Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tips to avoid getting scammed

Have you gotten an email or text about "an order" of yours that's waiting for payment of some trivial amount? Or that has to clear customes?

Maybe you've received a text message telling you that your account is in danger of suspension and you must verify your details? Or maybe an email asking you to click a link?

Or one of the many other messages that people are getting out there?

scam texts I've received

BE CAREFUL. Many Israelis are getting scammed and find their credit cards compromised after clicking one of these messages!

How can you tell if that message is a scam/phishing message? Here are some tips:

Spelling mistakes in the URL - don't click! 

Look carefully at the picture above with screenshots of actual text messages I've received - that link that is supposedly from Israel Post is from "" - which is NOT the Israel Post URL!

Don't trust short links or unofficial-looking links:

Always go through official websites when you need customer service, tech support, or to authorize changes to your account. This applies to your bank, credit cards, postal services, and even websites you shop on. Look in the picture above - at least one link is "tinyurl" link, another is a "" link. Big Red Flag.

Verify links first:

Legitimate websites use the url you know for that site. The post office does not send out short links! Neither does your bank. When in doubt, go directly to the website (or app) you think the message came from, and log in on your own. A legitimate request will show up when you log in. If you got a text message telling you to pay a customs fee, but you can't see the fee and information about it when you track your package, it's a scam. Same goes for resetting your bank account password. If you log in to your account and there's no message there, the text/email you got was almost certainly a scam!

Urgent messages should make you wary:

Scammers will often try to get you to act quickly. They'll tell you that you must pay within X number of hours, or that your account will be closed in X amount of time if you don't act quickly. If they manage to make you feel panicked, you're more likely to give out sensitive information. So always take the time to double and triple check before you click on that link or agree to reset your account. If the message seems out of the blue AND urgent, be wary! See the picture above - one of the messages says that your package will be returned to sender if you don't pay! If you really owe taxes, this won't be the way you get this message.

Same goes for phone calls!
If someone calls you and urges you to pay a fee over the phone with your credit card, even if they seem to know who you are, don't pay! Call the number you have for the contact person you work with at that company (it's often an insurance scam, so call your insurance agent, or whichever company they claim to be from) and speak with them directly so you know you're speaking to a legitimate person and not a scammer.

A friend called asking you to wire money because they're stuck overseas without money? 
Phone numbers and voices can be cloned. If your friend is truly overseas and stuck, chances are they won't be calling you. If you're concerned about a friend overseas and you can't reach them when you call them, you can get in touch with the embassy in that country or a trusted contact there, who can check on your friend. DON'T WIRE MONEY because of a phone call. Always find a way to verify the person is who you think they are before you agree to send any money! It's really truly rare that any request for you to urgently wire money is actually legit. So my bottom line is BE WARY!

Did someone you've got saved into your contacts reach out to you and ask for a verification code for WhatsApp (or any other app) that was sent to YOUR phone? DON'T answer. They've likely been hacked and the hacker is not trying to take control of YOUR whatsapp! NEVER share codes like this. There is no reason someone else needs YOUR verification code, unless you've authorized them to access your account (but why would you?). So be very, very wary.  

My thoughts about scammers:
Scammers are theives. They prey on people in whatever way they think they'll get you to part with your money or your sensitive information! That doesn't mean you can't still help a friend in need, or give tzedaka! Just be sure to do this in a way that you're sure your money will get where you intend it to go. 

Hope you found this helpful! I'd love to hear from you! Be sure to join my Facebook group and we can be in touch there! 


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Great deals for you!

this post contains affiliate links, so if you click on a link and then make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. 

Here are some great deals I just found:

If you need a food processor, check out this awesome sale:
3.9 L 1250W Bosch food processor, regular price 849 NIS, on sale now for 579 NIS!

Need a laptop for under 1000 NIS? Check out this Asus laptop deal 

Here's a drip-filter 12-cup coffee maker (for those of us who think capsules are pods produce too much waste!) for under 100 NIS 

Here's a set of 2 fridge odor absorbers for 28 NIS instead of 34!

Thermoses in all sizes are on sale right now, too! Some of them are really large - 8 liters! These are great!

