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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • Are CARD Act Critics in Complete Denial?Financial Literacy, Government, Banking, Politics, Consumer Protection, Blog

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    In law school, I was taught – as are all aspiring lawyers – to perfect the art of arguing any and/or all sides of a case. The lawyer’s mantra – “If you can’t beat on the facts, beat on the law. If you can’t beat on the law, beat on the facts. If you can’t beat on either the facts or the law, beat on the table.” The American Bankers Association has been a vociferous […]

  • A 17-Year ID Theft Saga Finally EndsBlog, Identity Theft

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    For those who say that identity theft isn’t a big deal, that it can generally be resolved by making a few phone calls to banks and credit card companies when your credit card is compromised or new accounts opened in your name, to quote Rod Serling, “Submitted for your consideration” the case of a Florida grandfather of nine, Lawrence E. Smith. ABC News‘ Jessica Hopper reports that Mr. Smith filed for a $704 tax refund […]

  • How the Feds Got the Guy They Already HadGovernment, Blog, Identity Theft

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    You have to appreciate genius. You also have to scratch your head and ask whether the inmates (literally) are running the asylum. On January 20, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio announced that Dimorio McDowell, the leader of an identity theft ring that ran up $250,000 of fraudulent charges, was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. Unfortunately, while the crime is not unusual and the amount wasn’t shocking, […]

  • The Javelin Conundrum: Making Sense of the Latest Identity Theft NumbersData Security, Blog, Identity Theft

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    At first blush one might be cheered by the results of the newly released Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report. The Good News Identity fraud incidents decreased in the United States by 28%. That’s three million less victims than reported in their findings in 2009. The total overall fraud amount dropped from $56 billion to $37 billion in 2010. The mean loss per consumer dropped from just under $5,000 to just over […]

  • Big Apple Store Scam Arrests Bring ID Theft Back to BasicsBlog, Identity Theft

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    I know, the threat of identity theft may still seem abstract to you. What does identity theft really mean, anyway? A big arrest in Manhattan may make the whole concept a bit more literal. The district attorney of Manhattan recently arrested 27 (alleged) balls of slime for taking stolen credit card numbers on a two-year shopping spree at Apple stores across the country. The scam was moderately sophisticated. The crime ring’s founder, Shaheed Bilal, and […]

  • 10 Super Bowl Scams (and How NOT to Get Played)Lifehacking, Blog, Identity Theft

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    This week, tens of thousands of hysterical Steelers and Packers devotees are descending upon Arlington Stadium in Texas — ready to party like it is 1999. They will be joined in restaurants, bars and living rooms around the globe by tens of millions (indeed, hundreds of millions) of fellow football fanatics, as well as those of us who simply like to celebrate everything, including but not limited to, sunrise and sunset, totally revved up for […]

  • Financial Responsibility: A Reaction or A Reality?Financial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    In five short years we’ve gone from no borrower left behind, to no borrower left standing… and even those borrowers who somehow managed to claw their way back onto the train were often unceremoniously flung back off the trestle. It seemed that no one, except for a few dozen guys at Goldman Sachs, was safe. While most financial reports are exhausting, terrifying and uncertain, the only thing we seem to be able to count on […]

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    Your Credit Report: A Resume, Not a Rap SheetFinancial Literacy, Blog, Personal Finance, Money

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    As long as I can remember, most consumers have regarded credit as the destroyer of worlds—a scary black cloud hovering over us all—and the credit reporting agencies as the institutional manifestation of Darth Vader. I must admit, the concept of busy little gnomes tracking every credit transaction, inscribing each in an individual’s discrete financial book of life and then publishing, for good measure, a GPA-like number next to their name—which can determine whether, and at […]

  • 12 Tips for Protecting Your IdentityBlog, Identity Theft

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    Just how many Americans have been victims of identity theft? No one really knows, but rest assured it’s more than a handful. The FTC estimates that more than 9 million Americans become victims of identity theft each year. And according to a Javelin study conducted in 2009, that number jumps to 11.1 million consumers, costing a total of $54 billion in damages. Honestly, I think all of these numbers are low. And regardless of whether […]

  • Staffing the Booming Foreclosure BusinessMortgages, Consumer Protection, Blog

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    Meet Dave. He’s a homeowner in Sarasota, Florida who recently contacted Credit.com looking for help. Dave can’t afford his mortgage payments and he’s been damned near killing himself to get a modification with Bank of America for almost two years. He’s submitted his paperwork five times. He’s been assured several times by several individual Bank of America employees that they’d personally see to it that his modification is properly handled. But every time he calls […]

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