Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Online scam settlement offers refunds. Meanwhile, how can you recognize real post-purchase offers?

By Karen Datko Oct 5, 2010 1:23PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Online shoppers are familiar with the idea of clicking for coupons and discounts. But one wrong click can stealthily add hundreds of dollars to your credit card balance.

These so-called "coupon click fraud" scams have become pervasive enough to draw the attention of state and federal authorities.

  • Last year a federal judge in Boston approved a $10 million class-action settlement against marketer Webloyalty.
 

Public schools raise funds by selling advertising on lockers, in notes to parents and even on the roof.

By Teresa Mears Oct 5, 2010 12:02PM

If you're a parent in Peabody, Mass., soon those permission slips and other school communications won't be brought to you by the letter "P" but by your local pizza parlor.

Desperate to raise money, the school district has decided to sell advertising to local businesses on the 10,000 communiques sent annually to the parents of elementary school students. The district hopes to raise $24,000 to plug holes in the budget.

 

The district is not alone. Public schools nationwide are earning money through all sorts of advertising, reports Christina Hoag of The Associated Press.

 

Don't want to talk to somebody? Pretend to be talking to someone else.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 5, 2010 10:29AM

Quick poll: Who here has pretended to be texting or checking e-mail so you could avoid some kind of personal interaction?


Liars. I bet a whole bunch of you have done this. Heck, I've done it myself, albeit in a low-tech way. (More on that later.)

Melissa Ford wrote about "fauxting," or fake text-messaging, on BlogHer. She copped to doing it herself. But Ford isn't particularly happy about the trend, citing the potential "decline of civility and community" that could result from such closed-off public behavior.

 

Londoner crossed the U.S. on the cheap -- 5 weeks for less than $800. We can learn something from his methods.

By Karen Datko Oct 4, 2010 1:50PM

This post comes from Sierra Black at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

The other day I was walking down the street when a young man approached me and asked directions to the nearest "tube station." I live in Boston, not London. Our subway is called the "T." I happened to be walking to the nearby station myself, so we walked together and got to chatting about travel, since he obviously wasn't from around here.

The young man was from London, it turned out, and had spent the summer traveling around the United States. He'd done it on the cheap: Five weeks of travel had cost him less than $800 for food, lodging and transportation.

 

Third major lender halts actions in 23 states. Action is likely to prolong the housing crisis, but will it help homeowners?

By Teresa Mears Oct 4, 2010 1:49PM

With three major banks now admitting document problems severe enough to spur them to halt foreclosures in 23 states, the foreclosure crisis has entered a new phase.

Bank of America has joined JPMorgan Chase and GMAC (now Ally) in stopping at least some foreclosures in the states where foreclosures go through the court system.

 

The paperwork issues that led to that moratorium are so common that other loan servicers are likely to follow suit, Gretchen Morgenson reports in The New York Times.

 

Speeding is as dangerous as it is costly, but some say speed traps are meant to raise money -- not protect the public good.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 4, 2010 12:53PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

 

Technology is not only changing the way we do things, it's changing the way we avoid them. Take speeding tickets, for instance. Over the past year, one of the most popular (for motorists) and hated (for police) ways to avoid them is with a smart-phone app called Trapster.

According to its developers, this free app "combines technologies such as GPS and wireless location, voice transcription, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and SMS, with a central database server. It communicates in real time, using the Internet." The result? Your smart-phone sounds an alarm when you're approaching a known speed trap.

 

Airlines and hotels are slashing prices for students planning holiday travel.

By Karen Datko Oct 4, 2010 11:19AM

This Deal of the Daycomes fromAnnaMaria Andriotisat partner site SmartMoney.

 

A host of new -- and hard-to-find -- airfare deals could make flying Junior home for Thanksgiving cheaper this year, courtesy of an airline industry desperate for passengers. And in some cases, you don't even need to be a full-time student to take advantage of the discounts.

With domestic travel still below pre-recession levels, according to the U.S. Travel Association, travel companies are looking to college students (or their parents) to fill the empty seats.

 

Group advocating paid sick days for restaurant workers notes the risk to the public when people work sick.

By Teresa Mears Oct 4, 2010 10:46AM

As anyone who has ever worked in food service knows, if we thought about what really goes on in restaurants, most of us would never eat out.

A new report reminds us of two reasons:

  • 63.6% of restaurant workers have prepared, cooked and served food while sick.
  • 87.7% of restaurant workers don't get paid sick days.

The report, "Serving While Sick: High Risks & Low Benefits for the Nation's Restaurant Workforce, and Their Impact on the Consumer," (.pdf file) was compiled by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a group that advocates for the rights of restaurant workers.

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Can you trust Carfax?

If you're thinking about buying a car and the Carfax report comes back clean, you're good to go, right? Um, maybe not. Here are four other ways you can avoid buying a clunker.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More