Secure Your Financial and Personal Information - Online and Off

September 2015

Data breaches. Phishing scams. Identity theft. Malicious software. Lost or stolen wallets and credit cards. These are just a few of the ways through which our personal and financial information is being attacked – online and offline. Here are a few steps that you can take to make sure that your information is secure.

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This Scam Begins With A Silent Phone Call

We've all received phone calls that begin with silence. These autodialed calls can be annoying but did you know that they could lead to fraud or Identity Theft? Autodialed calls are also known as "robocalls." While many robocalls are selling products or services, some are trying to steal your financial information.

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Planning to Upgrade to Windows 10? Don't Be Scammed

Microsoft has released Windows 10, the next version of its operating system. It is available as a free upgrade for desktops, laptops, and tablets running Windows 7 and 8.1.

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Don’t Fall for Home Repair Scams—At Any Time of Year

August 2015

Are you alert for home repair scams at all times? Like many homeowners, you may associate home repair scams with the warmer months of summer and early fall. Although such scams peak at these times of year, “contractor” con artists are active year round. In fact, home improvement or home repair scams are among the top consumer complaints in most states every year. As a smart homeowner, be alert for some of the most popular scams profiled in this report. Tips from consumer and building industry experts can also help you select one of the many reputable home repair services and contractors. They’ll also help you avoid scammers who do shoddy work, steal money advanced for repairs, and otherwise damage your wallet and your home.

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Looking for a Used Car? Beware of Flood Damaged Cars

When you see stories of massive flooding, such as the recent flooding in Texas and Colorado, do you wonder what happens to the vehicles that were damaged?

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Charitable Giving: Why it may be good for you to do (and how to do it safely)

Did you know that helping other people is actually good for you? Charitable people are usually happier than uncharitable people, and that's a scientific fact.*

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Looking for Free or Cheap Family Summer Fun? Try These Tips

July 2015

Hot summer weather signals time for family fun—at home, out of the house, or on vacation. Your budget will enjoy these activities that are free or cost only a few dollars. You may have to spend a little time planning, but involve the whole family to get input and help ensure success.

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Dating Online? Beware of Scams

Their Goal Is to Steal Your Money

Millions of Americans are using online dating sites to meet people. While many people form successful relationships, unfortunately, others are victims of scammers. The scammers create fake profiles using fake or stolen images.

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Being Young; Being Bankrupt!

Are you ever in trouble with money? Ever have the feeling you can't get out of it? Well, you're not alone. Young people born between 1980 and 2000 (Millennials) are more likely to experience financial problems more often than any other age group.

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Checked Your Credit Report Recently? Four Reasons to Do It Now

June 2015

The information in your credit report affects many aspects of your financial well-being. It informs your credit score, which affects your ability to borrow money and the interest rates you will pay on every loan from credit cards and auto loans to home mortgages. It can also affect the insurance rates you’ll pay or your ability to land a new job or rent a new apartment.

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Do You Check Your "Specialty" Consumer Reports Annually?

Most consumers know that they should check each of their credit reports from the big three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once a year. But did you know that you should check your other consumer reports each year too?

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Donating to the Nepal Relief Effort? Watch out for Scams.

The pictures from the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the Katmandu Valley have many people wanting to help. Charities and relief organizations are asking for donations. Unfortunately, fake charities and other scams take advantage of the disaster.

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Have Student Loan Debt? Six Tips to Pay It Off Faster

May 2015

Debt from student loans for higher education is now the largest category of debt in the U.S. As of December 2014, over 43 million borrowers owed a cumulative total debt of over 1.2 trillion dollars in federal and private student loans, according to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Board of New York. The average individual debt is $26,700.

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What Is Renters Insurance and Should I Get It?

Well, let's start with an example of how insurance works...

Life is filled with risks. You might fall off your skateboard and break an arm. Or maybe you crash your car into a wall and it is no longer drivable. The idea of insurance (and/or insurance policies) is to lower, or take away, the risk of financial loss.

In this scenario, your health insurance pays for the cost of the hospital bill from the skateboarding mishap, while your auto insurance pays for the damage to your car.

So, what is renters insurance?

Last month, one member of the FoolProof team accidentally dropped a glass of water on his brand new MacBook. The Apple warranty—like most (if not all) computer manufacturer's warranties—does not cover water damage.

This specific person (who shall remain nameless) would have been out about $2000 if it wasn't for insurance. Luckily, his renters insurance covered the full cost of the MacBook. Phew!

Renters insurance helps replace your personal items that you keep at your residence if they are damaged, lost or stolen.

  • Some renters insurance will even pay for your items if they are stolen while away from your place. For instance, if your computer is stolen at school.
  • Some rental insurance will cover expenses if a person visiting you is injured in your apartment and sues you.

Be sure you know what is covered under your renter's insurance policy!

How does rental insurance work?

Pretty simple. Typically you would pay a monthly, semi-annual, or yearly premium to the insurance provider for this type of coverage.

Normally there is a "deductible" on any insurance policy. The "deductible" is the amount you have to cover yourself in the occurrence of an event, or the portion of the loss that is to be paid by the insured (you) before any claim benefits can be paid by the insurance provider.

For instance, in Martin's MacBook case (oops, slipped his name!), he dropped water on his $2000 computer and ruined it. His deductible was $500, so his insurance only paid out $1500.

What's the smart way to buy renters insurance?

Here's a start:

  • List the value of all items you'll be keeping at your (new) place.
  • Research different renter's insurance policies from various providers or ask CCU's Insurance Agency how they can help!
  • See if any of the policies would pay off if your items are lost.
  • Pick that one that covers most and fits in your budget.
  • Choose the one that best fits your needs before you sign an agreement.

What's the most important thing to look at if you're going to get renters insurance? Consider adding the replacement cost endorsement to the policy. This ensures the insured (you) will receive the money to go out and buy the damaged item new, rather than receiving the depreciated value of the item at the time of the loss.

Should most people get renters insurance? Probably, if the cost is in your budget, and if you have items that would cost a lot to repair or replace.

What is FoolProof's biggest tip?

Brush up on your insurance intelligence. Some companies that sell renter's insurance have more fine print than your credit card statement... and some of the companies may be shady. Work through our "Parachute Required" interactive FoolProof Solo lesson on insurance to learn the tough details.

Make sense?

Cheers, Will


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