What to Know About the Top Summer Scams

As temperatures rise, so do certain scams. Here’s how to avoid getting burned in summer’s most common cons. Home repairs Conning contractors typically come to your home unexpectedly, offering steep discounts on driveway resurfacing, roof work, tree trimming or other “necessary” repairs they happen to see while driving by or soliciting business door-to-door. Most seek an upfront payment to “go buy materials” and then disappear. Others do fast and faulty repairs (like spreading used motor oil to coat driveways) or …

4 Steps to Smarter Donations

Charities typically receive more than 40 percent of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. Some December donors are motivated by the season’s mantra of giving. Others are eager for an eleventh-hour tax deduction before the year-end deadline. All should take four simple steps to get the most bang from their donation bucks: 1. Do your homework. The major and most useful watchdogs include Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. They rate charities on how they …

The Latest Buzzkill: Marijuana Stock Scams

Promised incredibly (ahem) “high” returns by investing in medical marijuana stocks? It’s a (groan) pipe dream – and those touting big money can be made from medicinal toking are likely scammers, warns the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). With medical marijuana now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia – and its recreational use recently decriminalized in Colorado and Washington state – the timing is especially ripe for such investment ripoffs. “The cannabis business has been getting a …