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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Who's Coming To Your Holiday Dinner?

It's the holiday season and we invite many friends, family and trusted people to our homes. Some of these guests we haven't seen in a few years and some we see very often. Nevertheless, our guests are usually people that we have a relationship with. How many of us consider safeguarding our valuables when we have friends and family over for the holidays? According to a study done by the Institute for Financial Literacy, 79% of all fraud is committed by someone you know.

One of the leading frauds committed by family, friends and trusted individuals is Consumer Credit Abuse. This occurs when a family member or trusted friend use your credit cards without your permission and racks up thousands of dollars in debt in your name. Last holiday, a dear friend of mine had a birthday celebration and allowed her friends to bring friends to her birthday party. Unfortunately, the next morning it was discovered that my friend's credit cards were missing. By the time the cards were cancelled, thousands of dollars was spent. Fortunately, the credit card company reversed all the charges once the fraud report was done. To handle this kind of fraud you should:

  • Not let your family members/friends near your credit cards.
  • Prepare a guest list and ask your guest to get permission to bring others.
  • Report any misuse of your credit as fraudulent activity.
  • Complete and sign an affidavit for fraudulent activity.
  • Keep all statements and account information in a safe place.
  • Contact the Credit Reporting Bureaus.
  • If needed, contact legal services in your community.

I know it's the holiday season and we don't want to think about pumpkin pie and fraud, but knowing how to be financially safe during such a festive season will make for a better "Holly-Day".

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