Personal finance tips: How to avoid hotel scams, and more

Three top pieces of financial advice — from how to prioritize your bills to how debt collectors track you

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Avoiding hotel scams

Beware of hotel booking sites bearing deals, said Alina Tugend at The New York Times. In what travel experts label "a systemic industry problem," a growing number of customers are being duped "by promises of great deals" on official-looking websites. But in reality, they are being pushed to affiliate sites, incurring unwanted charges, and getting lost in a maze of fine print and Byzantine booking policies. Customers looking to book online should be "careful of what you click," avoiding third-party sites and, whenever possible, booking directly from the hotel website. And if you need another reason to "always pay online with a credit card," here it is: Unlike debit cards or money orders, you can dispute unwanted credit card charges before paying up.

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