26 03, 2020

How to Receive Financial Assistance and Relief During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

By |2020-03-26T20:43:14+00:00March 26th, 2020|

The coronavirus pandemic has already dealt a severe blow to the American economy and has caused financial insecurity for countless citizens. The situation seems poised to get worse before it gets better. If you’re experiencing financial hardship – such as a job loss or reduced income – because of COVID-19-related circumstances, there are local, state [...]

23 03, 2020

Carnival Corp. Cruise Lines Doubly Hit by Data Breach and Coronavirus

By |2020-03-23T22:42:09+00:00March 23rd, 2020|

Cruise lines Princess Cruises and Holland America Line recently revealed they suffered a data breach, another hit to the cruise line industry that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Officials for the cruise lines, both owned by parent company Carnival Corp., said in May 2019 they identified suspicious activity on their servers and launched [...]

18 03, 2020

How to Stretch Your Finances During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By |2020-03-20T23:08:50+00:00March 18th, 2020|

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already caused major disruption in the United States. The economy is suffering, businesses are reducing services or closing their doors and Americans are hunkering down to avoid spreading a global pandemic. The turmoil can put an enormous strain on the finances of millions of people. Many Americans may experience job loss, [...]

17 03, 2020

Cyberattack Aimed at U.S. Health Agency Suspected of Trying to Slow Coronavirus Response

By |2020-03-20T23:09:36+00:00March 17th, 2020|

Federal officials say the goal of a recent cyberattack on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department was to spread disinformation and disrupt the agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The cyberattack aimed to overload the agency’s servers by using automated users, or bots, to create millions of hits over a short period of time [...]

13 03, 2020

Can’t Afford Your IRS Tax Bill? Here are Your Options

By |2020-03-13T19:57:29+00:00March 13th, 2020|

After doing your taxes, you might find out you owe a hefty tax bill to the IRS. Millions of people owe the IRS every tax season and coming up with the money all at once can be a big financial burden. While you probably won’t be able to get out of paying the IRS, you [...]

5 03, 2020

T-Mobile Hacked in Another Data Breach

By |2020-03-05T19:23:50+00:00March 5th, 2020|

T-Mobile has once again been hacked in a data breach. Company officials are alerting customers to a recent data breach that has put their personal information at risk. The newest data breach comes after the company experienced two data breaches in the last two years. T-Mobile reported a data breach exposing personal information of about [...]

3 03, 2020

4 Smart Financial Moves to Make with Your Tax Refund

By |2020-03-03T20:55:42+00:00March 3rd, 2020|

When you receive a tax refund, it simply means that you've overpaid on your taxes for the previous year and the government is returning your money. But receiving a lump sum all at once can still feel like found money, and you may be tempted to splurge on something you’ve had your eye on, like [...]

20 02, 2020

Planning to Buy a Home? Don’t Forget These Hidden Home Costs

By |2020-02-20T21:22:49+00:00February 20th, 2020|

When you’re looking for a home to buy, you’re probably focused on two big numbers: the sale price of the home and the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. But these numbers only tell part of the story. There are many other upfront and ongoing costs – or hidden costs – that you may be [...]

5 02, 2020

Tax Identity Theft? How to Recover Your Return

By |2020-02-05T21:43:30+00:00February 5th, 2020|

Tax season can sometimes be stressful — even when things go according to plan — but what happens when you are the victim of tax identity theft? Unfortunately, if your identity is stolen and used for tax-related fraud, you might never receive that tax refund. If someone used your personal information to file a fraudulent [...]

3 02, 2020

How to Protect Your Identity During Tax Season

By |2020-02-03T19:10:22+00:00February 3rd, 2020|

Tax season is officially here with Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, Feb. 3 – 7. While it’s important to be on high alert and protect your identity all year long, tax season is an especially vulnerable time. Every tax season, identity thieves run a variety of scams to get their hands on taxpayers’ personal information. [...]

28 01, 2020

FICO to Release FICO Scores 10 and 10T as Newest Versions of Credit Scores

By |2020-01-28T00:39:07+00:00January 28th, 2020|

FICO® has announced its newest credit score models – the FICO Score 10 and FICO Score 10T – with a focus on consumer personal loans and credit trends. The new FICO Scores aim to reward those who pay lenders on time and give lenders more precision and predictability powers when making lending decisions, said Jim [...]

