Common Scams to Be Aware Of and Prepare For – Part 1

Common Scams to Be Aware Of and Prepare For

So many scams, too little time to stay ahead of them all. Cyber criminals are not nice people, but they certainly are creative; always thinking of new ways to scam you. Scammers are opportunists working in multiple areas at the same time. Their motivation is money. They will either access your personal information and sell it to others or easily steal your money outright.

You may not know about every scam that’s on the internet or offline in the real world. But there are common ways of how you can be aware of and prepared for all potential scams. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn about old and new scams.

Common Scams to Be on the Look Out For

In Part 1 of our series on common scams and new scams that are ever emerging, you will notice a persistent theme of how you can be prepared. Even if a brand-new scheme designed to fool you rears it’s ugly head for the first time, there are consistent things you can do to protect yourself.

Charity Scams

Types of charity scams include:

Crowd Sourcing Scams:  Don’t take for granted that all is legit. Scrutinize the validity of the crowding funding request.

Post Tragedy Scams:  When a tragedy strikes, scammers will sometimes spoof the website or create a site that closely resembles the site of a legitimate donation site.

Firefighter, Police and Military Scams:  These scammers will often use familiar or local organizations to build trust and take people off guard.   Some will directly target military veterans and their families.

Warning Signs of Charity Scams:

  1. Requests for cash, money wire, or gift card donations can be a red flag. Use a credit card instead.
  2. Non-tax deductible donations are a red flag that a charity may not be legitimate.
  3. Pressure Tactics: Real charities will never use a hard sell or pressure tactics to solicit a donation.
  4. Fake information: Charitable donation websites almost always end with .org and domains will always start with https:// not http:// without the “s”.

Fake Charity Scams:

Beware of fake charities based related to common world issues, such as what happened during the pandemic. Scammers prey on the emotions of people who want to help those in need of disaster relief, such as during war or refugees fleeing their country for safety or a better life.  Charity and disaster fraud often increases during the holiday season.

Cybercriminals will also call people thanking them for a previous donation, a donation which may have not been made. Veteran fraud and disaster fraud are often the premise used for fake charity scams.

Marketplace Scams

There are two categories within marketplace scams.

Non-Payment Scam:   In a non-payment scam, cybercriminals will use a phony screenshot of a completed cash transfer to trick a victim into shipping an item.

Non-Delivery Scams:  Scammers trick victims into paying for goods and services that are never delivered.  They offer prices that are almost too good to be true.

Non-delivery scams advertise popular items and services at deeply discounted prices and ask for payment using gift cards or cash payment through a payment app. Marketplace scams come in many forms so always be cautious.

Prevention Tips:

  1. Know your marketplace:  When shopping online, do so on trusted sources with secure processing and payment policies that protect consumers.
  2. Use a credit card:  Credit card companies have systems and policies in place to protect against a fraud.
  3. Stay on the platform you are shopping on:  Scammers will try to bait their victims into leaving the marketplace platform for messaging and payment.

Display Name Scams

Display name spoofing occurs when the cybercriminal manipulates the sender’s display name or makes the display name look like an email address.  Seeing a legitimate display name deceives you into believing that it’s from a trusted email source.

If a sender looks familiar, but the message makes unusual requests, it is best to contact the person or company directly through another method of contact.

Delivery Scams

Types include:

Pet Delivery Scams: These are fake ads where payment is required upfront.

  • Protect yourself asking to see the pet in person before you pay.

Fake Delivery Notifications:  Here, scammers mimic big name online shopping or shipping companies in their delivery scam messages. They claim there is a problem with the delivery of your package, or you need to confirm something has been delivered.

  • Be cautious of clicking on links or downloading attachments.  Never enter personal information when requested. Verify the tracking number and status of a delivery through the companies’ official website. 

Non-Delivery Scams:  An example of a non-delivery scam in this training involves making a purchase online, but never receiving the order or confirmation details of the purchase.  Only make purchases on reputable websites.

  • When you do make an order, follow up immediately if you don’t receive a confirmation of your order. Check the address on the website and phone number. 

If you are unable to make contact and your credit card was charged by a non-delivery scammer, you should call your credit card company and consider deactivating the card.

Transportation Scams

Scammers will make phone calls or send messages via text or email claiming that your flight has been delayed or cancelled. Messages will likely include links that offer a refund for the flight or an opportunity to rebook for a small fee.  Airlines will never ask for a fee to rebook. Contact your airline directly on their website or call them to enquire about the status of your flight.

Cyberthieves also set up fake websites or send messages offering deals on rental cars as well. Always verify the URL and company phone number before booking. In your unsure, going to directly to the official website is always better than clicking a link.

