Bill Brooks

Sky’s the limit on credit card interest

March 29, 2018 at 5:00 am

Credit card debt is one of the worst kinds of debt to have. Interest rates can be astronomical. It used to be that the “thumb breakers” on the street corner were the only ones loaning money and charging outrageous interest rates. The U.S. h...

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What you need to know about Medicare cards

March 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 requires that all Medicare recipients get a replacement Medicare card in 2018. One of the main reasons for this is your security. The card will no longer openly reference your Social ...

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Spring ushers in birds, bees and scammers

March 15, 2018 at 5:00 am

With warm weather come tourists, and with them come the scammers and crooks masquerading as tourists. Recently a very sharp local owner of a well-known hotel/motel called me with a concern. It seems a scammer called his establishment from s...

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Bill Brooks: DNA testing is trendy, but be wary as well

March 12, 2018 at 5:00 am

There is news today about various tests and companies that offer DNA testing. 23andMe was one of the first companies to offer DNA testing for individuals through the mail. Originally, in addition to providing users of the DNA test a peek in...

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If you feel a ‘draft,’ time to take shelter

March 08, 2018 at 5:00 am

There’s a new scam on a big upsurge in our area. It’s called the “bank draft” scam. In many circles, especially overseas, bank drafts have replaced cashier’s checks. The reason is because cashier’s checks, for the past few years, have becom...

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Repository opens many otherwise secret doors

March 05, 2018 at 5:00 am

There’s a state of Idaho website called the Idaho Supreme Court Data Repository. It’s a handy little website. Have you ever heard somebody say “TMI” (too much information)? Well here it is — on the web for us all to peruse. Is your roommate...

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Stubborn is a good ass-et for this mule

March 01, 2018 at 5:00 am

A concerned grandmother called me this week asking if I’d heard of a company called Air Mule. Her adult grandchildren are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime backpacking trip to Europe and beyond. It seems the travelers found a service ...

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Those ‘freedom checks’ might just be handcuffs

February 26, 2018 at 5:00 am

Questions and concerns about “Freedom Checks” flooded in last week. Is this a scam? In a word, no, but read on, Macduff*. If you try to research Freedom Checks online, what you’ll find is a massive amount of information, most of which is wh...

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Bill Brooks: Many will call but few are chosen

February 22, 2018 at 5:00 am

Most of the consumer calls I field each week (sometimes 200 or more) aren’t published in this column. Why? That’s a fair question.First, there isn’t enough room in the paper. Addressing a consumer’s issue and writing about that specific iss...

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Bill Brooks: Listen when these experts say ‘no’

February 19, 2018 at 5:00 am

I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of senior citizen groups recently. These people, averaging over 70 years old, are some pretty sharp cookies. Each has decades of experience being a consumer. (Many of my really good weekly consumer...

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