Top Scams of 2016

Chalk up 2016 as another year of role-playing rip-offs: Fake IRS agents threatening arrest or deportation unless immediate payment is made for supposed back taxes. Fake grandchildren claiming trouble while overseas and in need of their loved ones’ financial help. Fake warnings of dire consequences for supposedly missing jury duty, avoided only by paying a fine and providing personal information for likely identity theft. Continuing a three-year trend, the IRS impostor scam was again the ruse most reported in 2016 …

Scam-Proof 2016 With These 7 Simple Steps

Happy New Year! Start 2016 on the right foot, with these simple steps to reduce your risk of scams: Freeze your credit file. The best way to proactively prevent identity theft (as well as minimize damage after it occurs), a credit freeze restricts access to your credit report. Without being able to review it, most creditors won’t issue loans, credit cards or other credit in your name – helpful when your personal data falls into the wrong hands, whether resulting from …

Top Scams of 2015

As 2015 closes, it’s the same old story: another 750 documented data breaches — roughly the same as in 2014, but this year involving records of at least 178 million Americans (up from 160 million). And, of course, scammers are working the phones as usual. “No matter the call — and our clientele is still inundated with telemarketing calls — the way people are targeted for scams is the same … with intimidation, fear and/or immediacy,” notes Amy Nofziger of …

8 Scams That Take Aim at Veterans

En español  | Just in time for Veterans Day, there’s a despicable new addition to a long list of scams that target veterans and their families. Scammers are calling widows of military veterans, saying the deceased had a hefty life insurance policy but payments are in arrears — and a few thousand dollars will bring the life insurance policy up to date. Whether you’re an active-duty member or a military veteran, a family member or an everyday civilian who appreciates …

Be Creative! Keep Your Family Strong Year Round

With all the family vacations, reunions, weddings, kids home from school and just plain family fun, next to the holidays, the summer is probably the best time of year for family gatherings. The role of families in our lives are immeasurable for the support, security and happiness they bring. Yet, we often hear negative statistics on the need to strengthen the black family. In our families, we’ve learned how to make situations work. Here’s some basic wisdom from black parents, …

Students Turning to Grandparents to Help Pay for College

How are families paying for college? Grandparents. Or, at least, grandparents and other relatives are kicking in more for a student’s education. The amount of money from relatives — often grandparents — and friends rose to an average of $1,247 this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. That’s according to Sallie Mae’s annual report, “How America Pays for College,” which is based on a survey of 1,600 parents and students. Student loan giant Sallie Mae found that families …