Learn the dangers of freight scams.  Be on the look out for gifts and rewards being offered by transportation companies. Tread carefully and do your research before jumping on a deal that may be a scam created to steal your information or your money.


Most scams come to us when we have our guard down. They prey on our emotions by using fear filled headlines or threats of potential loss of accounts or hard-earned dollars. It’s not uncommon to receive an email, phone call, or text that is related to something we have already done.

You may be expecting a package that you ordered a few days earlier. You may have booked a flight.  Maybe you happen to be needing of a product or service. That fact that relevant messages come to us are simply a coincidence. When you receive a text or email out of the blue, always ask the question; “Is this real? Or is it a scam?”

Some scams also encourage users to download malicious apps in order to receive a reward or discount. This does not prey on our fear, but entices a natural human desire for personal gain. Be cautious of all app downloads in every situation.

In one second you could infect your devices with malware to give away personal login information. However, it only takes a few seconds more to carefully review the message to verify it’s legit. When in doubt, go to Google and search for the company. Visit their website directly. Or, login to trusted websites directly at the source from a personal bookmark, not though an email link.

If an email or text message lines up with a legitimate notice about a login verification or purchase you just made, it’s still a good idea to only click the link after you’ve double checked that it’s not going you to a different site.  This can be done by hovering over the link to see the destination.

Continue to educate yourself on how to spot scams, while being mindful that exercising caution is your first best step to protecting yourself.   Be prepared by thinking twice before you click or react to any message or phone call. Take a breath and take the time to do a bit of research. I will save you a world of trouble.

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Should You Teach Your Kids About Finances and Investments From a Young Age?

How to teach your kids about finance and investments

Financial literacy is an integral part of adult life.  As a parent, you may be worried about your kids receiving adequate financial education in order to enter adulthood ready and aware of the many aspects of financial self-sufficiency.

Teaching your kids about finances from a young age can be tricky.  They may be less inclined to entertain themselves with concepts they have little practical experience with and may find hard to grasp.

However, a certain degree of financial literacy can be incredibly beneficial at a young age, as it lays the foundation on which to build on as your kids grow older and get closer to adulthood.

For this reason, you may be wondering about the basic materials to get started to learn about trading and investments, as well as other key financial concepts.

The internet offers plenty of value in the form of online courses, blogs, webinars, and more to get you started. So, you can gradually introduce your kids to basic ideas and gradually implement more complex subjects as they go along.

How to Teach Your Kids About Finance and Investments

One thing to remember when starting to teach your kids about finances is patience.

Keep in mind that they may find certain ideas difficult to grasp and you are likely to need simplified explanations for complex topics.  Patience will play a key role in maintaining the interest of your kids without discouraging them from absorbing complex information.

However, there are a few key factors you can consider to make the process both engaging and effective for your kids.

Create a Sense of Progression

In order to keep your kids engaged in the process of learning about finance and investing, make sure to set up the learning process in a linear manner that shows clear signs of progression, which will give them a sense of accomplishment once they learn a particular concept.

Learning how to teach your kids about investing can be a challenging task at first, but setting clear boundaries and rewarding them for their newly found knowledge can go a long way in keeping them engaged.

Do Not Overwhelm With Information

Depending on the age of your kids, too much information may overwhelm them. Therefore, it is essential to come up with some sort of a curriculum that balances the daily workload for your kids. This allows them to have the free time to reflect on what they have learned and the learning process does not turn into a cumbersome task.

Dividing the learning resources into smaller, more manageable tasks will also reduce your stress during the teaching process, while placing less strain on your kids as well. There are also apps that can help kids learn financial skills.

Reaffirm Covered Topics

It is essential to reaffirm already covered topics by small tests and questions that will help your kids remember key concepts time and time again.

Practice makes perfect, which is why it is important to mention covered topics in daily life from time to time.  This also helps the youngsters better understand the practical meaning of the concepts they have studied.

Practice Makes Perfect

When you are teaching your kids about investments and trading, nothing can be as effective as allowing them to trade using a demo account.

The simulated funds will give them a clear set of boundaries and they will be able to learn through trial and error.  Your kids will get a better sense of what works and what does not, as well as the very real financial risks associated with reckless trading and uninformed decision making.

Benefits of Teaching Your Kids About Finance and Investments

Benefits of Teaching Your Kids About Finance and Investments

The advantages of teaching your kids about the importance of financial literacy from a young age can make things much more manageable for them once they have reached adulthood.

While the process of teaching might seem challenging at first, seeing some progress is likely to motivate you, as well as your kids to keep going.

Adding gamified elements to the teaching process can also make it more enjoyable and fun, as opposed to it feeling like a chore.

