AT&T mobile customers may be eligible for mobile cramming refunds

crammingAs part of a $105 million federal and state settlement, AT&T Mobility LLC will pay $80 million to the FTC to provide refunds to consumers.

According to the FTC and other agencies, AT&T unlawfully billed mobile phone users for unauthorized third-party charges for things like ringtone subscriptions and horoscopes. The FTC’s complaint alleges that AT&T kept at least 35 percent of those charges.

People who believe that AT&T charged them without authorization can visit to submit a refund claim.

10 Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund

tax-refundNow that tax season is over, are you one of the over 101-million taxpayers expecting a refund? According to the Internal Revenue Service the average refund for the 2013 filings is $2,860 (as of 17 Apr 2014).

There are several more sensible ways to use your refund. recently posted an article titled 10 Ways To Not Suck At Spending Your Tax Refund that provide some great suggestions for using your refund wisely. But it is their bonus point that is the one we would suggest first…change your withholding!

Iliza_TaxRefundWhile it’s great to receive that fat check after filing your tax return, do you realize you are giving an interest-free loan to the Internal Revenue Service?  If you expect your situation to be the same next year, utilize the IRS Withholding Calculator and adjust your withholdings on myPay.

You can also use the Single or Married withholding calculators that we have built into our budget spreadsheet in our Personal Finance Section. They are located on the fourth and fifth tabs of the budget2014.xlsx Excel spreadsheet.

Use the extra money from your adjustment to pay down debt that is costing you interest or put it into an interest earning account. Make the money work for you!


Credit Card Skimmer Victims: How much you lose depends on your actions!

On 10 April, Rapid City Police announced they are investigating a series of credit card skimmers found inside pumps at several area gas stations. They stated that the skimmers they’ve found so far have been inside the pumps where they’re not visible to consumers.

You are recommended to  monitor your credit cards and bank accounts (a practice we encourage for everyone, all the time). If you notice any fraudulent activity, report it to your financial institution immediately.

In fact, how much you lose depends on the card you used and how quickly you report the problem.

LIMITYOURLOSSESMany ATM/Debit Cards issuers have voluntarily agreed that an account holder will not owe more than $50 for transactions made with a lost or stolen ATM or debit card. However, under the law, the amount you can lose depends on how quickly you report the loss.

For credit cards, you loss is limited to $50 as long as you dispute the fraudulent charges within 60 days of receiving your bill.

For a better understanding of gas pump credit card skimmers here is a story by ABC News from August 2013 showing how the skimmers work and how your are at risk.

Know Your Rights When Being Bumped by an Airline

nMfEcEUIf you haven’t been in an airport lately you have missed the experience of waiting for your flight and hearing the announcement that they have overbooked the flight and they are looking for volunteers to give up their seat.

Now, like most of us you may be wondering how an airline can overbook a flight that has a set amount of seats on it. Unfortunately, it is perfectly legal for airlines to sell more seats than they have. According to an article published in Condê Nast Traveler, by Barbara Peterson, nearly 600,000 passengers with confirmed reservations were left at the gate through no fault of their own in 2012. Most gave up their seats willingly in exchange for case or travel vouchers, but approximately 59,000 passengers were involuntarily bumped. This was a 40 percent increase from 2011.

Read her article on the Condê Nast Travel website by going to: It details your rights as a passenger when it comes to being bumped, either voluntarily or non-voluntarily and gives you some points to think about as you book your air travel this year.

Bottom line is know your rights as a traveler. Most airlines may “fail to mention” what you are entitled to as they bump you and try to offer you a voucher for your tickets.

You can learn your rights as an air traveler by visiting the Consumer Guide to Air Travel at on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website.

Credit Card / Debit Card Data Stolen From Target

targetMINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear. The chain said that accounts of customers who made purchases using their cards at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may
have been exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and …

Read more at:

Banks Rack Up Big Overdraft Fees Each Year…Are you helping them?

chamber_savingsLast night’s NBC Nightly News reported that overdraft fees make up a staggering 60 percent of all bank fee revenue, amounting to $32 billion a year. The average consumer who paid overdraft fees paid $225 over the course of the year in 2011.

Take a look at the report filed by NBC’s Tom Costello:

Are you one of the average consumers providing banks part of this profit? If so, it may be time to review your budget or create on if you don’t have one already. The closer you track your personal finances, the less likely you will pay overdraft fees.

Need help? Set-up a personal financial budget appointment with us to build/or go over your budget. You can also download our spreadsheet and create your own budget.

Keep in mind that you can also attend one of our financial classes and educate yourself more on credit and personal finance. Our next Credit When Credit is Due Course is on August 1st at 9 AM. Call 385-4663 to register.

Take care of small financial issues early before they grow out of control and cost you more money and possibly your clearance or job!