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  • Wells Fargo Fraud

    Wells Fargo’s Fake Account Scandal: CEO Vows to ‘Make it Right’ but Doesn’t Explain How

    Banking Consumer Protection 

    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 […]

  • phishing

    Afraid of Catfishing? A New Tool Is Trying to Make the Internet Safer

    Data Security Identity Theft 

    Anyone who’s read oddly positive online reviews or happened on Twitter users with suspiciously large followings knows that the Internet is full of fakes. Bogus followers or fake reviews aren’t just annoying — they call into question the very notion of crowdsourcing, one of the Internet’s most valuable tools. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are hard at work developing automated tools to separate fake from real, attempting to restore the credibility of the wisdom of […]

  • infected computer

    Careful! Those zip files in your inbox can zap your computer

    Personal Finance 

    You’re busy, so I’ll say this fast and loud: DON’T OPEN UNEXPECTED ZIP FILES THAT ARRIVE AS EMAIL ATTACHMENTS. Suddenly, there are a lot of them around. That advice is nearly as old as email, but as they say, everything old is new again. And the internet is newly awash in spam sending out booby-trapped zip file attachments. My inbox has seen a steady trickle of the stuff for the past couple of months, but […]

  • Holiday scam

    You Have Just 100 Days to Plan for Holiday Scams

    Consumer Protection Identity Theft 

    Whether you are hoping we can “Make America Great Again,” working tirelessly for those who say that we are “Stronger Together,” or simply trying to make it through another day, it is highly likely that Christmas is the furthest thing from your thoughts right now. But with only 54 days ‘till Election Day, I can already tell you what’s going to happen, and it’s not going to be pretty. I’m not talking about the continuing […]

  • student loan debt

    This For-Profit School Is Forgiving $23.5 Million in Student Loan Debt in CFPB Settlement

    Consumer Protection student loans 

    A for-profit school that allegedly told students their loans would only cost $25 per month to repay must now forgive those loans, federal regulators announced Monday. The firm, publicly-traded Bridgepoint Education Inc., has agreed to discharge all outstanding private loans and refund some students after allegations that it engaged in unfair or deceptive practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Monday. San Diego-based Bridgepoint currently has nearly 50,000 students, mostly enrolled online in schools it […]

  • credit fraud

    Wells Fargo Fined $185 Million Over Fake Credit Card & Deposit Accounts

    Banking credit 

    Thousands of Wells Fargo bank employees seeking sales bonuses participated in a scheme that led to the opening of roughly 2 million unauthorized accounts, federal regulators said Thursday. For failing to monitor an incentive program that spun out of control, leading to “widespread” abuse of consumers’ information, Well Fargo must now pay the biggest-ever penalty levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency said. At the root of the scheme was a program […]

  • cyber sharks

    Why College Freshmen Are Chum for the Cyber Sharks

    Column Identity Theft 

    Identity theft and countless other scams are often among the first life lessons learned by newly minted college students. As summer draws to a close, members of the Class of 2020 face an unimaginable number of potential pitfalls. Be prepared to meet the specific challenges ahead. Most incoming college students will at some point find themselves feeling overwhelmed by their newfound freedom. With the exception of sleep away camp, it will be longest stretch of […]

  • Scam Alert

    Beware: Scammers May Be Posing as Your Realtor

    Mortgages Consumer Protection 

    There’s a scam afoot, or, shall we say, a-wire that prospective homebuyers may want to be on the lookout for, and it happens like this: You’re nosing around the real estate market — maybe even close to buying a house or piece of property. And then you get a message from your real estate agent urging you to wire money to secure the deal. As you might have guessed, a scammer is spoofing your real estate agent’s account […]

  • student loan debt

    The Weird Way Missing a Student Loan Payment Can Absolutely Destroy Your Credit

    student loans Personal Finance 

    If you have student loans and have looked at your credit reports, you might’ve noticed there are multiple entries for your loans. That’s because each disbursement can be reported as a separate loan, even if you make just one repayment each month. And while a student may get just one federal loan for the year, it will usually be given to them in two or more disbursements. Multiply two or three disbursements over a four- or five-year […]

  • selling personal data

    Companies say they won’t share your personal data … but then they do


    Buyer beware: Loopholes allow customers’ email, other info to be sold or shared Another day, another reminder that companies don’t really have to abide by promises to not share your personal information. They have a big “but” in their contracts. WhatsApp and Facebook have made this clear. We’ll get to that in a moment. Most recently, millions of Sports Authority customers began receiving notices that their email addresses and other data were about to be […]