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


  • Debt

    How Many Americans Have Bad Credit?credit, Personal Finance

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    Only a small sliver of people have absolutely terrible credit scores, but plain-old bad credit? That’s a lot more common. Nearly a third of Americans have a credit score lower than 601 — the distinction between bad and fair credit — according to credit bureau Experian. These figures come from a breakdown of Experian’s 2015 VantageScore 3.0 data. It’s the newest VantageScore model, which uses a scale of 300 to 850, and even though it scores 30 […]

  • INFOGRAPHIC: Where the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on CybersecurityData Security, Privacy, Technology

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    In the 2016 presidential race, Cybersecurity has clearly taken a backseat to issues like terrorism, healthcare, and campaign finance. In a 12-month period that has seen the biggest government hack ever (the OPM data breach), a 47 percent increase in identity theft, and a proposed $19 billion security cybersecurity initiative, it’s crucial to know where the candidates stand on issues of security, privacy, and technology. Check out the infographic below to see where the candidates stand: […]

  • Beware: Scammers Love Valentine’s Day, TooConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Valentine’s Day can certainly be stressful. Whether you’re at a loss for what to buy your love or you’re the lamenting the lack of one, you also have to watch out for scammers this time of year. “Scammers play on emotion … and romance is certainly a strong emotion,” the Better Business Bureau said in a recent scam alert. “Any time people are vulnerable, scammers will find opportunity.” Here are a few ways to avoid […]

  • Identity Theft Is Dead. Long Live Identity Theft!Column, Blog

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    Incidents of identity theft held fairly steady last year, according to a new report by Javelin Strategy and Research. It would seem with time-honored methods of ripping people off going the way of Bonnie and Clyde, fraudsters — ever sophisticated, creative and persistent — scrambled to find new ways to increase revenues in 2015. Of course, they did. They always do. If I could drive one point home after reading the latest Javelin report, “2016 […]

  • Credit Card

    Are Chip Cards Exposing You to a Deeper Form of Identity Theft?credit, Identity Theft

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    U.S. consumers have finally been liberated from archaic technology that used to protect them and their credit cards from identity theft. Millions of Americans now have chip-enabled credit cards, and the results of this sweeping change are in. An estimated 13 million consumers fell victim to identity theft fraud in 2015, according to Javelin Strategy and Research’s latest annual Identity Fraud Study. That represents a small (3%) increase over the firm’s 2014 findings, but a more […]

  • Why the IRS Should Push Tax Day to June 15Column, Blog

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    The only way to stop tax refund fraud is to change the way the tax filing and refund system works, and while this may be a painful process for employers and taxpayers alike, it’s necessary. The Problem With Data Unless you’ve been hiding out in the Unabomber Suite at the Loon Lake Lodge, you know that data-related crimes are legion, but what you may not know is that data-related tax fraud specifically is increasing geometrically. […]

  • Empty pocket

    10 Financial Choices You’ll Regret in 10 YearsFinancial Literacy, credit, Personal Finance

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    Life is full of financial decisions, some simple, some complex, but all with the potential to make a real impact on your life. In a decade, your world can look quite a bit different than it is today – all because of these decisions. Today I’d like to focus on some financial choices you’re likely to regret in 10 years. I’d like to save you from the pain, the chaos and the heartache that occurs when […]

  • Hacker

    Forget Credit Cards — Hackers Want Your Uber AccountData Security, Identity Theft, Technology

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    Your Uber account is about 17 times more valuable to a hacker than your credit card credentials, according to a report security company Trend Micro compiled for CNBC. They found that stolen Uber credentials sell for an average of $3.78 per account on underground online marketplaces, while bundles of credit card data are sold for 22 cents, at most. Lots of accounts are more valuable than credit card info. PayPal accounts with a guaranteed balance […]

  • How Mega-Breaches Could Literally Kill YouColumn, Blog

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    It was not very long ago that information shared with your doctor was sacrosanct, at the same remove from exposure as utterances made under the protection of an attorney-client relationship or pillow talk in a spousal bed. That may no longer be the case — and the fallout could be life-threatening. Unless you are living off the grid in a log cabin on Loon Lake, you have heard about the mega-breaches responsible for this paradigm […]

  • Homeowners

    How to Make Sure Your Taxes Are in Shape So You Can Buy a HomeFinancial Literacy, Personal Finance, Money

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    How’s your income? That’s the first question a lender is going to ask when you apply for a home loan. And, at some point during the application process, the lender will likely use your tax returns to validate your answer. Here is how your tax returns may play a role in your ability to obtain a mortgage. What Do Lenders Need to See? If you’re a full-time, salaried employee, paystubs and a W-2 will likely […]

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