Tag: Get Smart – Pass It On

Are Those Robocalls Driving You Crazy?

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Are Those Robocalls Driving You Crazy?

By Catherine Blinder

ro·bo·call   noun: an automated telephone call that delivers a recorded message, typically on behalf of a political party or telemarketing company.   That is the official definition, but we all know what they are – annoying and persistent calls that either want to sell us something we don’t need or solicit support for someone…

Never Too Early for Holiday Shopping Tips!

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Never Too Early for Holiday Shopping Tips!

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It’s fall, and time to enjoy these last few weeks of warmth. And now that Halloween has passed, we can begin to get ready for the upcoming holiday season! Unfortunately, these days, Thanksgiving brings, along with family and friends and food, Black Friday shopping frenzy. However, as more and more people try to avoid going…

Prepare Now for Winter

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Prepare Now for Winter

By Catherine Blinder

It’s hard to imagine that winter will ever come when it’s ninety degrees outside – but it will be here sooner than you think and now is the time to make arrangements for all those cold-weather repairs and general maintenance! That means locking down home heating fuel contracts, weatherproofing windows and doors, cleaning chimneys, cleaning…

The Danger of Synthetic Drugs

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The Danger of Synthetic Drugs

By Catherine Blinder

Have you noticed something new on the counters at your local gas station, bodega or convenience store – innocent-looking little foil packages, no bigger than a teabag, often with bright colors and cartoon characters? Often marketed as “incense,” they have names like K2, Spice, Pep Spice, Spice Silver, Sence, Skunk, Yucatan, Fire, Bliss, Black Mambo,…

Rent to Own or Save for the Unexpected?

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Rent to Own or Save for the Unexpected?

By Catherine Blinder

If you’re just starting out and need furniture, or you find yourself suddenly needing to replace a broken stove, refrigerator, television or other electronics, you may be tempted by headlines that say – “No Credit Check!” or “Take it Home Today!” At many of the Rent to Own stores in the state, that’s exactly what…

Beware the Traveling Pavers

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Beware the Traveling Pavers

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As the summer heats up, you notice things about your house that need repair. Especially if you own an old house, the maintenance seems never-ending! Driveways are one of those major investments that need attention every ten years or so. As the summer advances, you may notice scammers targeting older homeowners in your neighborhood. Every…

Consumer Alert: Be Aware of Traveling Pavers’ Scams

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Consumer Alert: Be Aware of Traveling Pavers’ Scams

By Catherine Blinder

This early summer has brought early-blooming flowers, warm weather, longer days and, unfortunately, door-to-door scammers who try to take advantage of homeowners in a variety of ways. It seems like there are more every year – chimney repairs, magazine subscriptions, alternative energy contracts, lawn mowing and landscaping, house painting, roofers and gutter installers and the…

What Is the Lemon Law?

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What Is the Lemon Law?

By Catherine Blinder

Buying a new car is a major investment, and most of us take a long time to make that decision. And after we compare prices, safety features, options, warranties and guarantees, we agree to pay a considerable amount of money for a vehicle we hope will last years and years. With so much to consider,…

Facebook’s Reach and Your Privacy

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Facebook’s Reach and Your Privacy

By Catherine Blinder

Recently, it was discovered that the private information of 50 million Facebook users was compromised – we don’t know exactly what that means, but we can be assured that at the very least, it means that a lot of personal information is no longer personal. But was our personal information ever personal? Facebook has become…

Funeral Home Scams to Avoid

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Funeral Home Scams to Avoid

By Catherine Blinder

In this column, we usually discuss ways to avoid scams and make smart choices for ourselves and our families regarding day-to-day decisions. But it’s important to talk about things that are difficult too, and nothing is more difficult that losing a loved one. Most of us would rather not think about funerals, and as a…

When You Need Home Healthcare

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When You Need Home Healthcare

By Catherine Blinder

Many of us are caring for, or helping to care for, older members of our extended families. There are over 47 million people over 65 in America today. In 2060, that number will likely double to 98 million. The responsibility can be challenging and difficult for family members caring for several generations at the same…

Online Dating

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Online Dating

By Catherine Blinder

Looking for your special someone? In recent years, people have grown more comfortable with online dating as a way to meet others. In fact, 15 percent of adults in the United States have reported using online dating sites or online dating apps to meet people. Nearly 25 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds report using mobile…

It’s Nearing Tax Time and That Means Protecting Your Identity

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It’s Nearing Tax Time and That Means Protecting Your Identity

By Catherine Blinder

Many of us may have already filed our taxes, especially if we’re expecting a refund. But as the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service warn – be careful, this is prime time for identity theft. Identity theft is among the most common scams, and scammers prey on people especially during this time of…

Watch Out for Modeling Scams

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Watch Out for Modeling Scams

By Catherine Blinder

You are at the mall and someone stops and says, “You are so pretty! You could be a model.” Or they tell you that your child could be a model, and if you let them take some photos, a glamorous and lucrative career could be just around the corner!  Now they have your attention. After all, it’s hard to resist…

Be Aware When Applying for Citizenship

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Be Aware When Applying for Citizenship

By Catherine Blinder 

For several years, we have had the honor of informing Tribuna’s readers about their consumer rights, and warning about scams. Many of the scams that we write about can affect your credit, your online safety, your personal safety or your home. But none of the scams we have warned about have the potential of devastating families like notario fraud.  For many immigrants in the United States, the…

What Can You Do About Debt Collectors?

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What Can You Do About Debt Collectors?

By Catherine Blinder

Last year, we wrote about your rights when debt collectors call. One of the most vulnerable times for many of us in terms of credit card usage is during the holidays, when you might have overextended credit and your budget! It’s worth reminding everyone of the rights consumers have in regard to debt collection. And…

Winter Is Coming!

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Winter Is Coming!

By Catherine Blinder

It’s taken longer than usual this year– but it’s finally cold outside! And that means families need to start preparing for winter. That means things like locking down home heating fuel contracts, weatherproofing windows and doors, cleaning chimneys, doing last-minute repairs on our homes, and of course, holiday shopping. Make sure to plan ahead, make…