22 01, 2020

How to Plan a Debt-Free Vacation This Year

By |2020-01-27T21:45:16+00:00January 22nd, 2020|

Planning a debt-free vacation is ideal. But traveling is costly, and the expenses can really stack up when it comes to vacations. Many people end up piling debt onto their credit cards just to travel to exciting destinations or get some rest and relaxation. If you want to plan a vacation this year without going [...]

20 01, 2020

Phishing Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated

By |2020-01-20T18:47:14+00:00January 20th, 2020|

Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their phishing email attempts to steal personal and company data. The number of data breaches caused by phishing is increasing with hackers finding their way into a company’s network using phished information such as employees’ stolen credentials, according to a recent report from cybersecurity organization Crowdstrike. In [...]

16 01, 2020

Equifax to Pay $380.5 Million to Data Breach Victims

By |2020-01-20T22:28:03+00:00January 16th, 2020|

A federal court has approved a $380.5 million Equifax settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit stemming from the credit-reporting firm’s 2017 massive data breach that put almost half the U.S population’s personal information at risk. In the approved agreement, Equifax officials are placing $380.5 million into a fund for consumers affected by the data breach. [...]

14 01, 2020

Texas School District Loses $2.3 Million in Phishing Email Scam

By |2020-01-14T18:04:00+00:00January 14th, 2020|

A Texas school district is out $2.3 million after falling victim to a phishing email scam. The Manor Independent School District recently announced it is working with the Manor Police Department and FBI to track down a scammer who siphoned about $2.3 million from the district after a single employee responded to a phishing email. [...]

13 01, 2020

How to Pay Down Holiday Credit Card Debt

By |2020-01-13T20:13:16+00:00January 13th, 2020|

If you went into debt shopping for the holidays, you’re probably not alone. Many American consumers plan to put at least some of their holiday spending on their credit card to pay off later. But putting too much holiday debt on your credit card can be bad for your wallet and your credit. Large credit [...]

8 01, 2020

5 Credit Score Myths to Stop Believing

By |2020-01-08T19:55:36+00:00January 8th, 2020|

There is a general lack of awareness surrounding credit, as American consumers’ knowledge about credit scores has been on a steady decline since 2012. And when you aren’t informed about your credit, it can be easy to believe misinformation and even spread it to others. Unfortunately, believing falsehoods about your credit can lead you to [...]

6 01, 2020

Data Breach Hits Parent Company of Joe’s Crab Shack, Claim Jumper, Rainforest Café and More

By |2020-01-06T19:23:38+00:00January 6th, 2020|

Landry’s Inc., the parent company of more than 600 restaurants, hotels and casinos, has announced a data breach exposing customers’ card payment information. Company officials reported a hacker accessed and installed malware to their network supporting payment processing, which is used by servers to swipe and charge customer credit cards. They said encryption technology made [...]

2 01, 2020

5 Ways to Make Smarter Credit Decisions in the New Year

By |2020-01-02T17:09:03+00:00January 2nd, 2020|

Want to enhance your finances in 2020? Practicing better credit habits should be a key part of your strategy. Responsible use of credit is reflected on your credit report and affects how creditors view your ability to effectively manage debt. Any financial wellness plan for the new year should include a credit plan. Here are [...]

31 12, 2019

6 of the Biggest Data Breaches of the Year

By |2019-12-31T00:13:09+00:00December 31st, 2019|

The year 2019 saw thousands of data breaches of all types and sizes. Billions of personal records were exposed, caused by malicious hacks and organizational incompetence. The public has had their payment information stolen, personal data leaked and private messages exposed. Data breaches have been on an upward trend since the early 2000s, and the [...]

21 12, 2019

Facebook Faces Another Data Breach with 267 Million Users Exposed

By |2019-12-21T00:47:44+00:00December 21st, 2019|

Facebook is ending the year with another data breach, this time with 267 million users’ personal information exposed. The monumental data breach comes after cybersecurity firm Comparitech and researcher Bob Diachenko found a database with the names, phone numbers and Facebook IDs for about 267 million users open on the web. The database was not [...]

19 12, 2019

Canada’s Largest Laboratory Pays Ransom to Retrieve 15 Million Stolen Patient Records

By |2019-12-19T17:05:45+00:00December 19th, 2019|

Officials at LifeLabs, the largest diagnostics and testing services laboratory in Canada, recently announced they paid hackers an undisclosed ransom to retrieve more than 15 million stolen patients’ records. The laboratory was breached last month with hackers removing patient data and requiring a ransom in order for the company to regain the records. Personal information [...]

