How to Avoid Scams and Keep More of Your Money

Episode 9

Scams are EVERYWHERE these days! We’ve got to be educated if we hope to spot scams early and hold on to our hard-earned money. So let’s talk about how!

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Show Notes

There are a few things no one likes to admit having done, for example:

  • Eating too many slices of pizza
  • Binging an entire season of a TV show in a single day
  • Falling for an obvious scam

But, you guys, these things happen all the time! And while I certainly don’t want to tell a national audience how much pizza I ate last night, I will tell you this: MILLIONS of people are falling for seemingly obvious scams.

In fact, over a period of 12 months, 10% of American adults lost money in a phone scam. And on average, each scam victim lost $430, totaling $9.5 billion!(1) We could have sent that money toward, oh I don’t know, the national debt or something.

Unfortunately, in our world today, the lines between a real deal and total fakes get blurred pretty easily. If we hope to spot scams early and hold on to our hard-earned money, we have to be educated. So, let’s talk about what to look for and be on guard against!

Scam Slogan: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

I have a love-hate relationship with the internet. The ability to shop, pay bills, and connect with friends online makes life so much easier, right? But it also leaves us vulnerable.

You might get an email congratulating you on winning $1,000 and think to yourself, I could really use $1,000. Hey, I could put that toward my starter emergency fund and move on to paying off debt. Yeah, I think I WILL claim my prize!

But if it seems too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

And that rule isn’t exclusive to the internet. It applies to any exchange of money or information. You might ask yourself, Does this pass the gut test?

Unfortunately, even then, you might be wrong. Which reminds me . . .

Real Talk With Rachel

Winston loves Craigslist. It’s his app of choice. He’s the guy who’s always scrolling for great deals and uploading pictures of stuff to sell while everyone else is enjoying Instagram.

A while back, he decided to sell a laptop. He arranged a time and public place to meet with a woman and watched as she counted out the money—hundred-dollar bill after hundred-dollar bill.

He handed over the laptop and walked toward his car thinking about how easy a deal that was.

But when he went to pocket the money, something seemed off. The cash didn’t feel like cash. It looked different; it even smelled different. So Winston walked back toward the woman and called out, “Hey, you gave me fake money!”

And then—you guys, this next part is totally true—she ran over, took back the counterfeit cash, threw the laptop on the ground, hopped in a truck, and sped off! I mean, it was like a scene out of a movie! The only thing missing was a near-death experience.

This story just goes to show that even when the evidence is right there in front of you, a scam can be tough to spot! And that’s where the inspiration for today’s money challenge comes from.

Money Challenge: Be prepared for your next deal. Shopping and selling on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and eBay may be common—but so are scams. Get my quick checklist to make sure your next deal is legit.

Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

All this talk about how smooth scammers are and how detective-like we aren’t can make us feel pretty discouraged. But with some helpful knowledge about what’s out there, we can be better prepared to dodge scams at every turn. So, let’s talk about some common scams and how to avoid them.

You’re probably getting scammed if:

  • You win a free trip to Europe—without entering any contests!
  • You get an email or letter with tons of grammatical errors and typos.
  • A caller pressures you and requests immediate compliance.
  • You meet someone online, you fall in love, and then they suddenly need money.
  • You’re told you can make tons of money by putting in minimal hours working from home.

And before you think, Who would fall for scams like those? let me tell you that people fall for them all the time! In fact, I recently heard on the news that a woman here in but never in person. Stories like that break my heart!

The truth, as much as we hate to admit it, is that we’re all susceptible to scams. But, there are some simple things you can do to have a better chance of avoiding them:

  1. Use your brain. God filled that noggin’ of yours for a reason. As Joey Tribbiani from Friends would say, “Not just a hat rack, my friend.” Make a habit of pausing for a moment to give your common sense time to work.
  2. Wire money wisely. Never send money to someone you don’t know. And by know, I mean you’ve shook hands with them on more than one occasion and you wouldn’t have trouble finding them if the deal goes bad.
  3. Protect your information. Don’t give out your Social Security number or account numbers over the phone—businesses won’t call you to confirm information they already have on file. And don’t log into your bank account on public Wi-Fi.