Being patient and thorough with your lessons, while also allowing your kids to trade using demo  accounts, can provide a good mix of theory and practice and lead to a balanced learning experience.

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Discovering Together: Crafting Magical Moments While Traveling with Kids

There’s something truly enchanting about the prospect of seeing the world through the eyes of a child. Every step, every new discovery becomes a monumental event, brimming with wonder and the potential for magic. As a parent or caregiver, these precious moments are not just a window into an innocently joyful worldview but a gateway for crafting lifetime memories.

Discovering the world with your kids is not just about travel; it’s about the shared experience and the essence of togetherness that such adventures bring. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or preparing for your first big adventure with little ones in tow, riding the globe with your budding explorers can be one of life’s most rewarding adventures.

Bonding Experiences That Last a Lifetime

The close-knit bonds formed during family trips are unique and enduring. As parents, it’s a time to be fully present, sharing in the amazement that travel invariably brings. These shared experiences not only foster stronger family ties but also provide the backdrop for countless future ‘remember when’s – the family lore that is cherished and retold for years to come.

Educational Opportunities Disguised as Fun

Kids don’t distinguish between education and entertainment when they’re having fun, and traveling is a master at blending the two. Whether it’s learning about Roman history at the Colosseum, brushing up on marine biology at a coral reef, or simply picking up a few words of a new language, every trip offers lessons that last a lifetime.

Exposure to Diverse Cultures Fosters Understanding

There’s no substitute for the firsthand experience of encountering different cultures and ways of life. These experiences not only broaden your children’s horizons but also instill a sense of respect and understanding for the world’s diversity, fostering the seeds of a global citizen. Knowing that people may look, dress, and practice their beliefs differently, but at the core, we are all human, fosters empathy and compassion.

Unique Accommodation for a Memorable Experience

When planning a getaway, consider stepping away from the ordinary and exploring unique accommodation options that promise a memorable experience. One such option that combines the charm of nature with comfort is holiday caravan parks. These parks offer a distinct and immersive stay, allowing you to connect with the surroundings in a way traditional accommodations may not provide. Whether you choose to explore as a potential option for your next adventure or opt for another unique accommodation, the key is to embrace the opportunity for a distinctive and memorable experience that goes beyond the conventional. From waking up to the sound of birdsong to stargazing at night, holiday caravan parks offer a tranquil escape.

Engaging Activities for All Ages

Discovering Together: Engaging Activities for All Ages While Travelling

Planning a mix of activities that cater to different age groups ensures that everyone is involved and having fun. Museums and interactive exhibits, national parks with easy trails or beaches for sandcastle-building, there’s something for everyone.

For instance, a trip to the beach can include building sandcastles with younger kids, while older ones can go snorkeling or take surfing lessons. A visit to a historical site can involve storytelling and scavenger hunts for little ones, while teenagers can learn more about the culture and history through guided tours or immersive experiences.

Learning Experiences on the Go

Encourage your children to be curious and engage with the environment. Whether it’s teaching them to read a map, shop at a local market, or pick up tidbits about the area’s history, every moment is an opportunity to learn.

If the trip involves air travel, get kids involved by letting them choose a souvenir from the duty-free shop or tracking the flight path on a map. Train journeys can be made fun through games like spotting license plates or counting cows.

Creating Lasting Memories

Bring along a camera and a travel journal to document your adventures. These tools not only capture the moment but also encourage conversation and retrospection, cementing the experience in your children’s memories. You can also involve them in planning and creating an itinerary, giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility for the trip. When you look back at these memories years down the line, you’ll realize that traveling with your kids was not just about seeing the world, but also about experiencing it together and creating unforgettable memories along the way.

Packing Smart

The key to successful family travel is packing efficiency. Essentials include clothes for layering, durable shoes, health and safety items, and comfort objects for younger children. Digital entertainment can also be a lifesaver during long flights or car rides.

Safety First, Fun Second

Prioritize safety by ensuring your children understand the basics of stranger danger and have contact information on them at all times. Invest in child locator devices, discuss safe behaviors in unfamiliar places, and always keep a first-aid kit handy.

Traveling with children is a rich tapestry woven from moments of joy, challenges, and invaluable learning experiences. It’s a unique journey that shapes not just the individual but the family as a whole, embedding within each member a treasure trove of memories. As you steer through the wide-eyed wonder of discovery, the laughter, and the shared stories, remember that these are the foundations of a legacy that will accompany your children throughout their lives.

Wherever your travels may take you, cherish each step and recognize that in every moment of journeying together, the world becomes a little more connected, and your family narrative a little more vibrant. Embrace the adventure, for it is within these expeditions that the essence of family unfolds.