17 12, 2019

Pennsylvania Attorney General Reaches $110,000 Data Breach Settlement with Orbitz and Expedia

By |2019-12-17T18:54:51+00:00December 17th, 2019|

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently announced a $110,000 settlement with the traveling websites Orbtiz and Expedia after a data breach that put the credit card information of almost 21,000 state residents at risk. Shapiro lead an investigation into the data breach that discovered a hacker was able to add malware to steal credit card [...]

12 12, 2019

California Water District Data Breach Exposes Credit Card Information

By |2019-12-12T20:58:23+00:00December 12th, 2019|

The Cucamonga Valley Water District, a water district in Southern California, is informing customers of a data breach that might have put their credit card information at risk. Water district officials said a server operated by outside vendor Central Square, which the water district uses to collect one-time credit card payments, was breached by an [...]

10 12, 2019

Why Local Governments Are Vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks

By |2019-12-10T17:29:07+00:00December 10th, 2019|

The highest profile data breaches and cyberattacks often involve big businesses with millions of customers. But private companies aren’t the only organizations that are vulnerable to cybercrime – local governments are also popular targets for criminals. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation, 16% of all 2018 data breaches involved public sector entities including state [...]

6 12, 2019

SMS Database Leaves Millions of Text Messages with Personal Info Exposed

By |2019-12-06T19:02:59+00:00December 6th, 2019|

SMS communications company TrueDialog left millions of text messages exposed and unprotected in an online database that security researchers discovered last month, according to reports. TrueDialog is a communications company that enables clients, including private businesses and universities, to send text messages to customers, students and other individuals. The service allows message recipients to respond [...]

5 12, 2019

On the Border Restaurant Data Breach Affects 28 States

By |2019-12-05T19:42:17+00:00December 5th, 2019|

The Mexican food chain restaurant On the Border has announced a data breach that put customers’ payment information at risk in 28 states. On the Border officials said the breach, discovered by the company on Nov. 14, exposed customers’ personal information, including their names, credit card numbers and credit card verification codes. The breach came [...]

3 12, 2019

T-Mobile Data Breach Allows Hackers to Access Customers’ Personal Information

By |2019-12-03T16:55:53+00:00December 3rd, 2019|

Wireless carrier T-Mobile recently discovered a data breach that allowed hackers to access the personal information of more than one million customers, the company recently announced. The breach exposed the personal data of customers with prepaid wireless accounts in which they paid a predetermined fee ahead of time for their wireless usage. According to T-Mobile, [...]

25 11, 2019

Watch Out for Scams This Holiday Season

By |2019-11-25T17:26:06+00:00November 25th, 2019|

This holiday season alone, retail industry professionals expect Americans to spend more than $1 trillion. Criminals see this increased spending as an opportunity to rip off consumers, steal their money, and obtain their personal data to commit fraud and identity theft. It pays to be vigilant. Here are four types of scams to watch out [...]

18 11, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Automatic Bill Payments

By |2019-11-18T21:03:20+00:00November 18th, 2019|

These days, many banks and service providers offer automatic payments to make paying your bills a little easier. This feature lets the companies you do business with automatically charge your credit card or debit your bank account on a predetermined date every month. While automatic payments can remove many of the headaches associated with paying [...]

29 10, 2019

Consumer Knowledge of Credit Scores Steadily Declining

By |2019-10-29T18:09:46+00:00October 29th, 2019|

Americans’ knowledge of credit scores has been steadily declining since 2012, according to a recently released survey from the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, LLC. The survey was conducted by phone and posed a number of credit score related questions to 1,002 American adults. The improved economy could be one reason for the [...]

24 10, 2019

National Average of FICO Credit Score at Record High

By |2019-10-24T21:00:02+00:00October 24th, 2019|

The developer of the most popular credit scoring model, FICO® Credit Scores, announced last month the national average FICO score has reached 704, an all-time high. Average scores have steadily risen for nine straight years since bottoming out at 686 during the Great Recession. Stronger credit scores give consumers better borrowing power, access to better [...]

17 10, 2019

The Origins and History of the Dark Web

By |2019-10-17T19:57:52+00:00October 17th, 2019|

Accessing the Dark Web? You’ll need Tor For anyone to access the dark web, a special type of software and web browser is required. The most well-known and frequently-used software is the Tor browser, which stands for The Onion Router. Tor protects the anonymity of its users by using multiple layers of encryption. Keep in [...]

