Here are this week’s 5 Things You Should Know.
01. Don’t post a picture of your flight confirmation number and name on Social Media
I have seen multiple times people publicly posting picture of their flight confirmation number and name. This is not a good idea if one of your “friends” has malicious intent. This allows anyone who sees it to make changes to your trip, and even cancel it.
Also make sure to use your own email address for those confirmations. Using someone else’s email address gives them power to cancel your trip.
02. The HPV vaccine is just as useful for men as is it is for women
HPV is transmitted between people. That means guy gives to girl, girl gives to another guy etc. If one of those people are vaccinated you can cut the transmission rate down. Even if the vaccine’s target strains typically affect women, it is still better for men to NOT be a vector. Also some strains can cause genital warts in men.
CDC adult vaccine schedule recommends HPV vaccine for all men between 19-21 years old, only at-risk men 22-26 years old, and not for men 27+.
03. In case your identity is ever compromised…
Identitytheft.gov is a fantastic resource. With more and more data breaches happening, I thought this was worth sharing. It’s all too easy for people to compromise your identity. If you go to the identitytheft.gov though, you can talk to an actual person. They also have an extremely easy wizard to click through your situation and it will auto-generate a “Recovery Plan” including dispute letters, steps to contact law enforcement, putting credit freezes, and basically protecting yourself. It also explains your rights pretty well too.
Basically, best way I know to help prevent identity theft is to place a security freeze on all of your credit bureau files as well as create an IRS Identity Protection PIN (if allowed). Doing these steps will stop criminals dead in their tracks as they won’t be able to apply for credit in your name without the unique PINs assigned to you by each agency.
Some people will complain that it’s an inconvenience. I can, from personal experience, tell that the 5 minutes it takes to unlock my credit files when I need to apply for credit is way more convenient than the weeks/months it takes to correctly identity theft issues after they have occurred.
04. About Cash Back Scam at Gas Stations
Some gas stations only take debit or cash. When you use your debit card, sometimes you may notice on your debit card bill that the charge for gas is a little higher than it should be. Some stations are known to add small amount (about $1-$5) cash back to your transaction. This is always a good reason to watch your statements. Arco (BP) has been is notorious at this. They have been scamming people in Oregon for years off their debit cards that lead to a $400 million dollar class action suit and new laws in Oregon. This scam is not limited to Oregon.
05. About JobCorp for low-income individuals
The US Dept. of Labor has a little-known job training program called JobCorp for low-income individuals. Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. When you’re in the program, they provide you housing, meals, basic medical care and a living allowance. The program is free.
If you’re a minor, you do need a parent’s signature, but 18 -24 year olds certainly don’t. If you have a documented disability, the age limit could be waived. While the things they train you for can take 8 to 12 months, some stay in the program for up to two years. You can leave the program at any time. Here is their main page. Here is the eligibility fact sheet.