MONEY SCAMS ARE SKYROCKETING
HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF RIGHT NOW
1. SHUT THEM DOWN. If you get a call from a scammer, hang up immediately (better yet, don’t answer unknown callers at all). At the same time, delete scam texts or emails the second you see them. If you get a call, text, or email from someone claiming to be with the government or a government agency, it’s a scammer. No one from any federal agency will ever call you out of the blue. Anyone claiming to have a cure or pretending to be in desperate need of money is also trying to scam you. Never say a word back to them. Cut them off and go about your day. 2. SIGN UP FOR INFORMED DELIVERY BY USPS. This free service is a great way to monitor your incoming mail. Every morning, USPS sends you an email with scanned images of the day’s mail (this doesn’t usually include larger parcels). When you pick up your
For the past year, scammers have been working full time to fleece people. As a result of COVID-19, federal financial relief efforts, and state-level relief efforts, scammers have found a new way to get into their victims’ pockets. Now, they’re using COVID-19 again, this time with the “vaccine scam.” Through this scam, they’ll sign you up for the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for a fee. They are also using variations of the grandparent scam, in which scammers pretend to be a family member in trouble (this time, they have COVID-19 or have lost their job) and they need money. Scammers make phone calls, send text messages, and craft phishing emails, hoping you’ll take the bait. How can you protect yourself from these financial scams and more? Try these three different ways!
mail later in the day, you can verify if anything is missing. Scammers may prefer phone calls, but mail thieves are still very much on the prowl. 3. SIGN UP FOR AN IDENTITY PROTECTION AND FRAUD DETECTION SERVICE. You never know who might end up with your personal information, but you can take steps to keep it safe. There are several services, like LifeLock, Identity Guard, and Intelius Identity Project, that offer comprehensive identify protection. They monitor credit cards, addresses, phone numbers, bank accounts, and more with the purpose of scoping out unusual or fraudulent behavior. Many services can be customized to fit your specific needs.
t THE BEST LITTLE WINE SHOP IN RACINE
When the COVID-19 pandemic took off, Tony Bigonia, owner of Uncorkt Wine Bar, decided that if he couldn’t bring winemakers to Wisconsin, then he’d send his customers around the world to them — virtually, of course. “We don’t have to have winemakers at the shop anymore. They can be on the phone via Zoom and tell us all about their wine from as far away as New Zealand!” Tony says. “We recently had a New Zealand winemaker on for a tasting, and they told us about their wine and took us on a tour of the vineyard from the comfort of our own homes.” Tony is doing great work, and I’ve been impressed at how well his small shop is handling the pandemic. His virtual tastings, classes, and fundraisers for local organizations like the Racine Symphony Orchestra are top-notch. Plus, he has plenty of wine and beer in stock! Uncorkt even has a bar and a banquet room that can be rented out for events.
Tony has owned Uncorkt for seven years.
“I was in IT as a project manager for about 35 years, and jokingly, I say it drove me to drink,” Tony says. My favorite part about Uncorkt is that Tony and his crew cater to everyone. If you're a wine expert, they can recommend the perfect bottle for your taste, and if you’re new to the wine world, Tony can pick something out that will make you look good at a dinner party. Working with him has been a great experience for me, and Tony’s love for wine definitely comes through. Luckily for me, I don’t only get to see Tony at the wine shop! I’m also his brand-new accountant, and he and his business partner file their personal and company returns with me. “We interviewed [two accountants] and fell in love with Paul,” Tony says. “He’s given us a lot of great advice, and we’ve done everything he told us to do so we’ll be sitting pretty during the tax season.”
I’m looking forward to saving Tony some money this year! If you haven’t checked out his shop at 240 Main Street, visit Facebook.com/Uncorkt/ for the latest events and updates.
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