Current Events

China and Your Checkbook

Posted by on Jun 4, 2019

China and Your Checkbook   Is the trade war with China going to impact your pocket book? Depends on what you are buying. If you are building a home or remodeling, you will see increased prices over last year for doors and crown molding. Products packaged in aluminum cans have seen cost increases. Questions is how much is absorbed by the manufacturer and how much is passed on to consumers. Farmers are feeling a direct impact of trade wars which will have a ripple effect. We are about to enter a second round of tariffs applied to Chinese products. China’s response is to impose their own round...

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Cyber Security Updates

Posted by on Sep 19, 2018

How much is your personal information worth? On the dark web, not much. Your Social Security number can be sold to a hacker for just $1. Your debit card number with bank information or credit card number will put a crook back just $5 each. Medical records tend to go for about $60 because they contain so much information. Creating accounts online could actually help protect your identity. Security expert and writer, Brian Krebs wrote about the strategy this month on his blog. Krebs explains that creating online accounts to manage your various accounts (banking, Social Security, your cable and...

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Cyber Security

Posted by on Jul 3, 2018

Cyber Security Placing a credit freeze with all 3 credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Transunion) can prevent identity theft. