Back to School Money Safety – How your Credit Card Can Work for You & Not Against You

Recently, I was contacted by a site called Credit Cards (a.k.a creditcard.com) who reached out to me in lieu of a post, posted  a couple of weeks ago entitled “Back to School Savings” – since July was “BTS” (Back To School Prep) for me and every other parent in the U.S. I thought I’d offer a couple of saving tips, affirmations to get my and other kids (as well as parents) off to a good start and end it up by detailing some “family” time/fun outings that parents can do with the kiddos before school starts back (in which were suggestions by my own rambunctious two! =)

However; it’s one thing that credit card.com brought to my attention that I didn’t think of and that’s BTS Scams and frauds. Sadly, people; individuals as well as companies take advantage of times such as these to scam parents and/or lure them into “too good to be true” deals. And with parents scrambling to find the best deals (cheaper ones, I should say) to maximize their shopping experience; most of us don’t pay attention to the deceit that linger below these advertisements.

Fraud Torn Paper Concept

According to creditcards.com/Daniel Smith, head of security at Radware, this is a global cyber security company. Parents, teachers, and students are all potential targets for back-to-school scams and all three can be targeted in different ways. Knowing how to recognize scams is the first line of defense – Using a credit card is the second one.

Related Post: Whose the SCAM NOW!!

With millions of people using credit cards every day to do most of their shopping and who could blame them – with the convenience of not ever having to leave your house; it’s no wonder the credit card business is booming and consumers are enjoying every minute of it. Of course, paying for items with cash is also a great protection as well but with many “online” deals saying this and saying that – it’s easier to pull out the credit card and punch or swipe.

online purchases
photo source: bing/creditcardfraud

While you may feel hesitant about using your credit card a lot of times; I know I do…It’s actually not a bad thing and if you have the right “protection” features on your card. It actually can serve as a safety net for your life as well as your money. Listed below are a couple of things (if you don’t already) that you should have on your credit card in which serves as an added BONUS for being safe online as well as in store.

Basic Protection:

The basic protection plan is a basic feature given to all credit card holders. The plan protects the cardholder involving any dispute in regards to goods and services that were purchased using your credit card. For more info on this, please view the Fair Trade Credit Billing Act.

The FTC can also offer up some good advice when it comes to those ever so alluring “paid commercial ads” that promise you a 30-day free trial and the guarantee to not touch your card until 30days are up (all you have to do is call and cancel before that time) in which we all know is NOT that easy and next thing you know; you’re paying for a product that might don’t even work.  According to the FTC “free trials” aren’t always free and might come with hidden fees and other strings attached.

Purchase Protection:

Helps prevent against loss or theft, however – not all purchases qualify. It’s best practice to reach out to your credit card company to see what’s covered and not in case of a theft or loss. Items that may be covered include clothing, electronics, home and garden products and personal care items, but again – every credit card company is different and the items mentioned may not be one of the items a credit card company acknowledges. Do you have purchase protection? If so, do you know what it covers?

Return Protection:

Extends the life or adds life to an item purchased. Most stores have return policies on some items or offer very limited ones to others. Having a return protection on your card; gives you a little more extended time on a purchase, should the one at the store doesn’t. Most credit card companies do not offer this feature but for the ones that do such as (MasterCard & AMEX) they may or may not tack on shipping charges for your return. Check with your card company and see…

Zero Liability Guarantee:

Visa has this feature and gives the consumer its word that you won’t be charged or made responsible for unauthorized charges made with your credit card. You’re protected should your card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used (whether online or off). So, to sum it all up:

 PROTECT YOURSELF!

This time of year is most critical with parents trying to maximize the best deals and save loads of money in the process as we all Back to School shop. While getting the best deal is “keen” it’s also very important that you read and check out a company before you pull up, out or swipe your credit card – especially if you don’t have added protections in place. Knowledge is definitely POWER!

Speaking of knowledge – Please head over to credit cards.com and check out their blog post entitled “How cards can protect you against back-to-school scams” it’s filled with a plethora of other helpful financial safety tips and information for parents regarding fraud surrounding the back to school season.

I want to give a special thank you to Blake H. for reaching out to me in regards to this helpful info; in which help me to spread the word to you…

Safe Shopping

 

ROSHONDA N. BLACKMON

Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

 

 

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Whose the SCAM NOW!!

2017 came in so fast and with the blink of an eye, it looks as if it’s leaving us as fast as it came in. Summer is officially over, Fall is on the way and the next thing you know we’ll all be singing “Jingle Bells” as Christmas will be here and Uh-Oh, another year has snuck upon us. But, let’s slow things down a bit, even if it’s in our minds. Speaking of Christmas, this is the time of year in which layaway’s get full; its also the time in which Wal-Mart (at least they used to), open up the layaway option for people to put items away and pay for them until 2 or 3 weeks before Christmas (could be a little earlier)….