Advice From the Scambuster Himself

In today’s episode, I speak with Brett Larson, morning anchor on Fox News Headlines 24/7 on SiriusXM. He’s a technology expert and covers scams all the time, so he definitely knows what he’s talking about. We discuss the top scams he sees, and he offers a few special tips to keep you safe, including:

  • Scams are getting more personal. If a friend messages you through social media claiming to have been robbed while in another country and asks you to send money over ASAP, don’t! Instead, pick up the phone to call your friend and confirm. Chances are they were hacked, not robbed.
  • Scams are still taking place over the phone. If someone from “Apple” or “the IRS” calls you and asks you for log-in information, your Social Security number, or other personal information, don’t give it out. Instead, ask them questions to make sure they’re legit. Chances are, it’s a scam and they’ll back down pretty fast.
  • Scammy emails are looking more official. If you receive an email from one of your service providers with a link, don’t click it! Instead, log in the way you normally would or call the number on the back of your latest statement to verify your next step.

And as for that Nigerian prince email? Brett says that one has been around for 20 years and counting—which means people are still falling for it, so be aware!

Scamming Websites Alert: Where Hackers Lurk

How many of you pop into Starbucks for a coffee, take a look at the news, and then do a quick check on your bank account? Yeah, totally guilty.

But I learned from a couple of our IT guys just how dangerous that can be! Chelsea and Stephen join me on today’s episode to give us the lowdown when it comes to getting hacked over the internet. Here’s what you need to know:

Anything you look at on your computer or phone while using public Wi-Fi can be viewed by anyone around you who knows just a few simple tricks. Scary, right?

To protect yourself in public spaces, make sure to:

  • Steer clear of personal sites
  • Keep your computer and phone software up-to-date
  • Install antivirus software

The Importance of Top-Notch Identity Theft Protection

Even when we put up safeguards, identity theft can happen. My mom found this out during the Equifax breach last year.

It’s important you know how to protect yourself—start to finish. That’s why I recommend Zander Insurance. They can help protect you against all types of identity theft, including financial fraud, medical identity theft, tax fraud, and more. They’ll also constantly monitor your personal information and alert you if something fishy is detected!

Winston and I use them and, guess what, even our daughters are covered! Each family member receives $1 million in reimbursement protection, which includes recovering stolen funds from your bank account. Visit Zander.com today to check out their affordable individual and family plans and to get signed up!

Keep your family’s identity safe and sleep peacefully at night.

Purchase Identity Theft Protection from Zander Insurance

 

The Almost Scam: Sneaky Sales Tactics

It’s not just hackers and scammers who are trying to get their hands on our money. Retailers also have a few tricks up their sleeves, and some of them even involve targeting our five senses as a way to encourage more spending. Here’s what I mean:

The sense of sight

Colors send a message. Red creates a feeling of urgency and makes us want to take action; blue communicates that prices are reasonable; and black makes us feel luxurious for even considering a purchase.

Roadblocks require us to walk around large, enticing displays to get where we need to go.

And grocery stores put basic necessities—like milk and eggs—toward the back of the store, forcing us to snag chips, ice cream and pizza along the way. (Okay, force may be a bit strong, but the word feels right.)

The sense of touch

Merely touching a product makes us want to buy it more. This happens to me when I’m shopping for the perfectly ripe produce or a new makeup brush.

The sense of smell

Smells trigger memories like nothing else. You know this, right? A plate of fresh-baked cookies at an open house makes you think of your childhood—so obviously you must buy that house! Stores also use smells to up the validity of their products. For example, shoe stores pump the scent of leather through the vents. Yes, please!

