In 2013, the FBI arrested a ring of identity thieves responsible for more than $13 million in losses over a two-year period, from 2007 to 2008. Tobechi Onwuhara, a Nigerian national, impersonated victims across the country to scam their credit card companies into transferring millions of dollars from their customers’ home equity line of credit (HELOC) accounts,
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In 2013, Americans were shocked to learn that the National Security Agency conducted mass surveillance of its citizens by intercepting and monitoring Internet and phone traffic within and outside of the country’s borders. When challenged, government officials justified the collection on the basis of national security and ongoing threats of foreign terrorism within the U.S.,
Until President Richard Nixon took the United States off the gold standard in the 1970s, American cash was redeemable for gold or silver. Currently, the U.S. is on a system using fiat currency via the Federal Reserve, as the value of money is based on faith in government and law. While the Federal Reserve maintains
When it comes to managing your money, verifying your credit card and debit card statements is an important part of the process. But how many of us really do this on a consistent basis? I know I don’t. Sure, I look through my statements, but if I see a charge that I don’t specifically remember,
Since prehistoric times, men have adorned themselves in paint, animal skins, and feathers to impress, intimidate, and influence their fellow humans. While people no longer wear such accoutrements, many, particularly those employed within the financial industry, continue to enhance their status by appending alphabetic symbols to their names, the psychic totems of a modern world.
Conservative investors who are disappointed with the mediocre rates of interest offered on their local bank’s CDs may want to explore the world of brokered certificates of deposit. These unique instruments resemble those that are sold in bank lobbies in some respects, but there are critical differences between them. Brokered CDs can be a valuable addition to
Have you ever had an item sitting in your home that’s just too good to discard, but you know you’ll never use it again? You can turn an old possession into something new by bartering. Bartering is the process of obtaining goods or services by direct exchange without the use of currency. In times of
“Cash is king” is an age-old saying often used to explain the failure of both businesses and consumer households. Without the proper amount of cash on hand, both of these entities can run into major trouble, and even be forced into bankruptcy. Businesses must have cash on hand for various reasons, such as investing in
Banks are constantly being gobbled up by larger financial institutions looking to expand their empire. This trend can be extraordinarily frustrating if you’ve spent a long time with a bank you like and then a larger one takes it over and changes all the rules. Getting accustomed to the changes can be unsettling and even
Many goods are slated to increase in price in 2011, such as gasoline, grains, chocolate, and even fast food! It has been frustrating and a little depressing to read these economic predictions. However, there is good news: some things are actually expected to decrease in price. This is especially useful if you are one of
Have you ever heard anyone mention the yield curve and wondered what on earth they were talking about? It’s really not as complicated as it sounds. More importantly, you can make better financial and investment decisions if you have a basic grasp of what the yield curve is and what it might be telling us.