When you check your e-mail and discover spam, do you ever scan the subject box? When emptying your spam or trash email folder, do your eyes ever inadvertently glance at some of the more intriguing titles? Some of the offers would be great deals if they were legit. Some of them would be a great way to help the less fortunate. Perhaps even some of them would be just what we needed to make some life changes.
By its very nature, spam is useless. For any offer that may be even remotely useful, the “side effects” – trojans, viruses, or worse – make any usefulness obsolete. When there is an offer that sounds wonderful, at least in theory, where can we find a legitimate way to take advantage of it?
The reality is, we can’t make spam something that it isn’t. We can however, find reliable resources to fulfill our online needs. Safer, trustworthy resources that don’t pose a threat to our online safety are not hard to find. Careful research and prudent planning will ensure that you find what you need... better yet, you can skip the research and simply read the list below!
Here are just two of some of the top subjects spammers focus on. Most of these topics happen to be things most of us are actually interested in – that’s often how we’re tricked into opening spam.
- Money, Credit, or Finances: Are you trying to find a new credit card with a lower APR? Interested in repairing your damaged credit, refinancing a loan, or explaining money basics to your kids? There are dozens of truly great websites out there that focus on informing the consumer. My recommendation:
Lending Tree – This is a great site for almost any financial concern you may have. The site is split up into comprehensive sections. You simply click on the tab you’re interested in and follow the easy-to-read prompts for more information, applications, message boards, faqs, and more.
You may also try: MSN Money, Suze Orman, or CNN Money.
- Continuing College, Pell Grants, or Scholarships: Would you love to go back to school if you could find the money? Do you want to apply for a Pell grant? Would you like to go to school part-time while you work? Several websites offer great advice and a plethora of genuine financial assistance if you know where to look. My recommendation:
Fastweb – This awesome site actually does all of the work for you! Just plug in your info – they’ll guide you through it – and they will match you with appropriate scholarships. You’ll be amazed at what you may quality for! You can get notifications via email or on the site; they’re very good at making their (free) service completely user friendly.
You may also try: US Department of Education online, or FAFSA (Federal Student Aid).