HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
You have insurance, so you assume you're getting the best price for your prescription drugs. Not necessarily. Sometimes, because of high deductibles or high co-pays, it's cheaper to skip the insurance and pay the 'retail' price. Coupons and other discounts can also help you save more.
CONSUMER REPORT REVIEWS POPULAR ONLINE TAX-PREP SERVICES - AND FINDS A FEW PROBLEMS
Editors found at least one glitch in each of the services. These problems included outdated information, incomplete advice, and program designs that, in a couple of instances, could affect a taxpayer's bottom line due to a missed tax break.
HOW SECURE ARE THOSE AUTOMATED VISITOR CHECK-IN KIOSKS?
High-tech check-ins are fast and efficient, but who can access your information? Researchers with IBM X-Force Red tested five popular visitor management systems and found 19 previously undisclosed vulnerabilities.
OWE THE IRS A LOT OF MONEY? WHAT TO DO IF YOU CAN'T PAY YOUR TAX BILL
One in five U.S. taxpayers could owe the IRS money this year. If you can’t pay in full on time, take a deep breath – there are things you can do to avoid getting into a big penalty situation.
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.
HOW TO CREATE STRONG PASSWORDS YOU CAN REMEMBER
Here are the worst passwords of the year. Are yours on the list? While cyber criminals are good at what they do, poor password hygiene –having a few simple passwords that open all your online accounts – makes their job even easier.
7 RESOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCIAL WELL-BEING
The new year is a good time to assess your finances and resolve to do better. Here are seven financial resolutions that can make a big difference for you and your family in 2019 and beyond.
STORES WITH THE BEST AND WORST RETURN POLICIES
2018 Holiday return policies: Some naughty, most nice. But these three big retailers — Amazon, Walmart and Target — make holiday gift returns easier.
WARNING: RISK-FREE TRIAL OFFERS CAN WIND UP BEING VERY COSTLY
2018 Holiday return policies: Some naughty, most nice. But these three big retailers — Amazon, Walmart and Target — make holiday gift returns easier.
PARENTS, YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY EVERYTHING ON YOUR KIDS' WISH LISTS
Don't shop 'til you drop for the kids. They can't have everything they want, financial planning and parenting experts caution. So what do you do?
5 TIPS TO AVOID SCAMS AND MAKE SMART DECISIONS WITH YOUR CHARITABLE DOLLARS
We like to assume every charity that asks for money is legitimate - and that's just not true. Here's how to deal with the barrage of year-end charitable solicitations.
ON BLACK FRIDAY, HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE HYPE AND SAVE MONEY
In one recent survey, 14 percent of Black Friday sale items had the same price or were more expensive when compared with their pre-Black Friday prices. There are plenty of bargains out there, but you’ve got to do your homework.
CONSUMER GROUP CLAIMS MOST U.S. CANCER CENTERS USE MISLEADING ADS
A consumer watchdog group claims the ads for some of the country’s biggest and most prestigious cancer treatment centers are misleading because they don't disclose that the results are atypical for someone with this form of cancer.
THE PROS & CONS OF GETTING A STORE CREDIT CARD
Expect to get pitched to open a store credit card every time you’re at the checkout counter this holiday shopping season. You’ll get rewarded for the loyalty, but watch out for the sky-high interest rates.
SAVE FOR YOUR RETIREMENT OR YOUR KID'S COLLEGE, WHICH ONE TAKES PRIORITY? HERE'S THE MATH
You want to help your kids – especially with the staggering cost of college – but if you delay contributing to your retirement savings in order to fund their higher education, you could run out of money in your golden years. What then?
BANK FEES COSTING YOU HUNDREDS? HERE ARE SOME EASY WAYS TO AVOID THEM
You work hard for your money. Don’t waste it on needless bank fees. Three of the most common ones — monthly checking account maintenance fees, overdraft charges and out-of-network ATM fees — can all be avoided.
WHY NEW & SAFER VAPING DEVICES (THAT DON'T EXPLODE) WON'T BE SOLD IN U.S.
The first vaping products designed to prevent fires and explosions — and safety certified by UL — are scheduled to hit the market in a few weeks. While these redesigned electronic cigarettes will be available in Canada, they won’t be sold in the United States. Why?
THE BEST WAY TO FINANCE YOUR NEW IPHONE XS OR XS MAX
Shelling out $1,000 or more for a smartphone isn’t something everyone can afford, but you don’t have to pay full price. The major wireless carriers are aggressively promoting these new iPhones. Here’s are some of the deals currently available.
