Disappearing but cashed checks could mean you’re the victim of a veteran, but evergreen, type of fraud known as “check washing”. Check washing is when fraudsters first steal paper checks from personal (or even U.S. Postal Service office) mailboxes and then soak them in ink-removing chemicals to erase the information handwritten on the check, such as the payee name, dollar amount and date, creating blank spaces for the scammer to write in whatever new information they want.
Budget, Community, Taxes
For your money to have the greatest impact, it’s important to know that the non-profit you’re considering has a documented history of managing its finances effectively and accomplishing its mission. It’s a good idea to invest in a little research before investing in a charitable organization, especially if you don’t actually know that much about what the non-profit does or how and where it operates.
Budget, Credit, Savings
But as with all forms of currency, from paper cash to gold coins to digital cryptocurrency, there are rules and responsibilities for using it. Managing money can be complicated. Anyone can overlook or forget a payment that must be made; then they find out they have overextended their allowable credit limit, carried over a monthly debt balance or wiped out cash reserves. It’s also possible that a consumer may not know or understand all the features of a credit card, but with a little research, that card could provide many more benefits beyond just delayed payment.
Investment, Savings, Security
This October is the 20th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a joint effort of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and the event’s goal is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the United States and help provide Americans with the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. Every year—and especially in October—Delta Community tries to inform its members and the general public of how they can be become more cybersecurity aware and protect themselves online.
Budget, Holiday, Vacation
With a high demand for travel in warm months—peak travel season—also come seasonal (and often higher prices) for transportation and lodging. Getting somewhere and staying there is usually less expensive during the fall and winter. If costs are an issue when considering travel, then an off-peak season sojourn can be an opportunity to save and get more enjoyable experiences for less money. Off-peak months in the U.S. are approximately September through March, the core fall and winter months, which is also when most schools are still in session.
Digital payments can make life faster and easier. Whether someone is using Apple® Pay, Cash App, Google® Pay or Wallet, PayPal®, Venmo, or another of the numerous digital payment apps, platforms, networks, services and websites available in the U.S. and in other countries; paying and getting paid has never been simpler or quicker to accomplish. If something is easy to do—and it involves money—then it may also be relatively straightforward for a criminal to exploit the process and steal money from unsuspecting victims. Digital payments can be simple and fast, but they can also be untraceable and non-recoverable, making it difficult or impossible to either retrieve money sent to a crook or have the funds reimbursed by a financial company that unwittingly participated in the fraudulent transaction. If someone is making electronic payments, then they should be extra careful when transferring funds, and they should know and trust the person they are paying.
Budget, Credit, Insurance
Without a strong, positive, credit-based insurance score, an insurance policy applicant may only be offered policies with higher premiums or a higher monthly rate to pay. To the insurer, the lower credit score of a potential policyholder means that they are an increased risk for making claims, and consequently they must pay more money to the insurance company to offset the likelihood of future claims on the policy. Having to pay higher premiums or rates could increase insurance costs hundreds of dollars a year for an indefinite number of years, either until a consumer’s reports and scores are more robust or, possibly, if the insurer determines that the consumer is less risky based on some other criteria.
Investment, Savings, Security
All it takes is to click on a malicious link, download an infected file, or accidentally end up on a compromised website to have a computer taken over. When a computer is compromised, a ransomware demand message will pop up in a web browser or over the entire computer screen. The computer has now been hijacked and may even be completely locked up and totally under the control of hacker’s ransomware. The false message could claim to be from the FBI or other government law enforcement agency. It will say that you need to pay a financial penalty for your computer to be unlocked and provide a link to make a payment.
Budget, Credit, Education, Savings
Attending college or a university can be one of the most exciting periods of anyone’s life. It provides a new environment, fresh freedoms, greater responsibilities, unexpected experiences, innovative ideas, learning opportunities, and interesting people. College also provides many types of new costs, along with methods for managing money to get regular cost savings.
Investment, Savings, Security
Using an ATM is usually a simple and safe activity—but not always. Money usually attracts thieves, robbers, hackers, fraudsters, and imposters; these sorts of criminals can be a legitimate threat during certain transactions, whether online or in the bricks-and-mortar world. Even sturdy ATMs and their users are not safe from being victimized by opportunistic crooks that are ready to quickly take your money when they encounter the right circumstances.