Don’t fall victim to financial scams

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By James PearsonCollege students may often ask themselves, “How can I make appropriate financial decisions and avert problems with my finances?”

During the week of April 7-11, DCCC held a “Money Smart Week” series of workshops and seminars on their Marple campus so individuals could become more knowledgeable about managing personal finances.

In 2002, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago established the Money Smart Week to help consumers with managing finances.

The workshops which also included the KEYS Program, “Making Money in College,” “Multi-level Marketing Companies,” “Financial Literacy,” “Identity Theft,” and “Managing Your Money in College.”

The last workshop, “Skills and Resources for Financial Literacy,” was offered on April 11. At the workshop, individuals received advice to help make appropriate financial decisions to avoid misinformation and scams.

Reference Librarian Sarah Hartman-Caverly presented the session in a classroom and online to participants.

Hartman-Caverly began her workshop by giving a by defining financial literacy: the ability to find and use information to make informed decisions about money.

During the workshop, Hartman-Caverly mentioned various reliable sources of information available at DCCC such as the KEYS Program and the Career & Counseling Center, both of which offer support to students.

The KEYS Program is a service that is designed to help students enrolled in the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Pennsylvania. The Career & Counseling Center offers students the chance to get academic, individual, and occupation counseling.

Other dependable websites such as the Delaware County Workforce Investment Board and Family Service of Chester County, can also assist students. DCWIB’s website provides people with the chance to acquire the skills needed for an occupation. The Family Service of Chester County is designed to assist people who need individual counseling.

A study done by a price comparison website called MoneyExpert.org suggested that young people are more likely to fall victim to fraud. It is vital to know what information is valid when doing research on any subject because fraud can happen to anyone.

According to Hartman-Caverly, you can avoid fraud by looking for text features and identifying key words such as bolded, italicized, and underline word text. It is necessary to understand any financial information that you read so you know how to manage a dilemma with finances correctly.

During the workshop, Hartman-Caverly discussed the things a person should consider when evaluating information during the financial research process. Each participant was given a link to a different website to better understand how to do the task.

Hartman-Caverly told the participants, “As you are evaluating, it is important to ask yourself the following questions: What kind of source is this? Is this a credible source? Is this useful?”

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling reported in 2014 that only 59 percent of U.S. adults had a strong understanding of personal finances. Therefore, Hartman-Caverly said that doing proper research is essential to comprehending which information is more accurate when managing one’s finances.

But the parts of the workshop that were the most helpful was the topic “Strategies for Financial Literacy,” which helped students to understand what to look for when reading financial information, and the “Evaluating Information Sources” lecture that improved everyone’s knowledge on whether a source is reliable to use.

“It is important to find the most up to date information when doing research,” said Hartman-Caverly during her presentation. “The timeliness of information needs to be current.”

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