Brian Stephenson


by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 21 2017 10:14AM

FULL STORY: There are all sorts of scams you have to look out for no matter what season it is. But here are four that are a lot more common in the summer . . .

1. Summer job scams. People list fake jobs on Craigslist, or even in the newspaper. But before you can start, they say you have to give THEM money for things like tools and supplies. Or they claim they need your credit card info as a deposit.

2. Yard work and home improvement scams. There's a common one where someone knocks on your door, and says they're doing work for your neighbor. Then they offer to give you the same really low rate if you can pay in cash TODAY.

They include the neighbor part because that makes you more likely to trust them. So just check with your neighbor before you do anything.

3. Moving day scams. About half the people who move this year will do it over the summer. So that's why scams are more common. The worst one is when you hire someone on Craigslist, and they hold all your stuff HOSTAGE until you pay up.

4. Vacation scams. You might see more spam in your email. And if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are also things called "travel clubs" where you have to buy a membership before you can access their deals. Apparently most of those are scams too.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 20 2017 10:40AM

FULL STORY: Here's another reason to resent your kids for the sweet three-month break they get every summer. Your WALLET takes a pretty good hit . . .

According to a new survey, it costs an average of $495 to keep your kid happy and entertained over the summer.

That includes $319 on toys and activities to keep them occupied while they're not in school. Plus another $176 to take them with you on trips and vacations. So it doesn't even include stuff like extra money you have to spend on daycare or babysitters.

9% of parents said they start saving up for summer at least six months in advance. And 35% usually end up strapped for cash by August or September.

Almost two-thirds of parents start planning activities for their kids before summer hits. But 45% said they're pretty much out of ideas by August.

The average parent said they suggest 13 different activities a week for their kids over the summer. And that's still not enough. On average, kids are bored and don't know what to do by about 1:30 every day.

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Topics : Education
by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 14 2017 11:07AM

FULL STORY: A new study out yesterday found that having too many options when you're dating online can actually be a BAD thing.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin had people look through profiles and choose someone to go on a date with. One group had 24 different options. The other group only had six. And the people with more options were more likely to REGRET their pick one week later.

The researchers think it's because of "FOMO," or the "fear of missing out." When you have a ton of options on an app like Tinder, it's harder to settle on one person, because you can't stop wondering if all those other options were better.

Which is why THIS might be worth a shot. There's a new dating app called "First" that cuts out all the swiping . . . doesn't HAVE a messaging option . . . and just immediately sends you out on DATES with people. You can check it out at

You pick the type of date you want to go on, like drinks or the movies. You decide who's paying, or you can split it. And you post a specific time and place to meet up.

Then other people can accept your date, and YOU get to choose who to meet up with. So you probably won't end up with a massive list of people, just a few.

The guy who came up with it says he was sick of texting girls for a week before they actually got to meet up for a date in person. The app launched nationwide yesterday, and it's only on iPhones so far. So there might not be a ton of users yet.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 13 2017 10:36AM

FULL STORY: Getting your own phone used to mean getting your own phone LINE. And the worst you could do was run up your parents' phone bill. But cell phones are a little scarier. So here are five things you should do before you buy one for your kid . . .

1. Set some rules and expectations. Like they're not allowed to use it after 9:00 PM. Or they can't watch videos, because they'll blow through all your data. Whatever the rules are, make sure you both agree to them beforehand.

You also might want to get their passwords to all their social media accounts. If they want their own phone, that's the deal they have to agree to.

2. Talk to them about sexting. Even if they forward a picture of someone else, they can get in real trouble for it. So explain why it's a big deal. They'll probably roll their eyes, but you have to talk about it.

3. Talk to them about cyberbullying. Explain what it is, and make them promise to tell you if someone starts bullying them online. Also make them promise not to meet up with any STRANGERS they meet online.

4. Make sure they realize it's a big responsibility. Phones are expensive. And you're also trusting them to make good decisions.

5. Make sure they know it's really YOUR phone. You paid for it, and you can take it back whenever you want. So they have to follow the rules.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 12 2017 10:42AM

FULL STORY: Imagine needing a passport to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. In theory, that's what you'd wind up with if you bought this house.

There's a house for sale right now that's half in America, half in Canada. It's on the border between Beebe Plain, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec.

Technically, the house is considered in America, so you wouldn't need to get dual Canadian citizenship to live in it.

But still, since it splits the border, it leads to some interesting situations.

The couple who owns it says they've gotten to know the border agents who work nearby, but when a new one starts, it can cause issues. On the bright side, the house is definitely safe with all that security around.

The house is 3,010 square feet and has nine bedrooms and five bathrooms. It's listed for $109,000 because it needs a LOT of work.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 6 2017 10:29AM

HIGHLIGHTS: According to a new study, people who play at least two hours of video games a week are more likely to succeed at work. The researchers say it's because games help you develop skills like critical thinking and problem solving.

FULL STORY: Next time you get home from work, take off your pants, slump down on the couch, and play video games until it's time to go to sleep, you're not being LAZY . . . you're doing CAREER DEVELOPMENT.

A new study out of Scotland found that people who play video games are more likely to succeed at work than people who don't.

The researchers found that video games are great for developing critical thinking, problem solving, resourcefulness, and adapting to tricky situations.

And you don't have to be a hardcore gamer to get those results . . . they found that it only takes about two hours a week of video games to train your mind.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 5 2017 10:40AM

FULL STORY: Someone had a bunch of teenagers explain how to be "cool" on social media. Here are seven rules to follow . . . and none them are about Facebook, because teens just don't care. Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are where it's at.

1. Pay attention to your "following" to "followers" ratio. You should have at least twice as many followers. So if you're following a ton of people, delete them.

2. Only use hashtags ironically. Don't use them for any other reason. And stop saying "Throwback Thursday." Apparently it's lame now.

3. Make your videos short, and don't post too many. Like if you're at a concert, don't post 30 photos and videos to the same Snapchat Story. It's annoying and lame.

4. Don't post boring photos where you're just sitting around or lying in bed. Only post photos on Instagram and Snapchat when you're out doing something fun.

5. Don't end your posts with a ton of emojis. The max before you seem lame is three emojis per post.

6. Stop posting photos of food. You can do it every now and then, but not too often.

7. Don't post a ton of selifes. It makes you look like you have no friends.

by Lou Bartelli posted Jun 1 2017 11:14AM

FULL STORY: You're not going to believe this, but according to a new study, drinking TEQUILA helps you lose weight. And not just because it makes you vomit out the contents of your stomach.

Tequila is made from an agave plant. And researchers found that some of the natural sugars in that plant do GREAT things for you.

They lower your blood sugar . . . they help make you feel fuller . . . and they help healthy bacteria grow in your mouth and intestines.

Now . . . this doesn't really mean that if you want to lose weight, you can eat whatever you want as long as you finish it off with five tequila shots.

The researchers just say that if you ARE out drinking and you want to order something that won't derail your weight loss progress, tequila might just be the best option

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