Today on the Clark Howard Show, we’ll cover the economy, shopping, and a new scary credit card scam that has made its way to Atlanta.

On the Economy:

Well, the revised GDP numbers are in and they stink: The economy contracted by .5 percent this summer. The fall quarter’s numbers probably won’t be any better.

New home sales also fell by more than 35 percent 2007 to 2008. It looks like just 400,000 new homes will be sold in 2008 — by far the worst number since I began writing about housing 20 years ago.

Credit Card Scams:

Beware of a recorded message telling you that your credit card information has been stolen and call back to a toll-free number to find out more. It’s possible that the call is a scam. How to protect yourself: Call the toll-free number on the back of your credit card and ask for the FRAUD department. That’s where you can safely confirm the information.

Personal Finance Information:

A new survey shows that consumers really don’t know enough about personal finance. Or rather, they don’t know how many reindeer would remain if Santa had to lay off 25 percent of his 8 reindeer because of the bad economy.

We’ll cover the rest of the survey questions on the show today.

Tune in 1 to 4pm EST to the Clark Howard Show, on Newstalk 750 WSB. Listen live at, or you can listen to podcasts of the show at

December 23, 2008