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December 2019

It's almost New Year! Have you done your yearly credit report checkup yet? While you're at it, protect yourself from charity scams this season by reviewing some big red flags, and learn how to prioritize cash flow in your business.

Call if you would like to discuss how this information relates to you. If you know someone who can benefit from this newsletter, feel free to send it to them.

Contents

Time for a Yearly Credit Report

One way to head off fraud during tax season is to get your free annual credit report now. Credit reports often have errors in them; this quick checkup can be the first indication that some form of identity theft has taken place on your account.

The good news is that each of the major consumer credit reporting agencies is required by law to provide you with a free report once a year. Here's contact information to help you get your free credit report:

Time for a Yearly Credit Report imageAnnual Credit Report.com
Telephone: 1-877-322-8228
Website: www.AnnualCreditReport.com
Via mail: (fill out the online form and mail it to the following address)
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Listed here are the three major credit agencies and how to contact them directly.

TransUnion
Telephone: 833-395-6938
Web site: www.transunion.com
Via mail: 2 Baldwin Place
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022

Equifax
Telephone: 1-800-685-1111
Web site: www.equifax.com
Via mail: Equifax Credit Information Service
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian
Telephone: 1.888.EXPERIAN (397-3742)
Web site: www.experian.com
Via mail: P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013

Reminder: Each agency may try to upsell you into additional paid services. If you find problems on your credit report, work through the credit bureau's process to correct the error. Also place fraud alerts on your credit agency account if you experience any kind of identity fraud.


3 Major Charity Scam Red Flags

3 Major Charity Scam Red Flags imageYou’ve probably already received several letters and phone calls from charities asking for donations. Most requests are from legitimate organizations. Some, however, are bogus charities set up by con artists who use the holiday spirit to their financial advantage.

Last year, Americans gave nearly $428 billion to charities, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018. That's a huge incentive for fraud.

If you're planning to donate, take some time to learn how to spot a charity scam. Here are a few big red flags:

Many charitable organizations are seeking your aid to address genuine hardships. Avoid the schemes of unethical scammers, and your donations will provide help where it's needed most.

If you think you’ve been contacted by a bogus charity, let the Federal Trade Commission know by filing a complaint.


Cash Flow: A Central Part of Your Business Plan

When tracking and planning your business objectives, it’s easy to focus your analysis on two reports — the income statement and balance sheet. But one of the primary keys to your business’s success relies more on how you handle the money flowing in and out of the business. The appearance of a solid profit can hide a lurking cash flow problem.

Here are practices to help you give your cash flow the attention it deserves:

When businesses fail, it’s usually because they run out of money. By making cash flow a central part of your business plan, you greatly reduce this risk.


Winter Wonderland Trivia

Whether or not you hear sleigh bells ringing, winter wonderland is here! Here’s a quiz to test your wintertime wisdom and offer you fun facts to impress your family and friends.

  • What is the largest 24-hour snowfall ever measured in the U.S.?
    1. 4 feet
    2. 6 feet
    3. 10 feet
    4. 13 feet
  • b. 6 feet. It’s 6.3 feet to be exact. This amount fell in a 24-hour period in Silver Lake, Colorado on April 14-15, 1921, according to The Weather Channel. It probably had something to do with its 10,220-foot elevation in the Colorado Rockies!
  • Winter Wonderland Trivia imageKrampus, the horned half-goat, half-demon creature from Central European folklore, is known for what during the holiday season?
    1. Bringing fruitcake to families
    2. Singing Good King Wenceslaus while caroling
    3. Seeking out children who have misbehaved
    4. Stealing wooden shoes
  • c. Seeking out children who have misbehaved. This made-up figure seems to be pretty mischievous himself! During an Austrian Krampuslauf (Krampus Run), herds of Krampuses — people dressed in masks and costumes — stomp down streets and play tricks on parade goers.
  • Which sport was incorporated into the Winter Olympics?
    1. Snow tubing
    2. Speed skiing
    3. Bandy
    4. Ski ballet
  • d. Ski ballet. Called figure skating on snow with skis, this sport was a demonstration event in the 1988 Calgary games and the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.
  • Which animal hibernates the longest?
    1. Bumblebee
    2. Alpine marmot
    3. Bear
    4. Wood frog
  • d. Wood frog. This bug-eyed amphibian can survive up to seven months in a “deep-freeze” period! They can live while being completely frozen by protecting their cells using glucose, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
  • How many people were part of the largest gathering of holiday sweater-wearers?
    1. 3,473
    2. 1,201
    3. 6,552
    4. 992
  • a. 3,473. That’s a lot of ugly sweaters! According to Guinness Book of World Records, this goal was achieved by Kansas Athletics at a Kansas University men’s basketball game against Montana in December 2015.

As you enjoy the season, spread some of these fun wintertime facts with your loved ones.



Newsletter Archive

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  1. Posted on: 2020-07-01
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