Friday, April 18, 2014

Resource of the Week – Financial Capability Month

Governor Jay Inslee and President Barack Obama have proclaimed April as Financial Capability Month. See: Governor Jay Inslee’s proclamation (pdf)

In today’s economy, financial capability is essential for making life’s biggest transitions – such as paying for college, buying a home, and retiring.

Financial capability starts with building a strong financial education. The more we know about managing personal finances and avoiding fraud, the better we can secure our financial future.

That’s why this April Governor Jay Inslee is asking state and federal agencies, consumer groups, the financial industry, non-profit organizations, and the media to join together to illustrate the importance of personal financial ownership.

For more information about financial education in Washington state, visit DFI’s financial education clearinghouse at

For a list of financial education classes in your community, visit If your organization's events aren't listed on the calendar, be sure to add them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heartbleed Bug - Steps to Take

As you are well aware of by now, an OpenSSL vulnerability called "Heartbleed" was recently discovered that can potentially impact internet communications and transmissions that were otherwise intended to be encrypted.

Many websites have already begun issuing patches and have information posted on their websites addressing the vulnerability and a plan of action. For example,  Google, Facebook, and Yahoo implemented patches to fix the vulnerability.

Even though websites are addressing the problem, consumers should still use caution until the vulnerability has been fully addressed.

Steps to Take:
  • Change Passwords after the Vulnerability Has Been Fixed
    Changing passwords is strongly recommended, but only after the vulnerability has been fully addressed. Changing passwords before the vulnerability is fixed could still leave consumers vulnerable. If you have questions whether or not the vulnerability has been addressed for a specific website, check the website for an update or contact the company directly.
  • Stay Tuned for Updates
    Closely monitor your email for updates from websites you frequently login to. Many websites are emailing their customers regarding their breach and/or posting information to their website. If you need to change your password, they should inform you.
DFI is working with the financial institutions that we regulate to assist them in implementing patches for the bug.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Resource of the Week – Preparing Financially for Disasters

DFI sends its condolences to those impacted by the tragic mudslide in Oso.

Governor Jay Inslee’s office has developed a webpage of resources for those impacted.

Oso Mudslide Resources

Rebuilding and dealing with finances following a disaster can be particularly frustrating. Credit card bills, mortgage payments, and disaster related expenses can add up quickly.

DFI has developed a special webpage with resources for how to deal with finances after a disaster.

On the webpage you will find information on what to do if you can’t make your credit card payment, what you should do if your house is destroyed, and more.

Handling Finances After A Natural Disaster 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Script for Stopping Telemarketers

You sit down for dinner and then the phone rings: “Hello my name is James and I’m with….” Another telemarketing call.

Even if you have registered your phone number on the registry list, you are still likely to receive calls.

Certain companies such as charitable organizations, survey companies, and companies whom you have an established business relationship with are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry list.

That’s why it is a good idea to have a simple go to script to decline a telemarketing call if you are not interested in the pitch. The shorter and simpler the script, the better.

Sample Script:
“Sir/madam thanks but I’m not interested. Please add me to your internal do not call list.” [click]

The Internal Do Not Call List
Having a simple script will get you off the phone quickly and it’s a good idea to ask to be added to the company’s internal do not call list.

All companies are required to maintain an internal do not call list. That company must honor that consumer's request.

Having a simple script is also a good way to get off the phone if you feel like the caller is a scammer. It’s best not to talk to them and simply get off the phone.
Time to develop your script.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Resource of the Week – Money Smart Week

We are just a little over two weeks away from Money Smart Week in Washington.

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of organizations including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media.

These groups come together once a year to stress the importance of financial literacy, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week.

Money Smart Week Events
Organizations across Washington are organizing special Money Smart Weeks.

View the Money Smart Week Washington calendar to find an event near you. 

Become a Money Smart Week Partner
We hope you will consider becoming a Washington Money Smart Week partner by registering at