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 …

Hackers Go Upscale, Infiltrate Neiman Marcus Accounts

Hackers have gone from low-end to high-end retail, as luxury merchant Neiman Marcus became the latest to announce that it’s a victim of a data breach. This comes on the heels of a disclosure last month by Minneapolis-based discounter Target, which reported hackers gained access to payment card data on about 40 million credit and debit accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.  On Friday, Target updated its breach investigation, saying the names, mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers …

Want Your FICO Credit Score for Free?

So you want to know your credit score but you don’t want to pay for it? You may be in luck. Accessing your FICO score, which lenders use to judge creditworthiness and decide whether to grant you that loan or credit card, is getting a bit easier. Discover Financial Services is the latest credit card issuer to provide its customers with their FICO scores if they qualify for one of their cards, Bloomberg reports. “Discover it” cardholders will be the …

Shopping With Credit-Card Readers Attached to Smartphones

If my friend Beth’s recent holiday buying is any indication, shoppers are in for a more-connected experience. Last week, my 82-year-old buddy wanted to buy a platter at her church bazaar. She was met with a “newfangled credit-card” gadget. “The salesgirl told me to slide my credit card through a little square thing attached to her phone,” Beth told me.  “She said it was safe, I did it, I hope it was ok.” That small device called Square is a …