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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • The Tax Form That Could Save Your Refund From ThievesGovernment, Blog, Personal Finance

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    The Bible tells us, “It is better to give than to receive.” Most Americans don’t feel that way on April 15. But when the Lord (a.k.a., an IRS algorithm) shines his countenance upon us and a portion of what we paid is returned in the form of a tax refund, it seems only fair that we actually get to spend that money. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works. In 2011, 1.5 million Americans […]

  • Debt

    The Biggest Credit Mistake People Make (Plus 3 Tips)Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    Some credit mistakes are obvious. Everybody knows the big one: Failing to pay your bills on time. If you’re looking to wreck your credit score, there’s no faster way. Some credit mistakes aren’t so obvious. What’s worse, the biggest secret credit mistake — the one most people don’t even know they’re making — actually happens when people are trying to turn their credit score around and be more financially responsible. That mistake is closing credit […]

  • Financial info

    Obama Proposes Credit Score Stimulus: Everyone Gets a Perfect 850Blog, Humor

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    Flanked by leaders from the credit industry and Congress, President Barack Obama announced today that he has signed an executive order designed to open up the consumer credit markets and give a boost to the still anemic American economy. For a three-month period, every American will get a perfect credit score, and the federal government will guarantee all loans made as a result of this “score stimulus.” “This is perhaps the boldest public and private […]

  • 5 Places Where You Should Never Give Your Social Security NumberBlog, Privacy, Identity Theft

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    Every time you go to a new doctor or dentist and they give you a clipboard brimming with documents to fill out and sign, notice how they always ask for your Social Security number? Do you dutifully give it up? Did you ever wonder if they really need it? I once asked a doctor why he wanted it. His response: “I don’t really know. I guess it’s because we’ve always asked for it.” (In actuality, […]

  • Consumer Reports Got It Dangerously Wrong on Identity TheftBlog, Identity Theft

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    We commissioned a national poll last month which found that nearly 40 percent of Americans believe “identity theft is not a serious problem.” In fact, they said they thought that it’s “a marketing tool or scare tactic for companies selling credit monitoring or ID theft protection.” When we saw these results, we were aghast. How is it that people really feel this way? Then I read the January issue of Consumer Reports and I had […]

  • Since When Did Megabanks Become Your Evil Step-Mother?Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Veronica Gutierrez never asked Wells Fargo to act like her mother. The banking colossus just did it anyway. Here’s what happened. She bought some sandwiches at Subway for $11.27. Then she purchased car parts at Autozone and went grocery shopping. Twelve transactions into the billing cycle, she wrote a check for $65. It overdrew her account, which should have cost her an overdraft fee of $22. But Wells Fargo didn’t order Veronica’s purchases chronologically. Rather, […]

  • Driver’s Ed: How the DMV Could Make Teens Learn About MoneyFinancial Literacy, Blog

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    As a parent, I would never dream of handing my car keys to a teenager who hasn’t first completed a driver’s education class and spent significant time behind the wheel, ideally with me sitting (nervously) in the passenger seat. But every day, parents across America allow their children to obtain keys to the financial world — credit cards, debit cards, student loans and car loans — with hardly any instruction on how to safely steer […]

  • 12.6 Million Reasons Why Identity Theft MattersBlog, Identity Theft

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    If you still believe identity theft is a marketing gimmick, it’s time to take a look at the Federal Trade Commission report released this week. Identity theft is once again the top complaint in America, as it has been for 13 years. Identity theft complaints surged by 32 percent in 2012 to nearly 370,000, and that number is intensified by the most recent Javelin report, which puts the number of instances of identity theft at […]

  • 5 Ways to Prepare for the Coming Cyber WarGovernment, Blog, Technology

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    This spring, the term “cyber war” turns 20. In his seminal 1993 paper “Cyberwar is Coming!” master military strategist John Arquilla envisioned an entirely new kind of battle. That vision was articulated again, but as reality, in President Obama’s State of the Union Address last week. The president’s call for a more serious approach to the growing threat of full spectrum cyber war, or “cybergeddon,” came just a week before Mandiant, an American cyber security […]

  • 10 States that Gouge the Unemployed (and the Existing Solution)Government, Blog

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    Right now more than 5 million Americans receive unemployment benefits. And right now, in many states a big chunk of those unemployment benefits are going straight to the bottom line profits of the nation’s biggest banks because of junk fees tied to the prepaid cards used to distribute these funds — and there’s an easy fix. While we can’t take banks entirely out of the process, it’s critical they get a smaller piece of the […]

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