The sense of sound

Music sets the shopping mood. Slow music encourages you to take your time, sample all the options, and spend more than you planned. Fast pop music encourages impulse buys in a fun, casual, who-cares-about-the-budget atmosphere.

The sense of taste

Costco samples anyone? It never fails that food sampled becomes food bought. Never mind that half the time it doesn’t taste the same at home. If I try it, I’m probably going to buy it!

The Ultimate Scam Tactic

On today’s show, we talk a lot about scams and how shady people want to steal our money. But there’s another way you can lose money, and that’s when you scam yourself. It’s not only shady people who are enticing our money out of our bank accounts!

Going over budget or choosing to take on new debt are not “no big deal” situations. Those actions rob your future potential. If you want to save money, you can’t talk yourself into buying things you can’t afford or spending money on things that aren’t in the budget.

Remember what you’re working toward: creating a life you love. Not a moment you love, a life.

And if you’re looking for a great way to stay inspired and on track, let me point you in the right direction: Financial Peace University. This proven program will give you the plan AND the motivation you need so you’ll never have to worry about money again.

 

She Works Hard Saving Money

You know who doesn’t worry about money? People who save, that’s who! Back to my favorite part of the show—giving a shout-out to the folks who are sharing their stories using the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney. Here are two of the best from today’s episode:

“Negril, Jamaica last week. Cash-flowed and our first trip since being credit card debt-free. We also cash-flowed replacement items when the airline lost our luggage.” — Kathy

“It’s the end of the month, so it’s my wife’s favorite time! Time to color in the saving goals we have accomplished! We budgeted, we have stuck to it, and we have achieved our goals for June! Living like no one else, so later we can live like no one else!” — Daniel

Alright folks, you know what’s out there when it comes to scams, so arm yourself. Use your brain and protect that money so you can create a life you love!

