New Year Scams
Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's celebration! My family flew to Utah for some after-Christmas skiing and to visit relatives....we could have driven, but we've learned over the years that it almost doesn't pay to drive when you can fly during the busiest time of the year and make money off it....airlines ALWAYS oversell tickets during the holidays, so we schedule our flights in the morning (which is the busiest time of travel during the day) and we make sure we're the first people at the gate in order to volunteer our seats. It worked! Not only did we get some free ticket vouchers worth $800 for future flights, but the airline payed for our hotel and food! Of course, you have to be willing to be flexible in order to do this, but for me it just felt like an extension of our little vacation. Woohoo!
A true Sister Thrifty shopper knows that whenever any holiday passes you should hit all the clearance item sales to stock up. I hit Wal-Mart yesterday, which is at 75%. Amidst all the Christmas leftovers was regular ole tape! Be sure to check for items that can be used year round such as wrapping paper that isn't Christmassy, red items for future Valentine's Day gifts, etc.
Here's a "Heads up" for you....those scumbags are at it again. If you get an e-mail from Ebay or PayPal saying you need to click on a particular link to check your account DON'T!!! The e-mails come from crooks, NOT E-bay or PayPal, especially when the letter says "To our customer." E-bay and PayPal are aware of this scam and have promised that if they need your information they will address the e-mail specifically to your name. When in doubt, just go to their web site directly and log in rather than use the questionable link.
The Dallas Morning News has a story about the "Unlucky Seven" worst scams out there, and lotteries are – without a doubt – No. 1. Spain, Germany and Holland are just three of the countries that supposedly have lotteries. An 86-year-old woman featured in the story ended up giving more than $88,000 to these crooks. She was told upfront she needed to cover "administrative costs." Then, each time, it was something more. She never recovered her money, and the crooks were never caught. When you get these e-mails, you want to believe they are real. They certainly look it. But if they ask for money – even a little – to get you your money, it’s a scam. Throw the paperwork in the trash. The second biggest scam is home repairs. These people get upfront money and then do shoddy work or no work at all in some cases. Work-at-home scams are in position No. 3, and phony charities are No.
4. These scams often affect seniors more than others, but everyone is at risk. Fraudulent "living trusts" come in at No. 5. You need a living trust in only a few circumstances, so most of the people are just trying to sell you insurance products. No. 6 is e-mail phishing scams. And, No. 7 is probably the ugliest of the "Unlucky Seven." It’s when you’ve already been scammed and a service offers to help you recover your money. The very same people who took your money the first time are the ones behind this, and you
give them more trying to get it back. All these scammers should be shot!
If you live in the San Diego area and would love a cute FREE bunny, call Julia Girley at 760-603-1257.
The bunny is a sweet female who is all white and looks like she is wearing glasses because she has brown circles around her eyes. Cute!
Hopefully one of your New Year's resolutions is to save more money and share your great consumer tips with Sister Thrifty! Thank you for your great support and kind letters. 2006 is going to be a great year!