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The Cognitive Benefits of Math Coloring in Young Minds

The Cognitive Benefits of Math Coloring in Young Minds

Cognitive development begins right after birth. Then, from basic actions such as grasping, looking, and listening, they start to think symbolically. Later on, they learn to use words and pictures as representations of objects. It’s a fascinating process that shapes the way children perceive and interact with their surroundings.

Many factors affect such a development, especially during the preoperational stage, which happens around two to seven years old. One intriguing aspect of it is its relationship with mathematics. Yes, you heard that right! No wonder scholars have introduced math coloring to help young minds develop more effectively.

Math coloring is simply coloring with a mathematical twist. Remember those sheets with pictures or illustrations that relate to math problems or concepts? Chances are you’ve encountered them in your younger years, too.

But how exactly does math coloring impact cognitive development in young minds? Let’s explore below.

Why is cognitive skills development in early childhood important?

Before we try to discover the cognitive benefits of math coloring, let’s first understand why cognitive skills development is crucial, especially in early childhood. Well, that’s because it’s a critical period. At this stage, minds undergo rapid growth, and it’s also when humans form the building blocks of their intellectual abilities.

That’s why there are online learning platforms, like DoodleLearning, specifically targeting this stage in human development. Most of them offer free materials for different learning activities, including math coloring.

Specific cognitive developments taking place during early childhood years

It’s during early childhood that things begin to catch your attention and you start to memorize events. Not only that, but it also marks the emergence of your ability to solve problems through critical thinking. There are many things happening in the cognitive area of your brain during this time as well, and these lay the foundation for future academic success. You’re preparing yourself for future social interactions, too.

The impact of successful early childhood cognitive skills development

A 2022 study mentions that college students related their academic success to the revolutionary-relevant experiences they had from preschool to kindergarten years. What are these experiences? One good example, according to the same study, is hands-on learning. It follows developmentally appropriate practices. The National Association for the Education of Young Children defines it as play-based, joyful learning.

And that’s why, as a parent or educator, you can never go wrong prioritizing the development of cognitive skills in a child. The best way to do that? Provide opportunities for young minds to engage in cognitive growth-stimulating activities that make learning fun.

How important is math in cognitive development?

Next, let’s talk about math’s role in cognitive development. Obviously, the understanding and application of mathematical concepts can sharpen essential cognitive abilities, such as critical thinking and problem-solving. The big question is how it does that.

Specific ways math influences cognitive development

Remember when you studied math concepts yourself, you learned to analyze problems and tried to identify patterns to come up with strategies for solving them? That’s an analytical and systematic approach to overcoming challenges in action!

Of course, math also promotes higher-order thinking skills that extend even beyond the subject. You also think logically and flexibly when trying to make connections in problem-solving activities, right?

And since math concepts involve shapes, patterns, and measurements, mathematics also helps with spatial reasoning ability development. The result? Improved visualization skills in young minds – a crucial skill for various everyday tasks like arranging furniture at home.

Integrating math and art

A lot of students perceive math as hard and boring. So, the next step is to make it as interesting as possible. One effective way of doing just that is integrating math and art through math coloring.

There are physical and even digital math coloring worksheets that feature mathematical tasks or patterns that a child can fill in with colors. How they use the colors will, of course, be based on their calculations or understanding of a certain mathematical concept. Sounds interesting, right?

Playful learning like math coloring indeed piques the interest of young learners and even enhances important skills such as communication and decision-making, as per the Federation of American Scientists in a 2023 publication.

Integrating math and art

Specific cognitive benefits of math coloring

There are several specific ways math coloring benefits cognitive development. These include:

  • Attention and focus enhancement: Working on a math coloring sheet means concentrating on the task at hand. A child’s attentional capacity improves as a result.
  • Spatial reasoning skills improvement: As already mentioned, math coloring also enhances a child’s spatial reasoning skills. Coloring in geometric shapes and patterns means recognizing and manipulating spatial relationships.
  • Fine motor skills strengthening: When coloring, children hold pencils. Not only that, but they also have to make intricate movements when filling in small spaces. Doing so exercises the muscles and builds dexterity.
  • Increased mathematical comprehension and retention: Colors and visual cues serve as math information memorization and recall aids. They make math coloring a multisensory and interactive learning activity. The result? A deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

Whether you’re a parent or an educator, keep in mind that incorporating math coloring for cognitive development in children requires a supportive and positive environment. Allow a child to experiment. Celebrate their efforts even if they make mistakes along the way.


Math coloring makes learning mathematics enjoyable and effective. Beyond that, it has cognitive benefits that make a child more ready for the latter stages of life. It’s a valuable cognitive development tool any child is worth exposing to.

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