Read the full transcript

– Oh my gosh, you guys, I just won a $1,000. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. So scams are everywhere, you guys. An estimated one in every 10 American adults have lost money in a phone scam just in the last 12 months according to Market Watch. On average each scam victim lost $430. That totals about $9.5 billion overall. Yeah, like, man, that could have been put to our national debt, but it’s getting in the hands of these bad people. So here are some ways you know if you are getting scammed. It’s a free trip to Europe for two weeks. Yeah, probably a scam. If the offer seems too good to be true, it is. If an email or a letter or a text message you receive has grammatical errors, probably a scam. Because if it’s from an official bank or somewhere like that there’s not going to be grammatical errors, so watch out for those. Also, if there’s someone in person and they are pressuring you into a deal or something that you have to do immediately or there’s like this urgency involved, more than likely a scam. Also, this is so sad it breaks my heart, but there’s also online dating scams where people, it’s basically like catfish, they pretend to be someone and get this woman or man to fall in love with them and tell them that they have like cancer, or that they’ve lost all of their money, and they need them to wire them money. People give people that they’ve never met their money. Oh, so terrible. Actually a lady here in Nashville she was on the local news, it happened to her. She gave this man she’d never met before through Facebook $130,000. So sad, so watch out. Love can be tragic at times. Online dating scams, watch out. Also, pyramid schemes and work at home scams, these are real, too. If someone says, oh you can make $20,000 in two weeks being at home and only working 20 minutes a day, probably a scam, not true. So always remember the way to arm yourself with information not to be scammed is to use your brain people. Remember this, okay, God gave you something here in between your ears and in your head. It’s more than a hat rack, my friends. Joey from Friends, anyone, anyone? Okay, but really, be smart about it, okay. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Amazon is not gonna just send you $1,000. Also, don’t ever wire anyone money that you do not know. I don’t even know how to wire money, but it’s out there and people do it. So if you don’t know the person, don’t do it. Also, don’t look at sensitive information on public Wi-Fi. Like do not look at your bank accounts at Panera, it’s very dangerous. But when it comes to scams I want you to be on guard because, remember, you work hard for the money that you make and I don’t wanna see it go to waste to someone that is completely scamming you. So scams are everywhere, which reminds me of the time that Winston had a deal go wrong. Craigslist is kind of like a world I’m not super familiar with, but Winston loves Craigslist. He like has the app on his phone so he can like take pictures of something, post something, get rid of things quickly. Like it’s just it’s part of his DNA, and so he always is up to sell something. He got a new laptop, this was like four years ago, and he had his old laptop. He was like, well, I’m just gonna sell it on Craigslist. Craigslist offer came up that this lady wanted to buy it. It was like, oh great! Turns out he came home and he said, “You will never believe what just happened to me.” I was like, “What, what happened?” So he gets out of his car apparently with the laptop and he gets on the phone with the lady and he can’t like super understand her well. He’s like looking for her, and he’s like, I just saw this lady in a crowd on her cell phone and we kind of make eye contact. He was like, oh okay, okay. And she has the money, so she counts out the hundreds to the amount that he was selling it for. He hands her the laptop, she hands him the money, and she just like takes off. He’s like, oh okay. So he’s like that was a great deal, that’s easy. So he’s walking back to his truck, and he flips open the first dollar bill and he was like hmm. And he flips up the second and the third and he kept going. Turns out it was counterfeit money. He was like smelling it. Yeah, he was like this is not, this is not right. So he’s yelling at her and he’s like, “Wait! “Wait, you gave me fake money!” He’s like chasing after her. She turns around and she looks at him, and she was like scared to death looking. So she grabs the money out of his hands, throws down the laptop, jumps in this sketchy car, and I wish I could say they like pulled like a weapon out and he almost died, but that didn’t happen, thank God, but they drove off. It could have happened. Totally could have happened! It didn’t, so it was just a great story, but I couldn’t believe it because, honestly, if it was me, hey, I probably wouldn’t have even realized it was counterfeit money till I got home and like counted everything. But it was just a good reminder to be careful. Be careful when you’re doing deals. So the money challenge for this episode is for you to be prepared when you’re doing deals. Make sure to click the link in the description because we have a whole checklist on how to be safe when you are buying or selling off Craigslist. I contacted my friends over at Fox News because they do reporting on scams all the