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It is well known that scam artists tend to focus their efforts on the more vulnerable members of our society. The elderly frequently get conned due to failing mental health, or by being easily tricked, or physically intimidated. However, recently, due to changes in immigration policy, scammers have been turning their attention to immigrants.

Immigrants that are worried about their undocumented status, have immigration paperwork pending, or even those with legal status, have been targeted though various schemes and cons. Undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable because they frequently fear contacting law enforcement due to their undocumented status, and the scammers know this and know how to take advantage of this fear.

Below you'll find three different types of scams that immigrants should know.

There is no bright line rule that says once a driver reaches a certain age that they must give up their license. While a few states have laws requiring older drivers to confirm they are physically able to continue driving, most do not. Instead, drivers must use their best discretion when deciding to stop driving and not renew their driver’s license.

For many seniors, making the decision to stop driving is not easy. Giving up driving might feel like giving up their independence. However, when the warning signs start to present themselves, older drivers that continue to drive not only endanger themselves, but also the public at large.

Below, you will find some of the common warning signs that should make older drivers consider giving it up.

New Rules being implemented by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) require airlines that charge fees for baggage handling to refund those fees for lost bags, as well as bags that are delayed. While the bill passed by congress advises that bags delayed more than 12 hours (or 15 hours for international flights) should qualify passengers for a refund of any bag fees, DOT may be able to adjust the hours when the final regulations are written.

Along with the new rules on baggage fees, airlines are now required to report all incidents of mishandling wheelchairs. In addition to this good news, measures are being considered that would require airlines and ticket agents to disclose all additional fees when listing out ticket prices for consumers.

New Law Bans Car Rental Company Use of Recalled Vehicles

A new law bans rental car companies with vehicle fleets of 35-cars or more from renting out a recalled vehicle before it has been repaired. Sounds like a good idea, right? And it seems a little strange that this was not on the books before. But it was not and, as is often the case, this law came to exist because people were hurt by its absence.

It took effect this week, reports the Detroit News, and the woman responsible for its introduction is a mother, Cally Houck. She lost two daughters to a car crash in California in 2004, which involved a recalled rental vehicle. Houck reportedly lobbied in Congress "for years" until the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act was approved last year.

Can You Sue If You Find out Your Pilot Was Drunk?

This week a Jet Blue pilot was federally charged for violating airline safety regulations after random testing revealed high levels of alcohol in his blood following a flight from Florida to New York. The complaint against Dennis Murphy Jr. states that his co-pilot saw him drinking before the flight and the tests showed Murphy to be at nearly three times the legal limit for an airline pilot.

Murphy’s case highlights what may be a relatively common habit of drinking and flying by pilots. Let’s look at the data and whether there is anything you can do if you find a pilot on your flight was drunk or high.

Is It Legal to Travel With Large Sums of Cash?

If you have $75,000 in cash, can you stuff it into a suitcase and board a plane with it?

One passenger actually did this. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Richmond International Airport discovered $75,000 in cash in a passenger's luggage during a security check. The question remains: is it legal to travel with that much cash?

Traveling with Cash

Although it may seem sketchy, it is perfectly legal to travel with any amount of cash -- even very large amounts. You could cram a million dollars into your purse if you wanted. There is no law against that as far as domestic flights are concerned.

If you're flying internationally with more than $10,000, you'll have to declare the amount to customs. Other than that, assuming customs approves your luggage, you can carry as much cash as you want.

Can the Government Take My Money?

While carrying large amounts of cash isn't necessarily illegal, you may run into trouble if the authorities believe the cash may be tied to illegal activity.

Since the TSA routinely finds evidence of criminal activity such as illegal drug trafficking or money laundering, don't be surprised when the TSA pays a little extra attention to your cash stash. TSA officers may question you about where you got the money, where you're taking it to, and why. You are not required to answer these questions, but not answering can result in delays.

If the TSA suspects that the cash may be linked to illegal activity, it will call in a law enforcement agency to investigate further.

