Your Money

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Costly Calling-Card Calls
Law-enforcement officials are investigating a new phone scam in which hackers electronically steal calling-card numbers from travelers. As he prepares to make a call, the victim hears a pay phone ring in an airport and answers it, only to find no one on the line. But when he then dials his own call, the crooks tap in and swipe his card number. A tip to the curious: pick up, then hang up for 20 seconds before dialing.

Early Entree to a 401(K)
For new hires eager to sock money away in a 401(k) plan, the wait may be over. Thanks to a change in tax regulations taking effect this month, companies no longer have a financial incentive to make new employees wait up to a year before becoming eligible for these tax-deferred savings plans. Some 70% of firms impose a waiting period; ask your new boss about reaping the benefits now.

Paperless Tax Payments
Filing income taxes via PC isn't a seamless transaction; after slaving away at the keyboard, you still have to sign the old-fashioned way. But in a pilot program this year, a few million e-filers who have software like TurboTax, as well as those who use a preparer like H&R Block, can zap their 1040--paper free--with a code substituting for their signature. E-filers can also pay their balance due by phone with a credit card--for a fee, of course.