Financial Education

Tax Scams 2019

The IRS is cautioning taxpayers to be extra careful this tax season due to a 60% increase in email phishing scams over the past year. A tax-related email phishing scam will typically appear to be from the IRS. Once the victim has opened the email, the scammer will try to get at their personal and financial information. They will then use this information to steal the victim’s identity, empty their accounts or file taxes in the victim’s name and keep the refund. The most popu...



Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft With These 7 Tips

Identity theft is one of the most nefarious crimes out there. Here are seven ways to help protect yourself: 1. Secure Your Hard Copies Every sensitive document should be kept in a safe. Credit cards and debit cards should be securely placed in your wallet at all times. Bonus Tip: Shred all aged documents that contain sensitive information 2. Examine Your Financial Statements Review your financial statements monthly and check carefully for fraudulent activity. Report any suspicious charges immedi...



Should I Refinance My Home Mortgage?

Q: Many of my friends have refinanced their mortgage recently, and they’re urging me to do the same thing. Money is always a bit tight, and the thought of an extra few hundred dollars a month is very tempting. Should I refinance? A: Refinancing a mortgage is essentially paying off the remaining balance on an existing home loan and then taking out another mortgage, usually at a lower interest rate. It may sound like a no-brainer, but there are lots of factors to consider before deciding ...



Beware Tech Support Scams!

You’re always putting yourself out on a limb when you call tech support. You dial the number the company gives you, and perhaps after a while of waiting, you’re connected to someone who may be working on the other side of the world in a completely different time zone. Then you’re asked to give this anonymous person identifying details about your phone or computer and the technical problems you’re experiencing. Of course, you’re fairly certain the speaker works for y...



6 Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

It’s that time of year again! Get ready to break out the calculator and pencils; dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms and pay stubs, and get to work. Drowning in paper and getting numb from all those numbers? Take heart! As soon as you’ve got it all organized and filed, you don’t need to think about your taxes again until next year. Don’t be too hasty, though. You don’t want to wind up making a mistake that’ll delay your refund, make you accountabl...



Why You Should Delete Unwanted Apps

Using your social media account to log into an app or website can be easier than creating a new user name and password. But, after a while, you can collect more apps and become registered on more websites than you really use. This can leave you open to cyber attacks, phishing, and scams. When you use social media accounts to sign up for apps or websites, you may give the app or website permission to do things on your behalf, like post to your social media page. You’re also possibly saying ...