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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • S&P Downgrades U.S. Debt… Will Repo Men Come for Air Force One?Government, Banking, Blog, Money

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    By now, nearly every American should know that a “credit report” and a “credit score” represent a measure of our personal financial integrity.  Those reports and scores, for individuals, are kept and computed by a select number of large companies (like Equifax, TransUnion, FICO and Experian). Even though most of us have had little if any direct contact with these companies, the fact is that they are keeping files on us and that the reports […]

  • What Do Data Breaches, Globalization and Unprotected Sex Have in Common?Data Security, Blog, Identity Theft, Technology

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    In the 21st century, the data breach apology letter has established itself as a new literary art form. Countless CEOs from corporations big and small as well as elected officials have had to reach out to the public and offer mea culpas that both communicate how sorry they are that this serious breach happened, and ultimately that there is nothing to worry about because nothing has happened to you … yet. So how does one […]

  • The End of Digital Innocence: What Does the Epsilon Breach Mean?Data Security, Blog, Identity Theft, Technology

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    Spot Quiz: What does the word epsilon mean to you? It is the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet. As I recall, in its lowercase form, epsilon stands for elasticity, among economists. There might even be a fictional spy named Epsilon. I’ll bet that up until a few days ago you didn’t know that Epsilon was also the name of a company that has exposed millions of Americans (including you, most likely) to the increased […]

  • The CFPB and Congress’ Need for an Adult ConversationGovernment, Politics, Consumer Protection, Blog

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    The Republicans, now in control of our House of Representatives, love to talk about having adult conversations about things, and so I can’t for the life of me figure out why, when it comes to consumer protection, certain members of the GOP insist on speaking to us all like we’re either too young or stupid to understand just how badly the American people have been hammered—both by the financial services industry and our elected and […]

  • Data Leak at Stem Cell Bank Makes My Blood Run ColdData Security, Blog, Identity Theft

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    The database compromise club has a new member. Mazel Tov, Cord Blood Registry. You are the latest organization to fail in your responsibility to your clients by neglecting to provide even minimal security for their personal data. Your membership card is in the mail. Who is CBR? Before diving into the data leak, let’s learn a bit more about Cord Blood Registry. CBR is perhaps the world’s largest stem cell bank storing more than 350,000 […]

  • We Owe Them A Debit of GratitudeGovernment, Banking, Blog, Money

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    And so, we begin anew. During the Great Congressional Financial Services Smackdown of 2009 and 2010, Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin inspired fellow Senators to pass an Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act directing the Federal Reserve to study and, hopefully, reduce the relatively unknown “swipe fees” that banks collect from retailers every time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. Last summer, the Federal Reserve responded with a call to cut swipe fees […]

  • When Your Facebook Account Becomes Part of the Job ApplicationSocial Media, Consumer Protection, Blog

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    This week, in honor of National Consumer Protection Week, Credit.com is highlighting a number of issues to raise consumer awareness.  Credit.com chairman and co-founder Adam Levin looks at how your private online information can too easily become public, and why you should be careful about what you post lest it come back to haunt you—in your job search, finances, and personal life. For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to wrap my […]

  • The Church of Identity TheftBlog, Identity Theft

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    Identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere—and under an almost endless array of circumstances. Every year, various organizations like the Federal Trade Commission, Javelin, Gartner, Ponemon Institute, Pew and others issue reports that cite an array of victim counts anywhere from 9 million to 15 million Americans per year. Why the variance? Well, aside from various designations and inarticulate categorizations among federal and state jurisdictions, or unwillingness or inability on the part of law enforcement […]

  • Marketing to Students: Should Kids (Under 18) Have a Credit Card?Financial Literacy, Lifehacking, Education, Consumer Protection, Blog, Personal Finance

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    The CARD Act has a provision that puts some limitations on marketing and granting credit cards to folks under the age of 21. The provision in question is pretty simple — if a person applying for a credit card is under 21, either he or she has to prove independent ability to pay or they must find a co-signer. Whereas Congress probably intended that parents and older siblings would be the designated co-signers, it would […]

  • Are the Deregulators Trying to Destroy the Economy?Government, Banking, Consumer Protection, Blog, Money

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    I understand that deregulators are committed to an ideology. We all need something to believe in, after all, and they believe in the power of markets to both create growth and self-regulate. That’s all very nice and looks good on paper, but given the past few years, that argument simply doesn’t pass the straight face test. I mean, let’s be real, deregulation nearly destroyed our economy as the past few years clearly demonstrate. But the […]

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