Things to keep in mind when you shop at KSP: Shipping will be free if you meet the minimum order amount. If you don't, you can choose a store near you for pickup to avoid shipping fees. These items ship from within Israel, so you'll never be hit with a surprise tax or import fee!

Feel free to comment below or in my public shopping group on FB and let me know what you're looking for!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Save on your Expat tax preparation!

If you're an American ex-pat like me, you know all about the yearly headache of filing your overseas tax return. Currently, this is something most of us MUST do, even if we don't like it. There's just no getting around it for now - no matter how much we complain (maybe one day it will change!). And because of the complexity of navigating tax documents issued to comply with Israeli tax law (as opposed to US tax law), it is usually NOT recommended to use automated software for filing your overseas tax return.

Or so we thought. But as of last year, there's SimpleTax – the first ever U.S. tax software for Americans living in Israel. I've had a long chat with the founder of the company, and they've worked so hard to make this service available (it's designed to work in a way that standard tax software doesn't) and I'm super excited about this development. 

SimpleTax will walk you through a friendly and intuitive interface to prepare your U.S. taxes on your own, find your highest possible refund and save money on fees - starting as low as 299₪ for a tax return + FBAR.
If your taxes are more complicated, you will most likely pay a higher rate, but still MUCH lower than the quotes I've gotten from accountants recently.
This is going to change our lives. Mostly because staying tax compliant will now be so much simpler and cheaper!

I invite you to find more details at SimpleTax. If you use my referral link (the links to SimpleTax on this site are referral links), you'll get 10% off your first tax return! If for some reason you can't open the link, simply copy-paste this link to go to their site: Or go to their site on your own and be sure to enter my referral code (KOFRU)

SimpleTax is also on Facebook and has plans to help US citizens in Israel navigate financial issues better. You can be sure I'll be following them and waiting for more helpful developments.

So spread the word that in 2024 we'll be doing our taxes smarter and cheaper! Use my referral code to get a great 10% discount: 

מידע חשוב עבור אזרחים אמריקאים שגרים בארץ: הגיע פתרון שיחסוך לנו הרבה כסך!

החל מהשנה, אפשר למלא דו"ח מס אמריקני עם חברת סימפלטקס - ותראו חסכון אמיתי!

אפשר לחסוך עוד יותר עם מכניסים את הקוד שלי בעת ההרשמה. ההרשמה ללא עלות - רק תצטרכו לשלם עם משתמשים במערכת לדווח. השתמשו בקוד KOFRU ותקבלו 10% הנחה.

או הקליקו כאן:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Price Controlled Foods (Updated)

I realize it's been a while since I posted an update about price-controlled food items. As you may know, the Ministry of the Economy regulates some food prices in Israel. This means that certain consumer goods cannot be sold for a price higher than the price set by the government. A few prices have even changed since my last post about this, so here's the latest update. Maximum prices on this list were verified on February 14, 2024.

Make sure you're not overpaying for anything on this list:


Note: The breads on this list are very specific types of breads, and the challah is a very specific kind of challah. 



    Note: I've also seen packages of sliced 28% yellow cheese that are pre-packaged, 400g, labeled "price controlled 13.20 ILS"


There's always talk of adding items to the list (like fresh vegetables) or making changes (like swapping whole wheat bread for the white bread), but for now, this is the list of price-regulated foods.

If your store is overcharging for any of these items (check to be sure they are in fact the price-regulated item and not a premium version) - you can report the store to the proper authority using this online form.

Hope this helps you save more money, and don't forget to follow me on Facebook and join my Kosher Frugal group for more tips!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Making Travel Plans?

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you! Thanks for your support! 

--- Retrieved from ---

Who wants a getaway deal? 

I can't possibly be the only one. Life's been pretty stressful lately, and I'm not getting much sleep these days. And I know I'm not alone in dreaming of a vacation...

Of course, my dreams may or may not come true, but if you have the freedom to make travel plans right now, read on...

If you're here, you know Israelis love to travel - it's a great way to take a break from the local stress, if you have the freedom to get away!

