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T i 10 resolutionsfor a
fiealthyfinancial new year
Scam artlsts go where the money yourhome-
is. As disposable income nses. so do nork. Verify theirpromises suehas "fast
the erurts of those seeking to defraud. monry","noexperiencenecessary,"and
With the srart of a new year. t h e m "a ork from the comfort of your home".
Business Bureau ( B m s e n i n g h4is- Get r~ferences,contact satistiedcustom-
siss-ain prepared to assist ers. check with the.BBB.
consumers by providing iniormation as (6) Resolve to be an informed inves-
rhc) makemajorpurchasinp.charitahle. tor. Scam artists tailor their investment
g i ~ i n gor investment decisions. "The pitches well to entice unsuspectinp
most important New Year's resolution investors Avoidan! pirchesthatrequire
you can make is to contact the B m you to "acr no\\" or that "guarantee"
before making major financial deci- unbclievable profits.
sions and hefnre responding to any ( - ) Resolve to formalize a savings
enticine (unsolicited) offers." s a i d M plan. Determine hon much you need
h l o a k . d ; e s l d e n t o of the h!issis: to bolster your financial cushion and
sippi BBB_ d e ~ c l o pa plan to achieve your goal.
Top 10 Resolutions (81 Resolve to tackle your debt load.
( 1 ) Resolve to get all promises in Establish a debt repaynent plan for
writing. Make sure the contract provi- the ?car - and keep smct rccotds. Fa:
sions match what the salesperson told morc than required on monthly debt
you. Read and understand the contract payments.
and guarantee before you sign. (9)Resolve to be wary ofunsolicited
(2) Resolve to guard your personal credi~offers.Ignoreads Gom unfamiliar
infomlahon. Give out credit card. bank companies. especidly those requiring
account, or Social Security numbers advance fees to secure a low-interest
very cautiously. Be wary of phone calls. loan orrepair your credit rating (despite
mail or email messages asking for such a bad credit history).
information. (10) Resolve to deal only with reli-
(3) Resolve to help children become able mcrchants. Don't do business with
informed consumers. Counsel them door-to-door salesmen. Make sure that
on establishing a budget, help them the business has a permanent address
spot signs of fraudlrip-offs, inform and phone number. Check customer
them about online privacy and security references and contact the BBB for
issues. information on the company's market-
(4) Resolve to shop safely online. place record.
Cyberspace crooks have the potential The B B h a s been sening h4issis-
to perpetuate scams quickly on the web slpp~since 1964 proxiding Reliability
- leaving no paper nails and bypassing Reports on business and charity per-
geographical boundaries. formance. Contact the BBB online at
(5) Resolve to resist the lure of easy
money". lfyou arecontemplatingwork- Response Line (800-987-8280).