Govt image from FTC Video What to do After a Data Breach

FTC: You’re Vulnerable to a Massive Data Breach If You Stayed at Any of These Hotels from 2014 to Last Sept

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Editor’s note: If you stayed at Marriott International’s Starwood brand hotels, including W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, and other hotel and timeshare properties, the personal information you gave to the hotel is vulnerable to the recent massive data breach involving as many as 500 million customers. That’s what the Federal Trade Commission recently said about the data breach. Here’s the kind of information that might have been stolen: “According to Marriott, the hackers accessed people’s names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers, dates of birth, gender, Starwood loyalty program account information, and reservation information. For some, they also stole payment card numbers and expiration dates.”

Christmas tree lights Eversource

Be Safe, Save Energy, Save Money: Christmas Outdoor Lighting Tips from Eversource

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As the holiday season gets into full swing, homes and neighborhoods are beginning to brighten with lighting displays, Eversource is reminding customers about ways to get into the holiday spirit while conserving energy, saving money and staying safe. — an announcement from Eversource

“Amid all the festivities, we don’t want our customers to miss out on energy savings that are better spent on their family than the energy bill,” said Penni Conner, Eversource senior vice president and chief customer officer. Save Money, Save Energy
Customers can save money and protect the planet by replacing traditional incandescent lights with an energy-efficient light-emitting diode, or LED, holiday decoration. Not only do LEDs use 80 percent less energy than conventional bulbs, they’re also brighter, eco-friendlier and safer, as they are much cooler than incandescent lights. Also, be sure to check for rebates at the ENERGY STAR rebate finder.

Clothes shopping 2007 Macy's by Phil Whitehouse on Wikimedia Commons

Some Holiday Shopping Tips from the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau

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The gift-giving season is just around the corner, and the gift-buying season starts, oh, any minute now. The Federal Trade Commission have some earlys gift for you — tips to help you shop wisely and protect your personal information. — This article (above the line near the middle) comes from a recent post on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Colleen Tressler, the author, is a consumer education specialist at the FTC. The rest of the article (below the line) is from the Better Business Bureau.

Family Emergency Scams

FTC: Here’s One Kind of Fraud to Warn Your Relatives About This Thanksgiving

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Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory — like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate — here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready. — This article is from a post by Lesley Fair on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Fair is an attorney in the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education.

Christmas work Christmastime work

How to Avoid Job Scams During the Holiday Season

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Are you among the many people who look for seasonal work over the holidays? The National Retail Federation predicts that retailers could add as many as 650,000 new temporary positions over the 2018 winter holiday season. Many consumers are scrambling to apply but some of those postings may not even be real. During the holiday season, scammers look to take advantage of those seeking temporary work. In 2017, over 2,400 employment scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker. — an announcement from the Better Business Bureau

According to the BBB Risk Index, the employment scam is the third riskiest scam for all consumers.

Trinity College 910-2-16

If ‘The College Board’ Wants Your Credit Card Number by Phone or Email — Hang Up/Don’t Reply

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Recently, the Federal Trade Commission staff heard about scams targeting parents of high school students preparing for college. The scammers claim to be from The College Board — the organization responsible for the PSAT and SAT tests. — Ari Lazarus is a consumer education specialist at the Federal Trade Commission. This article is from a blog post at the FTC’s Consumer Education blog. They call or email you, asking for credit card numbers so they can send PSAT prep materials that the student has supposedly requested.

VIN number Wikimedia Commons

Selling a Car? Get Vehicle History Reports From Vetted Websites. Here’s How:

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The Federal Trade Commission has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car — but first want to see a car history report. — This article is from a post on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Colleen Tressler is a consumer information specialist at the FTC. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report.

Gift Cards Jan Mayen Wikimedia Commons

A Red Flag That You May Be Getting Scammed: They Want Payment Through a Gift Card

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Gift cards are a great way to give a gift. But did you know they are also a scammer’s favorite way to steal money? According to the FTC’s new Data Spotlight, more scammers are demanding payment with a gift card than ever before — a whopping 270 percent increase since 2015. — This article is from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. The author, Cristina Miranda, works in the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education.

SQUARE THUMBNAIL hartered Retirement Planning Counselor and CPA Karen Goersch of Ameriprise Financial.

‘Understanding the New Tax Law’ — a Financial Workshop at the DCA on Oct 19

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The Darien Community Association (DCA) will offer their next financial workshop – “Understanding the New Tax Law” on Friday, Oct. 19 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

During this educational financial workshop, we will discuss how the new tax laws may impact you, including the following major themes: new tax rates and brackets, deduction changes, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), estate tax and child tax credit, 529 savings plan and ABLE account change. Also: retirement provisions, small business/pass-throughs and how to assess your situation and position your portfolion. This session will be led by Karen Goersch, CPA, CRPC®, APMA®, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial. Coffee and pastries will be offered.