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Check Fraud & Swiss Cheese

swiss cheese against black backgroundJust about every article you read about fraud, security and identity theft is based on the idea that with increased technology comes increased security. Unfortunately, some of the greatest vulnerabilities come from low-tech attacks.

Your Greatest Strength Might Be Your Greatest Weakness

person getting scammedWe’ve all had that moment when we were shopping on eBay at 3 a.m. and spotted the deal of the century - an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch for just $100? That’s the watch that’s been on the moon! Then we realize the price is too good to be true when we see that our newest find will ship from the other side of the planet and the listing features mysteriously blurry photos that obscure key details.

Shop Local!

shopping at local farmers' marketUNITED SA is built on the idea of people helping people. You already know we can do a better job looking after your money than a big bank that answers to shareholders, because we know you and our community. So why give that up when you find a bargain online? Shopping locally is better for the community, better for the environment and the best way to find something unique that can make all of your friends say “wow.”

Tax-Free Weekend - Every Weekend

dancing tax-free shopping bagsFor most of us, tax-free weekend has come and gone. It was a heady rush, getting our Black Friday fix in the sunshine of August, and the kids are ready to head back to school with new clothes and school supplies. But what about the people who missed out? What about the kids who just need one more thing? What about mom and dad who deserve a tax-free spree, too? Is there a way to shop tax-free every weekend without ending up with the IRS coming after them?

The Four Hidden Dangers of Membership Club Shopping

grocery cart filled with moneyIf you’re feeding an army or just a hungry family, you’ve probably been considering the benefits of membership in a shopping club like Sam’s Club, Costco or BJ’s Wholesale. On the surface, the membership decision seems like a very simple calculation. You take your projected savings from buying in bulk and subtract from that the cost of a yearly membership ($45 for Sam’s Club, $50 for BJ’s, and $55 for Costco).

When Your Loan Outlives Your Car

Broken Down CarIt’s a tough situation. Many working families need to borrow money to finance a car just to get to work. If you can afford a new car, your warranty should see you through the term of your loan on most major repairs. But many used cars don’t come with warranties. If the car breaks down, you’re still on the hook.

Is There a Secret Millionaire in Your Neighborhood?

Older couple in front of houseThere are two kinds of millionaires. The first group is the obvious millionaires. These are the folks who drive flashy cars, live in big houses and send their kids to private schools. They are lawyers, CEOs and politicians. They have money – and everyone knows it.

The New Home Owner Diet

Bathroom scaleSaving money is a lot like losing weight. It’s no fun, requires sacrifices and no one at a dinner party wants to hear about your plan. For many first-time home buyers, trying to save enough money for the down payment on a house can seem like a diet that won’t end. It might even be tempting to click one of those e-mail links that promise magical results, even though you know there’s no magic pill for weight loss and no magic plan for saving money.

Credit Repair Scams are Back - Don't Let Them Fool You

ScammerEarlier this month, the Better Business Bureau warned the country to keep an eye out for criminals masquerading as credit repair agencies, an old scam that keeps coming back every few years. The scam is easy to spot if you know what to look for, so here’s what you need to know.

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