What You Need to Know About the Marriott-owned Starwood Hotels Breach

On November 30th, Marriott International announced that the Starwood reservation system had been breached and the personal information of up to 500 million guests had been stolen. Starwood brands include Westin Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, St. Regis, Aloft Hotels, Four Points by Sheraton, Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels, Element Hotels, The Luxury Collection and Starwood branded timeshare properties. Marriott hotels, including Residence Inn and the Ritz-Carlton have a separate reservation system that wasn't affected.

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Beware of Phishing Phone Calls

Phishing scams using emails, texts, and websites have been around for years. Telephone-based phishing scams have been around for years, too. The phone phishers have some new tricks that are making it harder to detect the scams. What these scams have in common is that they use caller ID spoofing and have some of your personal information. The phishing call may be an actual person, an automated call, or a combination of the two. Here are two examples.

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Become a "FoolProof Skeptic", and Do it Right.

Make money, spend money: Gifts, groceries, housing, transportation, utilities, health, entertainment, and more. If you know the cycle of your life, you know this is the reality. And you probably aren't going to change that reality. But if you spend money wisely, the cycle will be a lot easier to manage, and even more fun, too.

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End of the Year Tax Saving Tips

The end of the year is fast approaching and many people are focusing on the holidays. But you should take a bit of time to ensure that you are taking advantage of the many ways you can save on your 2018 income tax. These tips can help.

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It's Open Enrollment Time for Many Health Insurance Plans

No matter how you receive your health insurance, the fall is typically when you can make changes to your health insurance plan.

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Are Payment Apps Safe?

Not a lot of people carry cash around these days. And the good old plastic card is also becoming old school.

For many people, "contactless" payments and payment (or money transfer) apps are the trend and the convenient way to go. With this type of technology, sending and receiving money has never been easier, quicker or more convenient. But is it safe?

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Help Protect Your Identity With a Free Credit Report Freeze

Consumers no longer have to pay to use an important tool to help protect their identity. As of September 21, 2018, freezing your credit report at the three major credit reporting agencies is now free. Previously, a consumer had to pay a fee to freeze and unfreeze their credit report. The fees for placing, lifting, and removing a credit freeze were determined by state law.

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The Holiday Shopping Season Has Begun! Plan Ahead With These Tips

The holiday shopping season is here. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer just one day. Many retailers, online and off, offer deals for several weeks leading up to Thanksgiving weekend and continue well into December. Before taking advantage of any "deals," do your homework.

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What You Need to Know About the Facebook Breach

In late September, Facebook announced that a security breach was discovered on September 25th that affected almost 50 million accounts. The hackers stole Facebook access tokens which keep people logged into Facebook. The vulnerability that the hackers exploited was in the View As feature which allows people to see what their profile looks to other users. Facebook Login which allows people to login to other services using their Facebook account login was also compromised.

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Need a Crash Course in Online Safety?

Are you on your computer, smartphone or tablet all the time? If so, chances are you can really benefit from this crash course in upping your online "self-defense" skills.

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Beware of Flood Damaged Vehicles When Purchasing Used

Hurricane Florence caused a lot of flooding. Flooding has also occurred in the Northeast and other areas this year due to torrential rains. Flooding damages large numbers of vehicles every year. Consumers need to be aware that flood damaged vehicles can appear on used car lots far away from where the flooding occurred. A vehicle may have been cleaned up and won't show visible signs of damage but there are usually long-term effects. The vehicle may prematurely rust, wiring becomes brittle or breaks, the electrical and mechanical systems break down, and corrosion can damage vital components.

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How Often Do You Review Your Insurance Coverage?

Insurance in its various forms helps protect us from financial loss, yet we don't think much about it until we need it. Reviewing your insurance policies can ensure you have the right coverage at the right cost. Life changes, such as marriage, divorce, a new addition to the family, buying a home, a child going off to college, a job change, or retirement, can impact your insurance needs. Make it a habit to review your coverage at renewal or open enrollment time.

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Is Your Data Safer One Year After the Equifax Breach?

On September 7, 2017 Equifax announced that the data of 143 million U.S. consumers that it had collected had been beached. The number impacted was later updated to 148 million. The theft included social security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, tax IDs, and other information. The theft raised the threat of identity theft for those affected. The stolen information can be used for existing account fraud, new account fraud, tax refund fraud, social security benefits fraud, health care/medical fraud, phishing scams and other fraudulent activities.

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The Benefits of Journaling

Okay, think of journaling. What is the first thing that comes to mind? It's likely that it has something to do with "Dear Diary" and high school-sweethearts... Am I right...? If you have read our article about 21st century skills, your thoughts may be a little different, however.

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    • Financial Well-being


      Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

       

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      Every worry about identity theft?  Worry about young people and the dangers of the web? Mind if I read your private emails?  Or browse through your medical records? This section takes you into the scary world of privacy, fraud and identity theft.  FoolProof gives you the information you need when it comes to identity theft and privacy issues.   

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