With that being said and while the Holidays, Gifts and Saving are on people’s minds right now, so is getting a second job. You see, this is also the time of year in which stores like JCPenny’s, TJMaxx, Wal-Mart and/or the Mall start looking for and hiring temporary employee’s for the upcoming season; in some places this starts in October. There are a vast amount of people who look for second jobs in order to splurge big for Black Friday and/or have a little extra income to be able to get their kids or loved ones nice gifts.

While the hunt for a second job gets underway, whether to buy more presents before Christmas or to supplement an existing income; there are also people out there whom are looking to increase their pockets as well, they’re called SCAMMERS. You see, while you may have all the good intentions in the world regarding your financial situation, you have people out there whom offer “To good to be true” job offers that promises a big payday for little to no work on your part. These ads look something like this, (see below)

fake_cnbc_work_at_home_scam_01

If you’re not careful and I’ve fallen for it many times myself, you’ll fall prey to such ads. I see it all the time on Facebook and you might have too – with people showing pictures of wads of money, saying things such as “Wanna know how I make this in a Day?, just message me to find out how” and depending on your current situation, you’ll begin to get tempted by what they offer, I mean after all, who wants to work a second 9-5 punching in a clock only to make no more than what you bring home on your first job and let’s not even get into how much money Uncle Sam (The IRS) will take out of it, so it’ll feel as if you’re really not breaking bank and suddenly the excitement, goals and aspirations you had with getting a second job, begin to make you agitated. So, when you see ads like above or a social media post of someone flashing all this cash, in which according to their claims, was made in a day; Our eyes see instant opportunity, Our minds get filled with excitement and our heart becomes greedy, next thing you know our fingers have hit the button to contact this supposedly great opportunity.

I’ve been there and while that money does look good and I can think of many things in which I could do with it, I had to come to my senses and ask myself a couple of questions; “Who’s really making that much money in a day?” “How are they doing It?” and  “Is it Legal?”  and let me tell you, there’s always a catch to that madness because, if it sounds to good to be true – then it usually is. You better watch out because up under that hundred dollar bill could be a boat load of one’s and fives. People display things like that to get your attention; their overall intention is to never actually show you how to get that sort of money but to take you on a roller coaster ride of options in which you yourself may have to invest money into, to get some sort of course that promises to get you thousands or even millions of dollars. The talk is good, but in actuality you’ll become a mouse who’s following the cheese….but never gets to eat it.

Mouse_Trap

My suggestion to you would be to forget those “Get Rich Quick Schemes” and go after jobs that are legit. Yes, you may have to work a couple of hours but at least your check will be honest and the only thing you would be out of, is the time it took you to complete the application. I recently looked into getting a second job and found great success on Sitter City – this website is for people whom want to take on a nanny role; in which includes babysitting, pet sitting and elderly care. There are people on there all the time looking for people whom can help them out, for instance; you may have a couple whom want to have a date night and need someone to watch their kids for a couple of hours or you may have someone whom needs a sitter to care for their pet, either to walk them or look after them while their out of town and If you love elderly people (like I do) then you’ll even find people whom may need you to sit, read or help take care of their special loved one.

The only thing you’ll have to do is complete an online application for either one or all services; you’ll set your own hours and indicate how much you’ll charge. All of this is free of course unless you choose to attach a background check to your application (now that will cost you a little something) but it won’t break your pocket, however; it does give great comfort for whomever choosing you to see that you are the real deal. If Sitter City sounds like something you’ll be interested in, then maybe you should give it a try. I have to warn you, just because you complete an application doesn’t mean, people will respond right away and please use your best judgment and instincts when it comes to potential clients because everyone is not in their right mind and can use such sites to seek out innocent people so, use your head. If Sitter City is not you thing, then check out the link below in which was first aired on The Mom’s Everyday Show and discover how to avoid a scammer when looking for secondary employment.

Here are a Couple of Tips to help you spot out a SCAMMER!.png

  1. If the proposition is to good to be true?, It usually is.
  2. Always check the business out with the Better Business Bureau.
  3. Check to see if the building is a Brick and Mortar place and not out of someone’s garage or other place in which you have never heard of or seen.
  4. Applications for employment are always FREE!!!! Never send money to anyone to complete an application – that’s a RED FLAG!!
  5. Don’t send your resume to a fax machine or an undisclosed number, if possible you can look the number up on Google to verify where it’s from and sometimes who it is.
  6. If someone is flashing that they made 1000.00 in a day and want you to sign up?, Disregard it, because that’s a SCAM!!

As stated above you can view more of these tips and stories on The Mom’s Everyday Show – Check it out and get wise about your job hunt.

Happy Safe Job Hunting!!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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