time, so I got to sit down and talk to one of their reporters all about scams, so check this out. Hey guys, we are here with Brett Larson, who is host of Fox News Headlines and also a technology expert. He reports on technology. This is his world, so Brett thank you so much for being on. I so appreciate it. – Rachel, thanks for having me. – Okay, so tell me, this is your world learning about scams and knowing all about it, so what are the top scams you can think of in America today that you see people falling for constantly? – I mean, it’s almost there’s so many of them now it’s almost hard to pick. You’ve got the IRS scam where “the IRS is going to call you at home,” which by the way they’re never going to do. Or it’s the email from the Nigerian prince which I have to say I have been seeing that email for over 20 years, which unfortunately that means it’s still working. – It’s still there. Well I remember getting it for the first time and I was like, wait, what? And then you get it constantly. Yep, it’s one of those, yes, for sure. – It’s a very exciting thing when you get it, and it’s understandable that people might think, okay, so I just gotta give somebody my bank account information and I’m gonna get a lot of money. That’s not the way it’s going to work ever. Basically, the rule of thumb I always say, it’s the one we’ve always heard: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. The problem is because of social media these scams have become more personalized to the point where people can hack into a friend’s Facebook account, and then start reaching out to you as though they are your friend and say things like, – Yes. – Hey, I’m stuck in another country. Can you wire me some money? I was robbed. I lost my passport. They got my room key and I’m sitting in a coffee shop. Something like that feels very true. It’s coming from someone you know. – Right. – Never is that going to be accurate. It actually happened to me. I was traveling several years ago. I was in Europe, and a coworker reached out to me and said, hey, I’m in Europe, I’ve just been robbed, I don’t have any money, and I said, hey, good news, I’m in Europe too! – I’m here, too! – Yeah, where are you? Happy to meet you, happy to help. Give me your location and how I can reach you. Sure enough that friend suddenly blocked me, so clearly that’s a scam. – That is so crazy. So scammers, really, even over the past decade they’ve gotten very good at what they do. They’re personalizing situations just like you’re talking about. – Absolutely. – So when I hear of a scam, you know, the Nigerian prince, that whole thing, now we kind of know it’s kind of ridiculous. But are you finding that everyday people, smart, intelligent people are falling for these? Like who are the types of people you’re seeing that are falling for these scams? – Everybody, everybody is falling for it. And I think it’s kind of a side effect of the more connected we are. You know our banking information comes to us now by way of an email. We get alerts on our phone. These are the exact same ways that these hackers can reach out to us. Just in the last week a colleague of mine got an email “from Apple” that said, hey, we’re having a hard time connecting or your credit card is expired. It’s always some sort of nonsense sounding thing where you think, well, if my credit card stopped working I would have heard something about that, or something else would have stopped working. – Right. – Sure enough if you follow the link, and this is the thing, when you follow the link everything you see is gonna look exactly like what it should see, and that’s what makes it a little bit more tricky. But here’s my piece of advice on all of this stuff, if you get an email from your bank, if you get an email from Apple or your internet service provider, do not under any, don’t click on the link in the email. Reach out to them the way that you normally would. Log into your email the way that you normally would. Log into your web service provider or your bank or whatever service is saying there’s something wrong. Don’t click on the link in the email. Log in the normal way and check and see if it’s actually legitimate. Or pick up the phone and call the 800 number that’s on the back of a statement that you might have. Because they’re not, the bank is not gonna email you and say, hey, we’re suddenly needing to– – [Rachel] Get your information. – And update your social security number, or whatever. It sounds legitimate, but it’s not. – Yes, well I was even on a website today on my phone looking at a recipe and some ad pops up and it’s like you won $1,000. I mean just this morning, and I’m like ugh it’s almost like a virus it feels like on my phone, I’m trying to get out of it. So are companies you know that, or people that are scammers, this is what they do, are you finding that they’re getting caught? Is it really easy or are they slipping under the radar and it’s just constantly gonna be there? – Unfortunately I think this is something we’re gonna be dealing with for a long time because of the way the internet works. They can be anywhere in the world. They can be in any country. They can be in a place where our laws can’t quite reach them to not only catch them for what they’re doing, but stop them from what they’re doing. In many instances they can spoof. They can call you from a phone number that