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Here’s how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud, courtesy of Dan DeFelippi, an ex-con who now teaches the latest fraud techniques to the U.S. Secret Service.

First: the safest plastic is American Express. Most credit card information is stolen with a skimmer, a machine that copies the magnetic strip on the back

of a credit card. With American Express, most merchants require the four-digit code on the back of the card, or your ZIP code, information that isn’t on the magnetic strip.

Another tip: Check your accounts more than once a month. If a thief starts using your card at the beginning of the billing cycle, they could scam thousands of dollars before your next statement comes. 

Finally: Don’t use a debit card. DeFelippi points out that debit cards use real money from your bank account. If it gets hacked, your cash is gone until you fill out a lot of paperwork and persuade the bank to give it back. 

One of our show sponsors is the identity theft protection company LIFELOCK. They’re offering a deal for Tesh listeners:
Call 1-800-995-7953 and mention TESH for 60 risk free days of LifeLock Ultimate identity theft protection. If you’re not happy call LifeLock and cancel within 60 days of enrollment for a full refund. See LifeLock.com for details.

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Is Black Friday Bad For Your Relationship?


If “Black Friday” put a black mark on your marriage, you’re not alone. A recent survey found that 6-out-of-10 people said that holiday spending creates tension in their households. But psychologist Dorothy Cantor says that holiday spending really just magnifies the financial issues that cause trouble all year long. So, here’s how to fix 3 money traps that ruin marriages:


  • Materialism. According to a study in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, couples who valued money because it can buy fancy things were the least satisfied with their marriages, and were more likely to get divorced. Interestingly enough, it didn’t matter whether the couples were rich or poor, even those who could afford what they wanted were unhappy.


  • Conflicting values. Jeffrey Dew is a professor of Family Development at Utah State University. His research shows that when one spouse believes their partner spends money foolishly, it makes them 45% more likely to divorce. That’s because it can eat away at their respect for their partner. Of course, the definition of foolish varies. For example, some people consider buying even one lottery ticket a waste of money. So if you have big differences when it comes to money, set aside a specific amount that each person can spend any way they want. 
  • Not having a plan. Nancy Anderson is a director of the website financialfinesse.com. And she says that many of us don’t realize that we create anxiety by not having a clear understanding of where our money goes. To decrease stress, she suggests making a budget and a list of long-term goals. Then, review your spending on a monthly basis, and your overall progress at least once a year.
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