Ask Finney: Generic charger dangers, credit card scam letter, 401k options

Friday, March 02, 2018 05:15PM
7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.


SAN FRANCISCO - 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your questions, every weekday on ABC7 Mornings. Submit your video questions and tune in at 6 a.m.

Question 1:

A viewer asked: I've been warned against using generic phone and tablet chargers. They're so much cheaper. What's the issue?

Answer 1:

Not all generic chargers are substandard or dangerous, but some are. They may use cheaper parts than the original manufacturer and can harm your devices and cause fires. Also, many do not have quality components that have undergone testing by Underwriters Laboratories. Be sure to read online reviews before buying.

Question 2:

Stan from Pittsburg asked: I got a letter from a credit card company that asked for a copy of my driver's license and social security card to make sure my info had not been stolen. I'm thinking it's a scam. Am I right?
Answer 2:

You are absolutely right. It is a scam. Your credit card company will never ask you to send copies of those items. Call the number on the back of your card, not the contact information on that letter, and make the company aware you received that letter. Also, send me a copy. I want to see this thing.

Question 3:

Jackie asked: I recently left my job and now wondering about my 401k earnings. Shouldn't I have gotten a payout on my final paycheck?

Answer 3:

No. If you get a check, a clock starts ticking that could cost you a fortune in taxes. If you get a check and don't put it in a tax advantaged account within 60 days, you have to pay income taxes on the money. Generally, you want to move your 401k into an IRA without taking possession of the money. Consult with a financial advisor to make sure you don't get yourself into tax trouble.

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