Data Breach Hits Major Banks

JPMorgan Chase and at least four other major U.S. financial institutions are reporting hack attacks by cyber criminals who lifted customers’ personal information, according to published accounts. The attacks, which apparently took place in August, stole customer data that could be used to drain checking and savings accounts, Bloomberg News said, citing sources briefed by law enforcement. News accounts didn’t name the other banks targeted in the cyber theft or disclose how many customers may be at risk. Banks must …

Are Medical Credit Cards Unhealthy for Your Finances?

You need some expensive medical care yet don’t have the insurance or money to pay for it. Should you use a medical credit card that’s pitched at some doctors’ offices? A new report by the nonprofit Consumer Action warns that some of these cards can be unhealthy for your finances. They usually offer a zero percent introductory rate, though after that period, card terms can vary greatly. The problem is that these terms often are difficult to uncover. So patients …

GE Capital Ordered to Pay $225 Million to Consumers

GE Capital Retail Bank must shell out an estimated $225 million to consumers to settle government claims that it discriminated against Hispanic credit card customers and persuaded other card holders to buy add-on products that promised to cancel part of their debt if they became disabled, lost a job or suffered from another hardship, the Justice Department announced Thursday. “We will continue to take action against marketing tactics that trick consumers into buying credit card products they do not want or cannot use,” …

College Students: Ideal for ID Theft

If you have children or grandkids attending college, or about to graduate, it’s time to school them on the dangers of identity theft. Last year the Better Business Bureau deemed college students the “most at-risk” group for identity theft, and those in their 20s represented 1 in 5 of all victims (higher than any other age group), according to reports filed with the Federal Trade Commission. College students and recent graduates are often targeted because they’re ideal victims. Reasons: Many …

$25: What Scammers Pay for Your Identity

Consider it the law of Evil Economics: With the identity theft business booming, prices for stolen personal information sold on the black market have reached record low prices. “It’s simple supply and demand,” explains Jon Ramsey, chief technology officer at Dell SecureWorks, a division of the computer behemoth. “The identity theft business is so good that there’s a glut on the market” of everything crooks need to commit financial fraud. The result: It costs them less to obtain your stolen identity …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Francis is the first pope on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. (Learn more at Rolling Stone) 2. The Grand Canyon could be 6 million years old … and 70 million years old. (Learn more at NPR) 3. Men are more forgetful than women. (Learn more at Medical News Today) 4. Your cellphone carries 10 times more germs than your toilet. (Learn more at AARP) 5. Cyber criminals are using malicious “RAM scraper” software to steal information about you and …