So today, I'm sharing some links to companies that will help you plan the perfect trip, hopefully for a great price.

Look for Low-Cost flights if you can! These can be last-minute (check HERE or HERE for last minute deals) or sometimes great deals must be booked FAR IN ADVANCE - click to see deals.

Hotels can be booked together with flights, or check out, they guarantee the best prices for any type of property and no booking fees! However, I recommend you check the cancellation policy carefully before you book anything on booking.

Rental Cars - if you're renting a car outside of Israel but driving on your Israeli license, be sure you get a rental package that insures you with your Israeli license. This is best done via an Israeli agent. I shopped around a bit and found that Issta Car Rental offered slightly lower prices than some of the others - let me know if you've found the same to be true!

Be sure to check if your credit card has any offers for you in their rewards section for overseas travel/transactions. I've even seen deals that waive foreign currency transaction fees - be sure to activate any deals they offer you before you go!

(Don't forget to get traveler's insurance that will cover you in case of a medical emergency.)

And, last thing you need to do (super important, obviously!) - pick up a new-to-you book to read during the flight or other down-time, from Eva's Used Books, based right here in Israel! And if you use code KOSHERFRUGAL, you'll get extra savings!

Hope you found this post helpful! Don't forget to follow this blog (see the sidebar on the right) and like and follow my FB page!

Check out KSP online shopping!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you! Thanks for your support! 

Today's Aliyah Tip: Sometimes the best price is at the most unexpected of places!

I like to keep my eyes open when I venture out - did a new store open near me? Which store sells random things you wouldn't really expect? Is there a place to pick up food super cheap? I take note of things I see around town so I can always try to get a deal when I can!

The same applies to online shopping. Sometimes the best deal is at a really random place.

Like KSP online!

I just discovered that they sell TONS of items online, besides computers and electronics - which is what you find if you go to their physical locations.

Right now, they're selling Adidas deodorant sprays for far less than I see them for at Rami Levy and pharmacy-type places. And that's even without a sale!

I also found a 6-pack of Orbitol toothbrushes for 10 NIS, which is less than I found them for at discount stores (think "stock" stores)!
They even make it easy to buy eco-friendly and "natural" products, like these:

Listerine Naturals Enamel Protect for 15 NIS

Listerine Naturals Gum Protect for 15 NIS

Also, this is a great way to be sure you're paying low prices for every day items:

Pack of 200 cotton swabs for 3 NIS

Pack of 50 sanitizing wipes for 5 NIS

Or buy great gifts and household goods for a great price!

They even sell Melissa and Doug toys. And Sodastream products - the 3-pack of bottles for your sodastream is priced lower than almost every place I've seen them.

Isn't this super-convenient? I love that they deliver from within Israel so there's no waiting for shipments from overseas.

If you're looking for something else, let me know, maybe I've already stumbled across a deal!

Get all the deals in my groups: Israel Deals Made Easy and Live in Israel. Shop Online, and Kosher Frugal)!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Making the most of your credit card

Did you know that most Israeli credit cards offer "rewards and benefits" to cardholders?

For a long time, I ignored mine.

And then one day, I realized that I might be missing out on some big savings. For things I might be buying anyway! 

For example, for a while, my Isracard offered a discount for purchases over a certain amount at IKEA once or twice a year, though I haven't seen this deal lately. 

You can check your Isracard offers by logging in to your account and checking the הטבות/benefits section!

I discovered that my CAL card gives me access to a number of discount vouchers, too:

like a 50 NIS Steimatzky voucher for 39 NIS!

And 100 NIS Nizat HaDuvdevan vouchers for 92 NIS!
They actually have dozens of discount vouchers, it's worth checking before you shop!

There are also MAX credit cards, and those have rewards and deals as well. So if you have one of those - be sure to check!

So go ahead, log into your credit card account - either via the app or their website and take the time to poke around. Some credit cards have access to the "regular" rewards and benefits via the app and are also part of a membership club, and you'll find additional rewards via the "club" (moadon) site. Be sure to check them all - you'll be happy to find ways to save on things you were going to buy anyway!

Happy savings!

Let me know what deals you find!