/id-thief-stars-tells-all/#.U-Qa2PldWHM">tap into the director's American Express account from prison</a>, he says just to snoop on his idol's high-roller purchases. But Jackson pilfered other people's credit accounts to pay for pizzas, jewelry, and Nike shoes, which he used to pay off other inmates for standing guard duty while he dialed for dollars. He also sent a letter to then Hollywood director (later Yahoo! CEO) Terry Semel, containing account numbers and other personal data for dozens of Hollywood personalities, as part of an unsuccessful movie pitch. When he didn't get a picture deal, Jackson reportedly went ahead and used some of the listed figures' credit card numbers. Jackson brazenly stole the identities of more than 25 chief executives, using the cards and cash advances to buy all manner of luxury items.</p> <h2>8. Beyond the Pale</h2> <p>In one of the more egregious cases of identity theft I've heard of lately, it seems that the bodies and possessions strewn on the site of the<a href="http://mashable.com/2014/07/21/scammers-mh17-victims/"> Malaysia Airlines 17 crash have been plundered for credit cards</a> and other identifying documents, which are possibly being used for identity theft. Scam Facebook profiles have been opened in victims' names, and one journalist said that every bag he saw at the crash site appeared to have been opened and rummaged through.</p> <p><em>Heard of any crazy credit card or identity theft scams lately? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-weirdest-cases-of-credit-card-theft">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-debit-cards-as-safe-as-credit-cards">Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards: Fees and Fraud Protection</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-approved-for-credit-card-offers-are-you-pre-qualified">Pre-Approved for Credit Card Offers: Are You Pre-Qualified?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card theft credit cards theft Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1221852 at http://www.wisebread.com