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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Monday, October 24, 2022

SCAM ALERT: How to Avoid Banking And Other Trending Scams; Know The Red Flags

SCAM ALERT: How to Avoid Banking And Other Trending Scams; Know The Red Flags
From the good folks at Bank of America:

Be Aware Of A Trending Zelle® Payment Scam

Beware of scammers impersonating banks and fraud departments. By spoofing legitimate phone numbers to call or text you, the requests can be very convincing. While Bank of America may send you a text to validate unusual activity, we will never contact you to request that you send money using Zelle® to anyone, including yourself or to share a code to resolve fraud.

Here's What Happens:

  • You receive a text that looks like a Bank of America suspicious activity alert.

  • If you respond to the text, you've engaged the scammer and will receive a call from a number that appears to be from a bank.

  • The “representative” or scammer will offer to help stop the alleged fraud by asking you to send money to yourself with Zelle®.

  • Then, they ask you for a one time code you just received from a bank. If you give them that code, they will use it to enroll their bank account with Zelle® using your email or phone number.

  • The scammer now has the ability to receive your money in their account.

Being vigilant is your first line of defense; here's how to help stay protected:

  • Don't be pressured to act immediately — this is what scammers want you to do.

  • Don't trust caller ID — it's not always who it says it is.

  • Don't share codes based on a call you receive.

To learn more, watch this educational video layer from Zelle®


Know The Scams That May Follow A Natural Disaster

Watch out for fake contractors. Following a disaster, unlicensed contractors will canvas the impacted areas promising to get clean up or repairs done quickly. They may ask for payment up front and not show up to do the work, or have you sign a contract that redirects insurance payouts to them and not you.

  • Do your research; get multiple quotes for comparison, and make sure the contractors are licensed.

  • Use caution if you're pressured to pay up front for the job or sign over the insurance claim. Contractors may try to offer special deals that seem too good to be true.


CLICK HERE for much more from this
highly informative Bank of America article.



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Monday, April 11, 2022

My Job Interview at The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL)
The New York
Public Library

Back in 1999, I interviewed for a tech support job at the New York Public Library (NYPL.) I showed up looking very smart: new suit from Macy's, a fresh haircut and a laminated resume.

The lady who interviewed me was Caucasian, probably in her late 20s or early 30s, and attractive in a "girl next door" kinda' way.

Interview questions: I was perfectly ready for anything and everything, from the obvious and valid to the unethical and incredibly annoying (Unethical as in questions about your current employers operations.  They want to steal as many good ideas as they can... And MAYBE hire you.)

So, as soon as I sat down, I was met with that look.

You see, I'm a person of color, with very dark skin.

Anybody who looks like me knows this look.  It's that "deer in the headlights" look, except it's from human eyes. It's that look that says, "I'm scared of you, and I just can't help it."  It's the kind of look we colored men get just before a fearful woman pulls her purse in closer to her body, because she automatically thinks that we may snatch it and run.

I thought she would catch herself, and the look would stop. But this was just silly, wishful thinking. It didn't stop. It was locked in.

So I got up, thanked her for her time, and left.

For me, this episode was exceptionally disappointing, considering that the NYPL is one of America's greatest fonts of free learning.  

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Friday, March 11, 2022

Earn As Much As $1,000 Per Month Donating Your Blood Plasma

Make Money Donating Plasma
Make Money
Donating Plasma
Your blood plasma can do some very significant things for the folks who need it.  It can dramatically improve the lives of people who have certain immune system disorders.

Compensation is generous since blood plasma can't be made in the lab.  Donations from healthy donors is the only source. 

BioLife Plasma pays $20 to $50 per donation and has a one-time coupon for new donors that can help donors make up to $900 per month. Compensation varies based on your location.


       >>> Click Here for a BioLife Information Kit <<<


Related companies include Octapharma Plasma, and CSL Plasma.  At CSL you can get more than $1,000 for your first month.

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Monday, February 28, 2022

My COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test - February 27, 2022: Negative

Negative COVID-19 Test Result

Negative COVID-19
Test Result

My free COVID test kits finally arrived, courtesy of the United States government.  Ordered on January 18, 2022, and arrived yesterday, so the process took 39 days.  Not bad.

The two kits I got came with detailed, printed instructions, but being the computer geek that I am, I thought using the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test App with one of my smart devices would be more efficient. It's available for both Android and Apple iOS. A scannable QR code was provided.

I installed the app and quickly found myself frustrated with it.  Video moved too fast, and the was way too small (low resolution.)  So I went back to following the printed stuff.

Very glad to report that I tested negative.  I wasn't worried that I might test positive because I am extremely careful about hygiene and social distancing, and I work from home...And I have all my food delivered to me, mostly from Walmart.  I signed up for Walmart+ since I order from them so much.  I get free shipping and/or delivery on most of my orders. 

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Calling a Super Bubble: Front Row With GMO's Jeremy Grantham

An honest and insightful video interview: Calling A Super Bubble: Front Row with Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chief investment strategist at investment management firm Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo (GMO), headquartered in Boston, MA.  This clip is a little over 37 minutes:




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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

            >>> https://bit.ly/Free-COVID-Test <<<

NB: Tests will ship free starting in late January 2022, to valid residential United States addresses.

#COVID19 #Pandemic #Coronavirus #Omicron #FedPrimeRate #FreeCOVIDTest #FreeStuff #COVIDTestKits #COVIDTest

I thought the website for ordering would be super slow or down due to volume, but I was able to order with zero troubles...YAAAAY!

You Can Order 4 FREE COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

You Can Order 4 FREE
COVID-19 Test Kits Right Now!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Best Egg "Pre-Approved" Loan Offer: Why Not Say "Pre-Qualified?"

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

Best Egg Pre-Approved Loan Offer

After all these years, I can't believe that lenders are still allowed to use this language:


I'm old, and I've done plenty of borrowing in my time, so I know that the phrase "you're pre-approved" is a very unethical trick lenders use to make you think that your financial background has already been vetted, and your loan application is virtually guaranteed to get a green light. I know better.

But what about the young, first-time borrower with a limited or nonexistent credit history?  They see the "pre-approved" hook, they apply, they get turned down, and the lender ends up getting something very valuable: all of the rejected borrower's most sensitive, identifying information (name, address, Social Security number, age, etc.) Not good.  Not good at all.


OK, so here's an explainer of a mortgage "pre–approval letter," by the good folks at TheMortgageReports.com:

"...Having a pre–approval letter gives your offer a lot more clout, because the seller has solid evidence you’re qualified for a loan to purchase the home.

Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter, because a pre–approval has been vetted to prove your eligibility.

Note: getting “pre–qualified” is different from getting a pre–approval.”

Both terms mean a lender is likely willing to loan you a certain amount of money. But Realtors generally prefer a pre–approval letter over a pre–qualification letter.

That’s because pre–qualification letters are not verified. They’re just an estimate of your budget based on a few questions.

A pre–approval letter, on the other hand, has been vetted against your credit report, bank statements, W2s, and so on. It’s an actual offer from a mortgage company to lend to you – not just an estimate.

You are NOT required to stick with the lender you use for pre–approval when you get your final mortgage. You can always choose a different lender if you find a better deal..."

And this is exactly what ALL banks should do: use the term "pre–qualified" instead of "pre-approved," and include a detailed explanation of what it means, not in tiny, eye-straining text and the end of the last page, but in bold, and right next to the first use of the term.  Amen.

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