Scam Alert: Become a Smarter Consumer

Avoid becoming the victim of fraud and scams. These expert tips can help you to spot and outsmart industry scams so you can save your hard-earned cash!

Scam Alert: Become a Smarter Consumer

In order to become a smarter consumer, you should always do your homework on items and services before you consider making a purchase. It’s okay to be skeptical and ask a lot of questions. You could ultimately wind up saving money if you are on top your game and catch errors or misleading information.

Food Labels

Always take a second look at food labels. Under FDA regulations, the calorie number listed on packaging can be off by up to 20%. Investigators have even found that some foods are nearly 70% more calories than shown on the label! Whether you’re dieting or not, assume that there is always 10 to 20% more calories than what is listed on packaging.

Medical Bills

Read your bills very carefully and always be sure to challenge anything that doesn’t look right. Be extra careful with hospital and insurance bills – double-check charges and look for duplicate or multiple charges of the same item or service.

Hotel Rooms

Create your own hotel grading system. Start with 5 stars and deduct stars for everything the hotel does wrong. If there is something in your bed, deduct. If it smells old, moldy, dirty, deduct. If the manager doesn’t fix your problem, deduct. Be watchful of extra hidden fees – double-check your bill before checking out. A great resource to avoid bad hotels can be online reviews written by other guests. People will be honest about their experience and will give you a great idea of what to expect or which places to avoid!

Speak Up!

Don’t be afraid to come forward if you feel you have been scammed. There’s no reason to be embarrassed because chances are you haven’t been the only one. By coming forward and educating others, you can help other people avoid the same scenarios and save their money!

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less