The Sneakiest Online Shopping Scams

Online shoppers will spend a record $91 billion over 61 days this holiday season, according to predictions. On Black Friday alone, there will be some $3 billion in internet buys, and Cyber Monday is expected to be the busiest shopping day of all time, generating about $3.4 billion in sales. That’s great news for retailers … as well as rip-off artists behind these sneakiest online shopping scams: App traps. In the reigning ruse, a surge in bogus apps recently began …

Are Girlfriends the Best Gift of All?

“Cyber Monday” may have come and gone, but sales-alert season is just getting started. So how can you keep your credit cards from lapsing into a coma by New Year’s Day? Prioritize, girlfriend! Or, if you’re like me, rephrase that to “make your girlfriends a priority.” They’ve been with you through thick and thin — which I define as kids and careers, dating and divorce — so they deserve to be at the top of your gift list (and mine). …

Cyber (Crook) Monday: 8 Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Whether your online holiday shopping begins Bird Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday – or is already history – here’s a refresher course on how to do it more safely. Use a credit card. Payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. With a debit card, you can’t withhold payments – the store is paid directly from your bank account. And …

5 Tips to Curb Holiday Travel Costs

Holiday travel these days is a Santa-sized hassle and it can be a real budget buster as well. To curb your travel expenses, consider these tips: Leave your wheels parked at home. Since most rental cars nowadays come with competitive rates and unlimited free miles, it may pay to rent a car — and prolong the life expectancy of your own wheels. You might also be able to save on gas costs by renting a more fuel efficient car than …

Shop Small in the Spirit of the Holidays

Bah Humbug! That pretty much sums up my feelings about participating in Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when we’re all encouraged to join the mobs and march off to the shopping mall in the wee hours of the morning to buy, buy, buy as the first official act of celebrating the holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. It’s just that I’d like to think that there’s something more to them than plowing over other shoppers …