Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: New scoring could help credit-shy millennials. Also in the news: Giving yourself the gift of a $0 credit card balance, 5 key steps to joining the 401(k) Millionaires Club, and why you should only share your credit card info at a hotel at the front desk.

New Scoring Could Help Credit-Shy Millennials
Introducing UltraFICO.

Give Yourself the Gift of a $0 Credit Card Balance
A gift with long lasting impact.

5 Key Steps to Join the 401(k) Millionaires Club
Starting early is crucial.

Only Share Your Credit Card Info at a Hotel at the Front Desk
Protecting your info during your stay.

Q&A: Reporting Social Security fraud

Dear Liz: You’ve written about Social Security survivor benefits and how after one spouse dies, the other gets only one check, which is supposed to be the larger of the two the couple previously received. I know a woman who is still collecting both her own and her deceased husband’s check. How is that possible?

Answer: That can happen if the death wasn’t properly reported to the Social Security Administration. Continuing to collect and cash the dead person’s checks is fraud. You can report it by calling Social Security’s fraud hotline at (800) 269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How your wallet can do more good this year. Also in the news: Talking money with our partners, how to file a claim in the Western Union fraud case, and why the Dow Jones breaking records isn’t helping your bottom line.

How Your Wallet Can Do More Good This Year
Putting your money where your values are.

Breaking the Last Taboo: Talking Money With Our Partners
Having the tough conversations.

Western Union Fraud Case: How to File a Claim
You have until February 12th.

Why the Dow Jones Breaking Records Isn’t Helping Your Bottom Line
When the numbers don’t match up.

Q&A: Credit freezes complicate setting up online Social Security accounts

Dear Liz: You’ve recently written about protecting ourselves by establishing online Social Security accounts. Social Security prevents me (or anyone else) from creating an online account because I have credit freezes in place. As I understand the process, Social Security uses the credit bureaus to verify my identity. With a freeze, there’s no identity verification. In other words, in order to set up a fraudulent online account, someone besides me would have to unfreeze my credit report first. Is that correct?

Answer: Pretty much. Another way to establish an online account is to go into a local Social Security office with proper identification. But most hackers are unlikely to take the trouble to do either.

You may still want to create an online account to monitor your Social Security earnings record and promptly correct any mistakes or spot employment fraud (someone using your number to get work).

You could make a trip to a Social Security office or temporarily lift your freeze with the bureau that’s providing identity verification services. Currently, that bureau is Equifax — and yes, that’s the bureau that suffered the massive database breach that started this discussion.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Loan forgiveness scaled back for defrauded students. Also in the news: an NFL rookie hoping to avoid money mistakes, giving to charity when money is tight, and New Year’s financial resolutions for your money.

Loan Forgiveness Scaled Back for Defrauded Students
An effect of the new tax bill.

When It Comes to Money, He’s Looking to Avoid Rookie Mistakes
Arizona tight end Ricky Seal-Jones.

Ask Brianna: Can I Give to Charity If Money Is Tight?
Being generous on a budget.

Make some New Year’s resolutions for your money
Start 2018 off right.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do about the Fed rate hike. Also in the news: How to deal with credit card fraud, driverless cars, and how your credit card debt is costing you nearly $1000 a year.

Fed Rate Hike: Here’s What to Do
Don’t panic.

First Time Dealing With Credit Card Fraud? You Got This
Important steps to take.

Are Fully Self-Driving Cars Just Around the Corner?
Should we fear the driverless car?

Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year
Interest piles up.

Q&A: Here’s a way to fight Social Security fraud

Dear Liz: To make us less likely to become victims of fraudulent activity, years ago I froze our credit bureau files. I assume the Social Security Administration could be hacked as well. Can those files be frozen?

Answer: No, but you can create an online account to track and monitor your Social Security records — and it’s probably a good idea to do so. Fraudsters are creating such accounts and using them to divert benefits onto prepaid debit cards. If you created yours first, this fraud will be harder to pull off. If someone has already created an account in your name, you can find out and start the process of taking back your identity. The place to set up your account is www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to prep (or not) for President Trump’s proposed tax changes. Also in the news: You could be owed money in the Western Union fraud case, why inauguration rental hosts could get a tax break, and 4 ways your expenses can skyrocket when having kids.

How to Prep (or Not) for Trump’s Proposed Tax Changes
How these changes could affect you.

Western Union Fraud Case: Are You Owed Money
A new website has been set up for victims.

Inauguration Rental Hosts May Get Tax Break
A federal tax code could save hosts money.

Thinking of Having Kids? 4 Ways Your Expenses Can Skyrocket

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

types-of-scholarshipsToday’s top story: Clever strategies to fund your child’s college education. Also in the news: How to choose a qualified credit counselor, how the wage gap for women turns into a retirement gap, and how to protect yourself from ATM fraud.

3 Clever Strategies to Fund Your Child’s College Education
Thinking outside the box.

3 Steps to Choosing a Qualified Credit Counselor
Finding the counselor who can best serve your needs.

For Women, Wage Gap Becomes Retirement Gap
The 21% gap.

Warning: ATM Fraud Is on the Rise
Protecting yourself from ATM skimming.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

taxesToday’s top story: What to do if you’re a victim of tax fraud. Also in the news: Personal finance items couples hide from each other, why Millennials will spend more on Valentine’s Day, and why you should watch out for student debt predators.

Victimized by tax fraud? Here’s what to do
Take a deep breath.

What personal finance item have you ‘hidden’ from a spouse or partner?
A bounced check or a little bonus? What about a hidden credit card?

Need to slash student debt? Watch out for rip-offs
Watch out for predatory loans.

Millennials to Spend More Than Others on Valentine’s Day, Survey Finds
Ah, young love.