looks like a number that would be to the person who lives right next door to you. And they can email you from places that are the same websites that we would go to normally. So they’ve become very sophisticated, which means fighting them you have to be a little more savvy, and it is increasingly more difficult to do that. – Yeah, well it’s just good I think for all of us to know and to even hear from you, because it’s like even just the knowledge of it being on the forefront of our minds just to be aware so that we’re not the ones scamming and all of our hard earned money is getting swept away to a scammer. – Yeah, you don’t ever want to do it. I mean, also, you know don’t give out, don’t give your Social Security number to someone who calls you at home. Again, the IRS is not gonna call you. The FBI is not gonna call you at home. If any government agency needs to get in touch with you, they’re probably gonna send you a certified letter in the mail. Even then, just double check and make sure that everything is legitimate on that. The IRS is not gonna call you. And if they do, they’re gonna have more information about you than oftentimes these “IRS agents” who call you do. I got called recently from someone who said they were calling me from Apple because my iCloud account had been suspended. I said, oh okay, that’s great, tell me what’s the name on that iCloud account? It was some other person’s name. There’s always gonna be if you push back a little bit to get a little more information out of them. Oh your car warranty has expired. Oh really, okay, which car is that for? Don’t tell them, oh is this for my Acura or is this for my Chevy? No, no, no. Don’t tell them that. – Have them give you that information. – Ask them, which car is that for then? – That’s good. – Normally when you start asking questions they’re gonna back down really fast. – That’s so good, yeah. Well I would not wanna be a scammer and call you. Because you know exactly what to say. – I know because I actually think it’s a lot of fun, because I want to see how long I can keep them on the phone. – It’s like a game, totally. – Before they crack. – So great, well thank you so much Brett. So appreciate all this information and for being on. This is great, great stuff to know, so thank you. – Thanks for having me. – As I mentioned earlier, it is very risky to put personal information on your computer when you are in a public Wi-Fi area. So I decided to bring in experts who know this world way better than I do. Two guys actually from our IT department, Stephen and Chelsea, to show us how easy it is to actually get hacked into. So I said that very confidently that it’s really easy to be hacked into. Is it easy if you’re on public Wi-Fi? – Yeah, it can be pretty easy actually. – It can? – Yeah. – So let’s pretend we’re at Starbucks or at Panera and we’re using the public Wi-Fi. Give me like the basic dumbed down version that I can understand of like how does someone hack in and see what I’m seeing? – Well it’s a lot like talking on a phone in a big room, public room, right? You can hear. People in the room can hear. – Yes. – Same thing on public Wi-Fi. People on that Wi-Fi can kind of hear what’s going on on your side, so it’s a lot like that. – So Stephen, when I like, if I’m a hacker and I have my computer, what’s like the couple of things people do to actually get into someone else’s computer? – They’re just gonna be watching to see what type of traffic, what sites you’re going to, and thing like that. We like to say don’t log into your bank when you’re on a public Wi-Fi. Anything personal, save that for when you’re at home, that type of things because there’s always, it’s a shared space with everybody, and you’re all on the same network. So keep that stuff private. – Okay, so how can someone do it? Like if you have a laptop, how does a hacker do it? – They’re joining to the same thing that you are, so they can just look around. There’s several really easy to do programs and utilities that you can just tick off a few things and it goes out and looks and says who all is here with me? Where you are at and, hey, what are you doing? – I heard that you can actually even mirror the image of someone else’s computer. Like if they’re scrolling through Facebook, you can pull up their computer image and watch them scroll and watch them do exactly what they’re doing. Is that true? – There are definitely ways to do that for sure. – And someone who knows what they’re doing, they can do that? – Yes. – Public Wi-Fi. – Yep, for sure. – You guys, that’s like crazy to me. So is it something that you can guard against? Like is there things you can have on your computer? ‘Cause I have a Mac, I see you have Windows here, is there a difference? Are there programs or things we should be careful of and watch out for? – There are some differences. You definitely want to, the biggest thing is just being careful like Stephen said. Just be careful what you’re doing. Don’t do anything sensitive. But always kind of keep things up to date, both Windows and Mac have regular cycles that they update the laptops or the computers. Keep those things patched. Always have an antivirus or something like that just kind of out there. – Okay. – It just helps keep those shields up a little bit so that you can do what you want, hop off, and they can do what they want. – Okay, so