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  • Shocked couple paying bills

    Worried About Another Recession? Here’s Something You Can Control

    Personal Finance 

    Some analysts and economists are worried there might be an economic contraction or recession in the very near future. Stock markets are falling, oil prices are falling and other (slightly more advanced) indicators are making Americans worried about just how healthy the economy is. Some Americans may need to look for another job or open up their coffers (and potentially lines of credit or credit cards) as they pinch pennies. That’s when a good credit scoremay come […]

  • Debt

    How Many Americans Have Bad Credit?

    credit Personal Finance 

    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 […]

  • 8 Travel Tips for a Scam-free Vacation

    Personal Finance 

    Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this year, which means spring is right around the corner. For the winter weary, however, summer is still too far away and the lure of blue-green seascapes under sunny skies is strong. If you’ve decided to take the plunge, remember: Your vacation is supposed to be a time to unwind. Unfortunately, there are thieves who make a living off your relaxation—waiting for your guard to be down. That’s why […]

  • INFOGRAPHIC: Where the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Cybersecurity

    Data Security Privacy Technology 

    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, Too

    Consumer Protection Identity Theft 

    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 

    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 

    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 […]

  • Identity theft

    Identity Theft Complaints Are Up 47% in Just One Year

    Identity Theft 

    Reports of identity theft shot up in 2015, largely driven by an increase in tax- and wage-related fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. People made 490,220 identity theft complaints to the FTC in 2015, up from 332,647 (a 47% increase) in 2014 and 290,102 in 2013. From 2014 to 2015, there were 51% more complaints related to tax and wage identity theft, which isn’t all that surprising. All thieves need is a Social Security number […]

  • Why the IRS Should Push Tax Day to June 15

    Column Blog 

    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 Years

    Financial Literacy credit Personal Finance 

    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 […]

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