Debit & Credit Card Skimming Fraud – How to Avoid Card Skimming Devices

credit card scam skimmingI can vividly remember the day last summer when my wife and I were walking into a movie at the theater when I received a phone call from an unknown number.

I decided to listen to the voice message before we went in for the show. As I heard the words “your bank account has suspicious activity on it,” I got a little worried but figured Bank of America simply didn’t like one of the transactions we had made earlier.  So, I quickly took a look at our checking account transactions on the Bank of America iPhone app. That’s when my stomach shot up into my throat and my heart started racing. I saw two $1,000 deductions from our account for a shady sounding website that we definitely didn’t buy anything from. Our bank account had been compromised, and we were devastated.

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9 Green Energy Tax Credits for Home Improvement & Energy Efficiency

You probably know that you can save money on your utility bills go green tax creditsby making your home energy efficient. But you might not know that many energy-efficient upgrades can reduce your taxes as well.

In fact, there are a range of federal tax credits available that run the gamut from installing a geothermal heat pump to installing new insulation. If you’ve recently made improvements to your home, or are considering it, check the list of available tax credits and make sure to claim the ones you qualify for.

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Sick at Work? How to Prevent Germs From Spreading in Your Office Cubicle & Desk

germs in cubicleHave you ever given much thought to your cubicle at work? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “no.” You go to work, do your thing, and then come home.

Well, that desk you sit at and eat at every day is probably one of the germiest, dirtiest things you come into contact with on a regular basis. Think I’m kidding? According to Discovery Health, the average desk contains about 400 times more germs than a toilet seat.

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What is a Netbook vs. Laptop Computer – Pros and Cons of Netbooks

netbook computer girlMy laptops have the habit of crashing repeatedly, year after year.

Freshman year of college, I learned to back up my files the hard way when my computer died and I had to send a panicked email to ask friends in my classes for their notes.

Sophomore year, my laptop had a really loud fan that was expensive to fix. It overheated in a matter of days afterwards.

Junior year when the BSOD (blue screen of death) appeared once again, I was done with laptops.

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5 Home Improvement & Repair Scams to Watch Out For – How to Find the Best Contractors

contractors hard hatsIf you’ve ever hired a contractor for a home improvement project, then you know how confusing it can be. Project estimates can vary wildly, and each of the contractors seem so sincere when they tell you that their price and service is the best.

While most are honest, good-intentioned businesspeople, you do need to be wary of home improvement scams. Scams have always existed, but they’re becoming so commonplace as the economy worsens that even primetime television networks, such as Dateline are calling attention to them. What’s worse is that oftentimes these scammers target the most vulnerable – senior citizens – because they generally are more trusting than others.

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What Are Blue Chip Stocks – Investing in Stocks That Pay High Yield Dividends

blue chip stockIf you polled a group of investors as to which stock type they felt was the safest investment, the majority would likely reply, “blue chips.”

You might respond, “Hmm, interesting.” But you might be thinking, “What the heck are blue chip stocks?” Well I’m glad you asked.

In this article, I’ll go over what a blue chip stock is exactly and provide tips on how you can safely invest in them and maximize your return.

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List of 15 Commonly Overlooked Personal Tax Deductions for Individuals


The only thing worse than paying taxes is inadvertently paying more than you have to. You can avoid this by taking advantage of the common and commonly overlooked deductions. It’s best to be aware of these all year long, so you can maximize your deductions and maintain good records.

Even if the tax filing deadline is rapidly approaching, it still pays to know which deductions you could be eligible for so you can dig up old receipts to claim them. See if you can reduce your taxes or increase your refund by claiming any of the following.

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5 Ways to Get Real Free Samples of Food & Products By Mail Without Surveys

free samples foodWhen I was younger, a friend’s uncle used to write letters to companies in hopes of getting free swag. One time he told a gummy bear maker that a morphed gummy bear with two heads had frightened his daughter so badly she would no longer be able to enjoy candy. In response, the company sent boxes of their non-animal shaped candy in hopes of swaying the small child back on their side.

While this might have worked for my friend’s uncle, there are much easier ways of getting free stuff by mail.

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Dollar Store Diaries: 5 Things NOT to Buy at the Discount Store

For anyone living a truly frugal life, the local dollar store is more than just a blip on the radar. For starters, they seem to carry every necessity imaginable. In fact, I recently heard of a dollar store in Texas that now sells beer and wine – a surprising addition for a store known for its off-brands and knickknacks. Still, it’s safe to say that the dollar store is a great place to shop and to save money.

Though I still frequent mine quite a bit, the excitement of thinking I could buy all of my essentials there eventually wore off, and I came to realize that there are, in fact, some things that you simply should not purchase at a discount store.

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6 Steps For How to Responsibly Use 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards to Get Out of Debt

balance transfer credit card handHave you seen the credit card offers yet? You know, the 0% introductory APR balance transfer offers? In late 2010, after a bit of a hiatus, credit card companies started sending out 0% balance transfer offers to potential customers with good credit again. You may have thought that the days of balance transfer arbitrage were over after the peak in the mid-2000s – but they’re now back.

Most people don’t have much use for a 0% APR balance transfer and if you don’t, that’s great. But on the other hand, if you’ve made a few small financial mistakes over the years but you’re truly careful and disciplined now, a 0% balance transfer offer can help you get ahead and on the right track.

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