Ask Finney: Social security number fraud alert, surcharges, hotel reservations

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Bette asks: The Internal Revenue Service sent me a notice that my social security number may have been used to obtain employment. Should I put a fraud alert with the credit card bureaus?

Answer 1:

I would. That should be the first thing. Next, contact the Social Security Administration, and make sure your earnings records are straight. Here is my report on credit freezes and how they are changing.

Question 2:

Hope from San Francisco asks: Is it appropriate to pay tip when there is a tax and a healthcare surcharge in a restaurant?

Answer 2:

You bet it is. Employees don't get either the tax or health care money. Taxes go to the government, and the health care money goes to the restaurant owners. All companies in San Francisco have to offer health care by law, but as far as I know, only restaurants are adding surcharges to pay their cost of doing businesses. Supermarkets and clothing stores are not adding health charges. Neither are television stations. All businesses are under this law, not just restaurants.

Question 3:

Meghan asks: I will be attending a wedding in the Napa Valley in October. We want to stay for the weekend. When is the best time to make reservations for a hotel room?

Answer 3:

That is harvest season and prime time! Some hotels are already full. Getting a deal is going to be all but impossible. So search now and consider staying just outside of wine country and driving in for the wedding. Or better yet, get a car share to take you to the wedding.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
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