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


  • 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 […]

  • Phishing

    7 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft Before Facebook Gets HackedBlog, Identity Theft

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    We’re coming up on three years since Mark Zuckerberg famously announced, “The age of privacy is over.” Some of us, however, still value our privacy. The nonstop Facebook information grabs of late, coupled with recent high-profile security breaches, point to the inevitable: a catastrophic breach at Facebook. When that happens, the most concentrated dossier about you, including all your personally identifiable information, will be in the wrong hands. Facebook’s bet has always been that you […]

  • The 10 Dumbest Risks You Can Take With a SmartphoneBlog, Privacy, Technology

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    If you think of your smartphone as just a phone, rather than a very powerful mini-computer that happens to make phone calls, you may be cruising for a world of pain. That’s because the amount of sensitive data many of us store on our phones is truly staggering. A smartphone provides us direct access to our savings and checking accounts. It may store our passwords to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, even our email accounts. The phone […]

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