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Blogs and article by Adam K Levin about credit, identity theft, data security, and consumer protection.


  • social media hack

    What the Recent Yahoo Hack Really Means for YouPrivacy, Technology

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    There has been a lot of talk about Yahoo being “the anti-Apple” when it comes to consumer privacy following last week’s news about a government order granting access to Yahoo Mail. Regardless of what happened there — and it is far from clear — recent reports underscore the need for more consumer awareness about best privacy practices. What’s Going Around It’s definitely been a bad news month for Yahoo starting with the revelation, on September […]

  • Donald Trump

    Does Donald Trump Have A HUGE Credit Score?Politics, credit

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    In the media world, something unprecedented happened last week. Arguably, the most neutral media property in the land, USA Today, ran an editorial entitled, “Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency,’ ” with an explainer (in case the message wasn’t sufficiently clear): “The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now.” This, oddly enough, got me thinking about Mr. Trump’s credit … not his business credit. His personal credit, i.e., […]

  • cyber warfare

    Cyber warfare will be battleground for next U.S. presidentPolitics, Technology

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    When presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debated America’s cyber war capabilities last week, the global cybersecurity community strained hard to read between the lines. The Democratic candidate, in particular, alluded to a notion rarely discussed in public forums: that Uncle Sam does, indeed, possess a very big cyber stick and is prepared, at any moment, to wield it as necessary. “We are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to […]

  • Credit Card

    Americans Have Had Chip Cards for a Year. Here’s How It’s Going So FarConsumer Protection, credit

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    A new rule imposed by the credit card associations took effect Oct. 1, 2015, mandating that merchants accept chip cards or face increased liability for fraud. The date passed last year with a lot of fanfare and considerable frustration; many smaller merchants complained they weren’t ready. Chip cards had been available for more than a decade, but the U.S. had long been a laggard — until a string of high-profile card database thefts, beginning with […]

  • social security

    7 Things To Do if Your Social Security Number is CompromisedGovernment, Identity Theft

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    If you clicked here just to confirm that you have nothing to worry about, sorry – there’s plenty to worry about. This is the part in the movie when the doctor takes off her mask and gloves with a defeated sigh and delivers the dreaded news: something went horribly wrong — and we’re all potentially the patient she’s talking about. You should have already done what I am about to tell you because there’s a […]

  • Wells Fargo Fraud

    Wells Fargo Execs to Give Back Some of Their Millions Following Fake Account ScandalBanking

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    The Wells Fargo sales scandal will cost chairman and chief executive John Stumpf $41 million and former community banking supervisor Carrie Tolstedt $19 million, as per a decision made by the bank’s board announced on Tuesday. The money will come from the executives’ unvested equity awards through a clawback process. For Stumpf, the $41 million is about 25% of the compensation he received during his 35 years at the bank, the Wall Street Journal said; he […]

  • Credit Card Mistake

    Major Title Loan Lender TMX Finance to Pay $9M for Misleading CustomersConsumer Protection, Personal Finance

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    One of the nation’s largest title loan firms was fined $9 million for misleading consumers about their cost of borrowing, federal regulators said Monday. TMX Finance, the parent company of TitleMax, allegedly tricked borrowers into taking out longer-term, more expensive loans, and also used illegal debt collection tactics, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The firm was ordered to stop the illegal tactics. TMX, in a statement, said it settled the case without admitting […]

  • Data Breach

    Without better security, massive Yahoo hack could be the new normData Security, Technology

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    Stronger authentication, less dependence on passwords needed to thwart wide-scale data breaches It’s not the big one, but it’s close. Yahoo confirmed long-suspected reports that a hacker had accessed millions of customer passwords. The number, however, is a bit shocking even to a reporter who’s been writing this same story for the past 10 years. Five hundred million. For many years, I’ve prepared myself to report on a very, very large-scale data compromise that would […]

  • How to Tell If You’ve Been Hacked (& What to Do About It)Identity Theft, Technology

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    Due to the countless ways we connect digitally, the odds of getting hacked are right up there with the likelihood of catching a cold — and like the common cold, you can increase or decrease your risk of exposure to germs that may make you miserable. The goal of a particular hacker may be the creation of a spamming-for-dollars botnet or cracking a target that requires an enormous amount of computing power. It might be […]

  • Wells Fargo Fraud

    Wells Fargo’s Fake Account Scandal: CEO Vows to ‘Make it Right’ but Doesn’t Explain HowBanking, Consumer Protection

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    A group of senators just spent about an hour and a half grilling John Stumpf, the CEO and chairman of Wells Fargo, about 2 million unauthorized accounts that were opened under his watch and how Wells Fargo was going to make it up to customers. Stumpf’s answers to many of those questions was some variation of, “We’re working on it” and “Let me get back to you on that.” It’s perhaps unsurprising that the members of the […]

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