15 10, 2019

New Malware Zombie Attack Targets Windows Users

By |2019-10-15T19:13:07+00:00October 15th, 2019|

A new zombie attack is preying on Windows users in an attempt to take over their machines, according to researchers. Microsoft security researchers recently reported a new malware campaign, called Nodersok, that aims to disable Windows Updates and Windows Defender and turn the victimized device into a “zombie” proxy. The Nodersok infection begins with a [...]

14 10, 2019

How to Spot an Email Phishing Attempt at Work

By |2019-10-14T15:58:02+00:00October 14th, 2019|

Anyone who uses a work email address needs to be wary of email phishing scams, a common tool used by cybercriminals to prey on businesses, government entities, and other employers. Phishing emails are a common form of social engineering used to impersonate the email of a legitimate sender – such as a company or colleague [...]

10 10, 2019

New Social Security Scam Advises Victims to Move Money to Prepaid Cards to Steal Funds

By |2019-10-10T19:13:09+00:00October 10th, 2019|

A new Social Security scam is using scare tactics and prepaid cards to steal victims’ money. The new scam involves phone calls from criminals claiming to be from the Social Security Administration and reporting there has been suspicious activity involving the potential victim’s Social Security number (SSN), according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. The [...]

8 10, 2019

SIM Swap Scams: How to Protect Yourself

By |2019-10-08T22:02:37+00:00October 8th, 2019|

A SIM swap scam occurs when thieves have gained enough of your personal information to convince a wireless provider to transfer your phone number to a new SIM card that is in their control. Once they have your phone number, they will try to access your accounts, including email, banking and even social media, and [...]

30 09, 2019

What is Email Spoofing? Definition & Protection Tips

By |2019-09-30T19:43:31+00:00September 30th, 2019|

When people hear the term “spoof” they often think of a humorous parody of a song, movie, or real situation. It’s all about imitation — just like it is in the context of cybersecurity. But when it comes to cybersecurity, the imitation isn’t about humor or entertainment. In this context, spoofing refers to the malicious [...]

17 09, 2019

Watch Out for This Google Calendar Phishing Scam

By |2019-09-17T17:05:54+00:00September 17th, 2019|

Email and phone phishing scams are commonplace in the modern age. Their goal is to trick you into providing personal information, such as bank account numbers or personally identifying data, that can be used to commit fraud or identify theft. But thanks to spam filters and call screening, many phishing scams now go ignored. However, [...]

3 09, 2019

Report: More than Half of Social Media Login Attempts are Fraud

By |2019-09-03T22:11:23+00:00September 3rd, 2019|

Scammers make up more than half of login attempts on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, according to a new report. A new fraud and abuse report by Arkose Labs found that 53% of logins along with 25% of new account signups on social media are by scammers. Most of the fraudulent [...]

30 08, 2019

Instagram Accounts at Risk with New Phishing Scam Using False 2-Factor Authentication

By |2019-09-03T17:56:59+00:00August 30th, 2019|

A new phishing scam is using false two-factor authentication to take over Instagram accounts. The scam, recently discovered by researchers, starts with emails stating the recipients have had a login attempt into their Instagram accounts. The email states if the recipients did not attempt to log into their accounts they need to log in and [...]

28 08, 2019

How to Know When a Store Credit Card Isn’t Worth Your Time

By |2019-08-28T22:00:43+00:00August 28th, 2019|

Many retailers, from online sellers to department stores and smaller chains, have their own version of a store-branded credit card. Chances are that you’ve been offered one in exchange for a discount off your purchase at some point. While retailers often try to lure customers at the cash register with savings, store credit cards aren’t [...]

27 08, 2019

Five Charged in ‘Largest Criminal Case Ever’ of Identity Theft Targeting Military Members and Veterans

By |2019-09-19T17:59:37+00:00August 27th, 2019|

Five men have been charged with stealing millions of dollars from military members and veterans as part of an international identity theft and fraud ring that used stolen personal information to gain access to Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs benefit sites. The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Frederick Brown, Robert Wayne Boling Jr., [...]

26 08, 2019

My Information is for Sale on the Dark Web: What Should I Do?

By |2019-08-29T00:46:32+00:00August 26th, 2019|

The numerous recent data breaches have exposed the personal information of millions of people and put them at risk of having their information bought and sold on the dark web. The dark web is where cybercriminals go to anonymously buy and sell information – such as names, passwords, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers [...]