WORRIED ABOUT DATA BREACHES? NOW YOU CAN FREEZE YOUR CREDIT FOR FREE
Freezing your files at the big three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — is one of the best ways to protect yourself from financial identity theft. It stops criminals from opening new accounts in your name. And now, you can do this for free.
PET INSURANCE: HOW TO GET THE BEST PRICE AND COVERAGE
More people are buying pet insurance. Be advised: Policies and premium vary greatly from company to company. Checkbook.org analyzed the the offerings from 9 major insurance companies and found two that were the picks of the litter. (Picture is my dog, Sam)
SCAMMERS USE FAKE CHECKS TO STEAL TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS EACH YEAR
Check fraud is a huge problem: As many as 500,000 Americans were burned by fake check scams last year, with the average victim losing about $1,200, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau. Here's how they do it and how to protect yourself.
THE HIGH COST OF MISSING YOUR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS
Some people don’t have the money to pay their credit cards bills on time, but more than a third simply forget to pay, according to a new survey. Besides getting hit with a sizable late payment fee and interest, your credit score could take a big hit.
MISPLACE YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD? SOME BANKS LET YOU TURN IT OFF FOR A WHILE
A growing number of financial institutions are empowering their customers to fight fraud by giving them an on/off switch for their debit and credit cards. By using an app or going online, customers can temporarily turn off their cards, so they can't be used for new purchases.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT FRAUDULENT SECURITY ALARM SALES ARE ON THE RISE
Fear sells, so scammers and unscrupulous alarm companies often use alarming (and sometimes false) crime statistics and other scare tactics in their high-pressure sales pitch. Sign the contract and you could be out thousands of dollars.
ARE PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) MOBILE PAYMENT SERVICES SAFE TO USE?
About 90 million Americans use mobile pay apps. Consumer Reports just tested the major P2P services and the top three (whether iOS or Android versions) only received “fair” scores for data privacy.
MILLENNIALS RAID RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS TO BUY A HOUSE - THERE ARE BETTER WAYS
About 90 million Americans use mobile pay apps. Consumer Reports just tested the major P2P services and the top three (whether iOS or Android versions) only received “fair” scores for data privacy.
SATISFACTION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA DROPS
Intrusive ads and privacy concerns are driving down satisfaction with social media. Facebook slips, Instagram drops and Twitter tumbles in a recent nationwide customer satisfaction survey. Pinterest bucked the downward trend.
INTEREST RATES ARE GOING UP - IS IT TIME FOR MORE CASH INVESTMENTS?
Maybe you've noticed: Interest rates at some banks and credit unions are going up. The last time we saw some of these rates on CD and Savings accounts was back in 2009. So should you put a little more of your money into cash investments?
THE TOTAL COST OF A DATA BREACH, INCLUDING LOST BUSINESS - KEEPS GROWING
The financial damage caused by a data breach has spiked by more than 6 percent since last year and now costs a company an average of $3.86 million, according to a new study. The cost of a mega breach was estimated to be $350 million.
BOOKING A HOTEL ROOM ONLINE? THERE IS ONE WAY TO GET A GREAT DEAL
Travel websites promise deals and discounts for hotel rooms, but a new survey by Checkbook.org, an independent non-profit consumer group, shows those deals are hard to find. For significant discounts you need to book “mystery” rooms.
NEW SURVEY: RESTAURANTS SCORE HIGHER FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Americans are spending more dining out and apparently enjoying the experience more. Why? Better food quality, improved menu selections and new technologies that speed up the ordering process are boosting customer satisfaction.
MORE THAN 1 MILLION CHILDREN WERE VICTIMS OF ID THEFT LAST YEAR
We think of identity theft as an “adult” problem, but no one is immune from this crime. According to a report by Javelin Strategy & Research, two-thirds of the 1 million ID theft victims in the U.S. last year were under the age of eight. How do parents protect their kids?
MAJOR CREDIT CARD COMPANIES ARE CUTTING SOME OF THEIR PERKS
After years of offering an ever-expanding menu of perks to their cardholders, several major credit card companies are going in the opposite direction. They're eliminating or reducing the value of some of these extras. Is your card one of them?
GOOD NEWS: CREDIT FREEZES WILL SOON BE FREE FOR EVERYONE
Starting this fall, the big three credit reporting agencies will be required to let you freeze your credit file for free. A freeze can help prevent identity thieves from applying for credit cards, opening bank accounts or taking out loans in your name.