In the case mentioned above, a law enforcement agency was called in to investigate the $75,000 found. The cash was seized, as allowed by laws governing civil asset forfeiture, and the traveler was allowed to continue on his flight.

Tips for Traveling

If you do decide to stash stacks of Benjamins in your luggage, here are some tips:

  • Ask TSA officials to screen you in a private location. You don't want everyone in line to know you're carrying a lot of cash.
  • Always keep cash and other valuables with you in a carry-on bag. Never leave such items in checked baggage.
  • Don't forget to declare the cash to customs if you're traveling internationally.

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Spring Break Travel: Know Your Rights at the Airport

Spring breakers dealing with air travel will want to know their rights at the airport.

Whether it's going through airport security or knowing how to deal with airlines if your flight is delayed or cancelled, travelers should be aware of the limitations of the law.

So here's what you should know regarding your rights at the airport:

Airport Security

Before you can hop on a plane, you need to go through a TSA security check. Most airports still utilize body scanners or walk-through metal detectors. Although controversial, TSA body scanners are lawful, but if you're uncomfortable with the process, you can opt for a pat-down instead.

According to the TSA, pat downs are performed by an officer of the same gender. Passengers can request a private screening at any time, but it should be offered if a TSA agent must pat down a sensitive area.

If you have any sensitive areas or have difficulty raising your arms or remaining in the requested position, you should inform the officer. Finally, passengers shouldn't be asked to remove or lift up clothing to reveal any sensitive body parts during the pat down.

If you feel a pat-down has gone too far, there is a procedure in place for complaints.

Permitted Items

While travelers are still limited to the "3-1-1" liquids rule for carry-ons, the TSA has relaxed some of its other carry-on policies to allow previously banned items onto planes. Some of the items now allowed to be carried on include:

  • Small pocket knives with non-locking blades that measure 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or less,
  • Golf clubs,
  • Small novelty bats and toy bats,
  • Ski poles,
  • Lacrosse sticks,
  • Hockey sticks, and
  • Billiard cues.

Items like razor blades and box cutters are still prohibited. However, you can still place many prohibited carry-on items in your checked baggage. (If you're only traveling with carry-ons, then you might want to consider mailing some items to your final destination or give it a friend who drops you off at the airport.)

Knowing your rights at the airport will help make Spring Break travel more relaxing, and you won't have to worry as much about making it through airport security.

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Life is full of unexpected roadblocks and sometimes those roadblocks require you to cancel your Spring Break trip. If this happens to you, can you get your money back?

Depending on your hotel and/or airline's policies, you may be able to get a refund if you cancel weeks in advance. However, if you need to cancel at the last minute, you may be out of luck unless you have travel insurance or are willing to reschedule.

Hotel Cancellation Policies

Whether you can get your money back after you cancel your hotel reservation depends on the hotel or travel agency's policies. Some hotels will allow you to get a full refund if you cancel up to 24 hours in advance. However, some online travel agencies may require you to pay the entire cost of your stay even if you don't show up. Be sure to read your hotel's cancellation policy very carefully, so you know exactly what will happen in the event of a cancellation and how you can get your money back.

Your best bet to getting your money back is if you cancel several weeks in advance. If you purchased trip insurance when planning your vacation, you may be reimbursed for your hotel costs if you need to cancel last minute. However, travel insurance policies usually only cover unforeseen circumstances, so you may be prevented from recovering due to chronic illnesses or pregnancy. Some policies also exclude political unrest and terrorism. Others may cover your hotel cancellation due to natural disasters or a sudden death in the family.

Airline Cancellation Policies

Like hotel contracts, you sign a contract with an airline when you purchase your ticket. So the terms of the contract will tell you how they handle cancellations and if you can get your money back.

The farther in advance you cancel your flight, the better chances you have of getting a refund. But what happens if your flight is cancelled due to weather? Airlines don't guarantee the time or date you're entitled to fly, but they should make every effort to rebook or reroute you as soon as possible.

