Tip from the Treasurer: Don't be an identity thief's treat this Halloween!
As technology continues to advance, computer hacking proves to be a growing problem. Recent scandals and credit card data breaches remind us how important it is to keep our personal information safe and our online and offline identities secure. “Be sure to protect your identity by calling or personally visiting any institution that requests personal information via an unsolicited phone call, letter, or e-mail,” Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald stated.
Become your own superhero with these additional identity protection tricks:
- Update your computer’s security software
- Avoid opening and clicking links in strange or suspicious e-mails
- Use only secure (unencrypted) Wi-Fi in public places
- Lock your computer and limit the financial data it stores
- Read the privacy policies of any website that requests personal information
- Be mindful of who’s requesting your Social Security Number and why it’s needed
- Shred any personal information or receipts that you may no longer need
Check out more tips on how to avoid the identity thief threat by visiting the Federal Trade Commission's website.
College Savings Iowa Partners with Iowa Student Loan on $30,000 Giveaway
College Savings Iowa is proud to partner with Iowa Student Loan who is giving parents a boost to their children’s College Savings Iowa accounts this fall with a new $30,000 giveaway. The Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway is designed to give college-conscious parents valuable knowledge as their high school students begin to make their higher education decisions.
“A key to financially preparing for college is saving money in advance, which minimizes the need for financial aid and reduces potential debt,” Fitzgerald said. “We thank Iowa Student Loan for partnering with us on this giveaway to support parents in their goals and help give their efforts an extra push.”
The Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway gives parents a chance to register for one of twenty $1,500 contributions to a College Savings Iowa account for their child. The program is open to Iowa residents who have a student in ninth through 12 grade at an Iowa high school. No purchase is necessary and parents need only to complete a custom version of Student Loan Game PlanSM, an online educational tool offered by Iowa Student Loan, before registering for the giveaway. The information they learn, and Iowa Student Loan’s other tools and resources, can then be shared with their student.
“Iowa Student Loan believes in empowering students and families by providing them with the information they need to make sound college financing decisions,” said Christine Hensley, Iowa Student Loan board chair. “High school is a key time for college planning, which can be a big task, and financial decisions should not be lost in the decision-making process.”
To enter and for official rules, visit www.iowastudentloan.org/savenow before December 19. Winners will be selected in January 2015 and announced in February 2015.
Fairgoers Successful at Iowa State and Clay County Fairs
State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced that thousands of Iowa State and Clay County Fairgoers discovered lost treasures. “The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt booth had another successful year at both fairs,” Fitzgerald said. “Over 7,200 claims of unclaimed property were discovered at the Iowa State Fair and over 900 were discovered at the Clay County Fair, totaling over 8,100 claims between the fairs. Treasure hunters at the fairs found over $1.8 million, with the largest treasure found being $179,454.69.”
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $183 million in unclaimed property to more than 443,000 people since Fitzgerald created it in 1983. “We are dedicated to helping Iowans reunite with their missing money and property,” stated Fitzgerald. “Visit GreatIowaTreasureHunt.com to see if you have money waiting for you.” Be sure to like the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt on Facebook and follow the program on Twitter @GreatIATreasure .
With back-to-school in full swing, it can be a busy time of year for parents and children alike. At College Savings Iowa it is a busy time of year as well. The plan is celebrating 16 years of helping families save for higher education expenses, and Treasurer Fitzgerald recently announced the current annual asset-based fees for College Savings Iowa’s portfolios will be reduced from 0.28% to 0.26% on October 15.
“In the last decade, we have had six price reductions, resulting in a 60% decrease in fees,” Fitzgerald said. “By consistently lowering fees over time, we are ensuring that more money stays in parents’ and grandparents’ accounts, growing along-side the children. The plan continues to be a great value for Iowans saving for future higher-education expenses.”
“In the last ten years our assets have nearly quadrupled as we approach the $4 billion mark,” Fitzgerald said. “College Savings Iowa continues to share the benefits of its growth by lowering expenses, which is a testament to the plan’s commitment to deliver well-managed college savings investments at low costs.” The program has 220,000 accounts established with an average plan account size of over $17,000.
Join the plan in celebrating its Sweet 16 by exploring the benefits of saving for a loved one’s education with College Savings Iowa. To get a jump start on saving, College Savings Iowa is giving away a $5,290 account this fall. For more information and to enter the giveaway, visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com any time before November 30.
To learn more about College Savings Iowa, visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com or call 888-672-9116. You can also stay up to date on our future events and giveaways by following College Savings Iowa on Facebook and Twitter (@Iowa529Plan ).