TRIP INSURANCE: SHOULD YOU BUY BEFORE YOU FLY?
Trip cancellation and interruption policies sold by airlines and travel websites typically provide ‘pretty thin coverage,’ a recent analysis concludes. It may also duplicate coverage you already have from your credit card.
 
RETAIL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION DROPS AGAIN: AMERICA'S FAVORITE & LEAST-FAVORITE STORES
When it comes to satisfying their customers, most U.S. retailers — both brick-and-mortar and online — are losing ground, according to an annual consumer satisfaction survey. Shoppers say they are not happy with the “lackluster” and “underwhelming” customer service they so often experience.
 
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PET'S TEETH
Good oral health is just as important for your dogs and cats as it is for the other members of your family. Typically, they should have a yearly oral checkup and cleaning. And you should be brushing at home, too.
 
SHOULD YOU APPLY FOR A REFUND ADVANCE FROM YOUR TAX PREPARER?
Some of the big-name storefront tax preparers – H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax – offer zero interest and no fee programs that can get you some of your refund in a day or two – but watch out for fees on the back end.
 
SOME EQUIFAX CREDIT FILE LOCKS HAVE EXPIRED. DID YOURS?
If you were a victim of the massive Equifax breach in 2017 and signed up for their free TrustedID Premier credit lock, your subscription expired on Jan. 31. Here’s what happened and how to make sure your file is secure.
 
NEW PROGRAM OFFERS A WAY TO INSTANTLY BOOST YOUR CREDIT SCORE
The new credit assessment program could help millions of Americans instantly improve their credit scores by adding data from their checking account. For people with limited credit history, Experian Boost will provide a second chance to prove themselves trustworthy borrowers.
 
YOU'VE BEEN BREACHED: HACKERS STOLE NEARLY HALF A BILLION PERSONAL RECORDS IN 2018
Hackers stole nearly 447 million consumer records containing sensitive personal information last year, according to a year-end report from the Identity Theft Resource Center. That’s a jump of 126 percent from 2017. “Data breaches are now a normal, everyday occurrence," the report concluded.
 
THE GOV'T SHUTDOWN WAS A REMINDER OF JUST HOW LITTLE AMERICANS ARE SAVING
We can all learning something from the government shutdown – the importance of a rainy-day savings fund. This story also has tips on how to get started, plus important information for any federal workers or government contractors struggling because of the shutdown.
 
ONE MORE PROBLEM FOR FURLOUGHED GOVERNMENT WORKERS - SCAMMERS
The government shutdown has created a golden opportunity for scammers, who are targeting desperate federal workers struggling to pay their bills — and the people who want to help. Watch out for fake job listings, bogus loan offers and charity scams.
 
GETTING DIGITAL BILLING STATEMENTS? HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
A new Consumer Action survey shows that the way you receive a billing statement can significantly impact your behavior — such as how likely you are to review that bill.

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