If you get sick right before your flight, airlines may not give you your money back, but will likely allow you to reschedule. In extenuating circumstances, like a terrorist attack or jury duty, airlines will likely provide a refund, though you may need to provide proof of those circumstances, according to USA Today.

While some Spring Break cancellations are non-refundable, you might be able to get some of your money back or receive a travel voucher if you choose to reschedule your trip rather than cancel it all together.

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TSA PreCheck Set to Take Off at 60 More Airports

The TSA's PreCheck program is set to expand to 60 more airports this year, reports Reuters. So how can you take advantage of it?

The Transportation Security Administration's expedited screening program is already available at 40 airports, and with the upcoming expansion, it will soon operate at 100 airports in 40 states, along with Guam and Puerto Rico.

TSA also plans to increase the number of PreCheck lanes at participating airports in the coming weeks.

What Is TSA PreCheck?

TSA PreCheck is an expedited version of the agency's usual screening process. Eligible travelers who can use PreCheck can keep their shoes, light outerwear, and belt on as they go through security. They also do not need to take their laptop computers out of their cases, nor do they need to remove their appropriately-sized liquids from their carry-on bags.

In providing this option at more airports across the country, TSA hopes it will ensure a smoother, more effective, and more efficient security check.

Who's Eligible for TSA PreCheck?

There are a number of ways to determine eligibility for the TSA's PreCheck program. U.S. citizens of frequent flyer programs can be invited to apply by participating airlines. Also, U.S. citizens who are also members of a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program, and Canadian citizens who are members of the NEXUS expedited travel program, can qualify for PreCheck as well.

In addition, any U.S. citizen can apply for PreCheck. The process includes an online application, fingerprints, and an $85 enrollment fee for a five-year term of eligibility. Once approved, the PreCheck status will be embedded into the bar code of the PreCheck traveler's boarding pass.

A Few Caveats

Of course, TSA can also revoke or suspend one's PreCheck status at any time for reasons including, but not limited to, security issues at the gate or for criminal convictions since their PreCheck status was granted. TSA also reserves the right to randomly ask PreCheck passengers to instead go through regular security.

However, keep in mind that not all airlines are participating in the program. PreCheck is currently only available for passengers on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, US Airways, and Virgin America, according to the TSA.

Also, expedited TSA PreCheck lines are not open 24/7. Click on this list to see the hours of operation for PreCheck lines at participating airports.

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5 Reasons to Get Flight Insurance

In an age where checked bags are rarely free, flight insurance seems like one of those superfluous added costs that airlines try to shoehorn onto tickets.

But despite a completely valid suspicion about added costs, flight insurance can be a really smart investment, and it can pay off for passengers.

Consider these five scenarios in which flight insurance can come in handy:

1. Trip Cancellation.

Airlines understand that travelers often have to cancel their flights for unexpected reasons, but they tend to be somewhat mercenary in charging cancellation fees.

A discount-rate ticket or one purchased through a discount travel site generally has an inflexible cancellation policy, one that can be mitigated by purchasing travel insurance.

Most basic flight insurance plans will cover last-minute cancellations due to family member illness, injuries, or even political unrest.

2. Flight Life Insurance.

As relatives of victims from any tragic plane crash know, there are potential dangers to health and life when stepping on a plane.

In the event of a flight passenger's death, she may already have life insurance through her employer or individual policy. But flight life insurance can often pay up to $1 million to a passenger's beneficiaries, at a cost of less than $100 per passenger.

3. Lost Baggage.

If your baggage is lost during a trip, flight insurance can often pay for you to buy necessary replacement items like clothing or even prescription medications.

4. Trip Interruption.

Vacations can often be cut short due to inclement weather, unexpected injuries and illnesses, or even a cruise liner losing power.

Many flight insurance plans will cover the costs for returning early due to an unexpected event, and may even supplement existing health insurance in the event of an injury.

5. Stolen Passports.

Having a passport stolen is a nightmare for any international traveler, but some flight insurance policies will cover a replacement.

Ultimately, passengers should base their insurance needs around their expectations for travel, making flight insurance a better buy for international or cross-country flights and not for commuter flights.

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