A New Year’s Resolution Fail
So your New Year’s resolution didn’t go as planned, don’t feel bad. When making or breaking a habit most people will stumble along the way. But what do we do after it goes from New Year’s resolution to New Year’s bust?
The Automatic Monthly Payment Catch
“Getting in shape” or “losing weight” are two common resolutions. Starting in December fitness clubs and gyms start their advertising campaigns to attract members, they know that the vast majority of new members will sign up in the next two months as they plan their New Year’s resolution. In the ads you’ll notice that more time is spent talking about rates, sign up fees, and easy monthly payments than there is about the services of the gym. With low or no sign up fee and easy automatic withdrawal payments of $10-15, gyms make it incredibly easy and affordable to join. But what happens after the initial fire to get in shape burns out? We miss one day, then another. A week goes by and we tell ourselves “next week I’ll go.” One week leads to another, leads to another, and the next thing you know a month has gone by and our resolution has been forgotten till next year. You may have stopped going, but that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped paying for it.
Did you know most people don’t remember to stop an automatic payment until one to two payments after they’ve stopped using the service? Remember to cancel automatic payments when you decide not to use the service. People lose money by paying for unused services all too often.
First Month Free Catch
While we’re on the topic of automatic monthly payments, it’s a good time to review “first month free” and “free trial” ads. Companies often use these ads to get people to use and then stay with their services. Usually when you sign up for the these free or trial periods you have to hand over your personal information and credit card number. Be Careful! Read the fine print before you enter you information! Many companies will automatically charge you after 30 days, whether or not you used their program or services during the free trial period. Set a reminder in your calendar to cancel or continue with the company after the free trial period. Rarely will the company send you a reminder that your free trial is coming to an end.
Look Before You Click
As always, check links and websites before clicking on them and entering any personally identifiable information. Cybercriminals know that people are looking to “lose pounds quickly” and for the “best home workouts” and set up fake ads to trick you into giving them your information.
Your first New Year’s resolution may not have gone the way you wanted. Make “being cybersecurity savvy” your new resolution.