Lending scams and money scams seem to pop up every day, but many customers continue to be lax about their personal and financial security. Even you could be making these common security mistakes:
1) Doing online banking without being careful about computer security. Online banking is convenient but it can also be dangerous if you don’t have a good security system in place. Update your computer often, use firewalls, and have a good anti-virus suite in place.
2) Being lax with your PIN. You should never choose a PIN that is easy to guess. You should also never share your PIN or write it down. When typing in your PIN at an ATM or when making a debit purchase, check for shoulder surfers and cover up your PIN.
3) Not looking at paperwork – bills, statements. Bills and statements are a clue to your financial life. If you notice charges and uses that aren’t yours, you need to alert the companies in question. You could be the victim of fraud.
4) Not checking your credit score. Once or twice a year, at least, you should read your credit report to see whether there are any signs of criminal activity (such as personal loans in your name that you did not apply for).
5) Not reporting strange mail activity. If your mail suddenly stops or you start getting mail from banks you do not do business with, you need to investigate further.…
If you’re going into financial survival mode, there are a few things you can do to help yourself weather the storm. Here are some steps you can take:
Assess your situation: Take a clear-eyed look at your finances, including your income, expenses, debts, and assets. Make a list of all your debts and their interest rates, and prioritize them by paying off those with the highest interest rates first.
Cut your expenses: Look for ways to cut back on your spending. Start by analyzing your expenses and identifying items you can do without. Consider cancelling subscriptions or memberships, switching to a cheaper phone plan, and reducing your grocery bills.
Find ways to increase your income: Consider taking on a side job or selling items you no longer need to make extra money. Look for opportunities to work overtime or take on additional responsibilities at your current job.
Build an emergency fund: If you don’t already have an emergency fund – start building one as soon as possible. Set aside a portion of your income each month into a separate account that you only use for emergencies.
Contact your creditors: If you’re having trouble making payments on your debts, contact your creditors to explain your situation. They may be willing to work with you to come up with a payment plan that you can afford.
Prioritize your bills: Make a list of your bills and prioritize them by due date and importance. Make sure you pay your most important bills, such as your rent or mortgage, first.
Stay positive: It can be difficult to stay positive when you’re struggling financially, but it’s important to try. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and remember that this is a temporary situation. Keep focused on your goals and take small steps towards achieving them every day.…