it’s so funny to me because I’m so not in this IT world and I don’t really know much about computers. But from your experience, ’cause there’s a lot of people out there that are very knowledgeable when it comes to this whole world. – Absolutely. – So would you say in confidence that, yeah, there’s a lot of people that probably know how to hack into things. – Oh yes. – Yes. – More than I realize. – Oh yes, absolutely. – Are y’all part of like groups? Are y’all hackers? – We can’t tell. – There you go, there you go, it’s all secretive. Okay, that’s so good. It’s just good to be reminded and to be aware, and for all of us out there, do not look at sensitive information on public Wi-Fi because as they just explained it’s pretty easy to hack into someone’s computer so be aware. So good, thank you guys so much for coming on and getting us some good information. – You bet. – Absolutely. – We appreciate it. – Thank you. – There are so many scams out there. Identity theft is obviously a very real thing that unfortunately happens to people just like you and me all the time. Even my mom was affected with the Equifax breach last year. So I want to make sure that you know how to protect yourself, your precious time, and your money. You’ve heard me talk about Zander Insurance, and they have great life insurance, but they also have top-notch identity theft protection. They protect against all types of identity theft, including financial fraud, medical ID theft, tax fraud, and so much more. They will also monitor your personal information and alert you via email when changes are detected. Winston and I use them, and guess what, even our daughters are covered. Yes, kids are covered for free on the family plan, and that takes care of all the work to recover your identity should something happen. Each member also receives $1 million of reimbursement protection, and that includes stolen funds from your bank account. Visit zander.com today and check out their affordable individual and family plans and get signed up. So let’s head back to the studio and unpack more ways you can lose your money. We’ve been talking about scams that are, well, more immoral if you will, like people actually stealing from you, like bad, bad people. But there also are some marketing tricks that stores use that aren’t quite scams, but, well, they’re tricks to help get your money. Retailers will use your five senses to manipulate you. All of our senses that are so powerful and it affects the way we purchase things. So they use our sight to get us to buy things. What happens is colors are powerful things. When things are red, what that means is to take action. It’s sales, get it quick! It has this sense of urgency in people we don’t even realize. Blue always comes across as more reasonable prices, like, oh, I can afford this. This is good, I can buy this. When maybe you can’t, but well manipulation. Then black is always like very luxurious and higher prices. So you may take your time a little bit with this, but it’s just this ultimate luxury that gets you to want something. Yeah, so they in their signage will use colors to manipulate you. They also use sight as you’re navigating through stores. So they’ll actually use intentional road blocks to have you go around something to see something else. They also can make an illusion of bulk bargains. So like Halloween, I always think about this, when you go into Target or your grocery store and there’s like all this candy, and it just feels like it’s all this quantity of things, I could just buy something and it’s not a big deal. Yes, the illusion. And also studies have shown that people are more likely to buy something that is in the center of the display. All of your eyes focus on the center, so the stores want you to get, well, put it in the center. We all know the old grocery store trick, yes, where they put milk and eggs in the back of the store so you have to walk through the aisles and see things, and you buy things on impulse that normally didn’t want to buy, a.k.a Doritos. What? Doritos. All the time, always. And they also use touch, the sense of touch, because what happens is when you touch products you are more likely to buy them. Crazy, but it’s true. So you think about grocery stores as well with all the produce, you go and you touch it and you feel something, the more likely you are to buy them. My favorite thing in the world,makeup brushes. Like I think about Sephora and all these beautiful, wonderful stores and you walk in and they have samples of everything and you get to see it. You’re like, oh yeah, that’s nice. You hear the Just sounds like you’re gonna be beautiful, right? You’re like, I gotta buy it! All of it together, the sense of touch, well, you’re more likely to buy things. Smell, well, smells always get us don’t they? I mean, you see popcorn, what do you think of, the movies. When you walk in it’s like, oh yeah, we’ll just buy some popcorn, no big deal. ‘Cause in fact, smell is the number one sense that triggers your memory. So when things like homemade cookies are being baked, it brings back memories of childhood, and you feel good and warm inside and more likely to buy something. Also, when you go into the shoe department of a store, sometimes they actually put the scent of leather through the vents so you walk in and it smells like leather. I mean, I can’t even believe it’s