Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 things to know if you’ve never budgeted before. Also in the news: Equifax breach – claims cutoff and more scammers ahead, how auto insurers use your nondriving habits to raise prices, and the benefits of filing taxes early.

4 Things to Know if You’ve Never Budgeted Before
Breaking down the basics.

Equifax Breach: Claims Cutoff and More Scammers Ahead
The fallout continues.

How Auto Insurers Use Your Nondriving Habits to Raise Prices
Your grocery shopping could raise your auto insurance.

The Benefits of Filing Taxes Early
There are good reasons to file early.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make room for fun in your 2020 budget. Also in the news: You may have to give more personal data to get a personal loan, how to focus on monthly tasks to hit 2020 money goals, and how scammers can use your old credit card numbers.

How to Make Room for Fun in Your 2020 Budget
A budget doesn’t have to be torture.

You May Have to Give More Personal Data to Get a Personal Loan
Loan companies begin to look at alternative data.

Focus on Monthly Tasks to Hit 2020 Money Goals
Taking it one month at a time.

How Scammers Can Use Your Old Credit Card Numbers
This story could change the way you shop online.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to find your financial footing after losing your job. Also in the news: A new SmartMoney podcast episode on Black Friday, apps to help with your holiday shopping, and how not to get phished when shopping online.

You Lost Your Job? Here’s How to Find Your Financial Footing
Bouncing back.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘Does Black Friday Live Up to the Hype?’
Are the crazy lines worth it?

Apps to help with your holiday shopping
From lists to discounts.

How to Not Get Phished When Shopping Online
Scams are increasingly sophisticated.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 8 credit card strategies – and some surprises, too. Also in the news: The technophobe’s guide to cybersecurity, why the Apple Card could make you spend more, and why Cash App users should be on the lookout for scams.

8 Credit Card Strategies — And Some Surprises, Too
Using your cards strategically.

The Technophobe’s Guide to Cybersecurity
Protecting yourself and your data.

Why The Apple Card Could Make You Spend More
Chasing rewards and instant gratification.

Watch Out for Scams Targeting Cash App Users
Be alert.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Understanding the differences between Medicare and Medicaid. Also in the news: How hungry college students can get help, Robinhood takes another shot at cash management accounts, and a new scam that asks for your bank PIN on the phone.

Hunger on Campus: How College Students Can Get Help

What Is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?
Understanding the government-run health care plans.

Robinhood Takes Another Shot at Cash Management Accounts
This time with FDIC backup.

Beware a New Scam That Asks for Your Bank PIN on the Phone
This is a particularly savvy scam.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to outsmart smartphone scammers. Also in the news: 5 military budgeting tips, states that will pay you to work there, and just how worried you should be about a possible recession.

How to Outsmart Smartphone Scammers
Protecting areas of vulnerability.

5 Military Budgeting Tips
Important considerations for active military.

Get Paid to Move to These States
Work remotely? These states want you.

Recession fears are back — should you be worried?
Don’t panic just yet.

Will you be a scam artist’s next target?

Believing that fraud can’t happen to us — because we’re too smart, logical or informed — may make us more vulnerable. Successful scam artists skillfully overcome our defenses and get us into emotional states that override logical thinking, says Kathy Stokes, AARP’s director of fraud prevention programs.

“Scammers call it getting the victim under the ether,” she says.

Various studies have tried to identify characteristics that make people more susceptible to fraud. But that can create a “blame the victim” mentality and give the rest of us a false sense of security, she says.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to reduce the chances of being taken by a scammer.

Don’t be duped by these phone and email scams

Some of us in the personal finance realm have a weird little hobby: We try to scam the scam artists.

We’re not out to steal their money — just their time. When fraudsters call to say we’re about to be arrested for tax debt, our Social Security number has been “suspended,” or a loved one is in trouble, we play along.

This gives us valuable insight into how the scams operate while wasting the time these jerks could spend victimizing more vulnerable people. In my latest for the Associated Press, how to protect yourself from these scam artists

Q&A: Don’t fall for Social Security phone scams

Dear Liz: I have just received a phone call advising me that my Social Security number “is about to be suspended” and that for help, I should call a certain number. Is this legitimate?

Answer: No. Your Social Security number can’t be locked or suspended or any of the other dire-sounding consequences these robo-callers threaten. If you did call the number, the scam artist on the other end would try to trick you into revealing personal information or convince you to wire money or buy gift cards, which they can quickly exchange (or “wash”) to erase their trails. People lost $10 million to these Social Security scams last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 ways to make your money last in retirement. Also in the news: 5 money strategies for military deployments, 9 housing and mortgage trends for the rest of 2019, and how to protect yourself from gas pump skimmers.

7 Ways to Make Your Money Last in Retirement
Strategies for the long haul.

5 Money Strategies for Military Deployments
Managing the homefront.

9 Housing and Mortgage Trends for the Rest of 2019
What’s hot in the market.

How to Protect Yourself From Gas Pump Skimmers
Be on the lookout.