possible, but it is, and it works, yeah, so be careful. Then also sound, this is an important one, because music can actually make things feel more expensive, which is very interesting, and it taps into your emotion. So when you have fast pop music, I always think of like Forever 21 or kind of like more teeny type stores, there’s always loud pop music and it gets you to have impulse purchases. You’re like, oh yeah, it’s not that big of a deal. These sunglasses are like two bucks. I’ll buy ’em, sure why not? And it gets you to buy impulse things. Then the slow music, more of the time in luxury stores, you take your time, it’s calm and relaxing, the sales person talks to you, brings you possibly even food or a drink over and you take your time, and it sets the mood for you to prepare to buy something more expensive. Last but not least, taste. Yes, thank you Costco samples, right? When you go into places like Costco or even the grocery store, they have things here and you’re like, oh sure I’ll taste this crazy cheese configuration thing. Then you eat and it’s like that is so good, how do you do it? They’re like, oh just buy these two products and you put them together. Then you go home, you make it, and it never tastes the same, does it? Nope, never, but they got you to buy it. It’s amazing. While, again, these things are not scams, make sure that you’re aware so when you’re walking into a retailer you know what they are thinking about, because they are smart and sometimes, well, we’re not and we spend money we shouldn’t. So while there’s immoral scammers out there, there’s retailers who are manipulating you into buying things we’re even unaware of, there’s also the scam of you scamming yourself. That’s right. The way you can scam yourself is when you say, oh, it’s just $20. It’s not that big of a deal. If we’re out of the budget 20 bucks who cares? Or, I mean, we really deserve this vacation. Just charge it on the credit card. It’s not that big of a deal. We’ll be fine. Listen, you cannot talk yourself into things that you cannot afford or that are not in the budget. Remember, being intentional with your money, working to get out of debt, is the freedom that you’re going to have not to worry about your money. So stop cheating yourself out of your own money, and start being disciplined. You can also start a membership to Financial Peace University as you’re on this journey to keep you inspired and on track. This is a proven program that will teach you how to never worry about money again. You guys, that’s the goal, isn’t it? To never worry about money. So make sure to click the link in the description to get started. But something that was not a scam was the $50 date night challenge that happened last episode. If you’ve not watched the last episode, make sure to go back, see the two dates that went on, so that you can understand this because it was a big challenge, and, well, the winner is Team Chad! Oh, Diana, it was a great try. You tried really hard Diana, but just didn’t beat Chad according to the votes. Chad is the winner, congrats! And there are people that are not worried about their money, and they’re using the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney. That’s right, my favorite part of the show is here to celebrate you guys and what you have saved up for. Kathy said, “Went to Jamaica last week. “Cash flowed and our first trip since being “credit card debt free.” Kathy, love it! “We also cash flowed replacement items “when the airline lost our luggage.” So sorry Kathy, worst thing ever. Daniel said, Daniel, that’s right. He works hard saving money, too! Fellas come on, take the hashtag too. Daniel, I see you. Daniels said, “It’s the end of the month, “so it’s my wife’s favorite time! “Time to color in the savings goals we have accomplished! “We budgeted, we have stuck to it, “and we have achieved our goals for June! “Living like no one else, “so later we can live like no one else!” Tina said ,”Paid off our condo early “a couple of months ago. “I sort of forget about it.” Tina, don’t forget about paying for your condo. “Then this little beauty came in the mail today. “Ah, what a great feeling. “Now we are looking forward to getting one of these “for our house, which is realistic thanks to “Financial Peace University.” Oh, I love it Tina, great job! Kelly said, “Went to Florence! “Got great, inexpensive plane tickets through deal websites, “The Flight Deal, and explored the city “using local books from the library “and itineraries from websites “so that we had each day planned.” I love it. You guys, remember, I wanna know what you’re saving up for or what you have saved up for, and we put it on the show. So make sure to use the hashtag #sheworkshardsavingmoney. We love to see these pictures of you guys: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Do it, can’t wait to check them out. Remember, with email, phone, and social media, we have to be careful with what information we put out there. In our digital world today it is so easy to be taken advantage of. Remember, use your brain people. I want to say thank you so much to Fox News and Brett Larson, and also to Chelsea and Stephen for coming on the show today. Make sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. Thank you guys so much for watching, and remember to take control of your money and create a life you love.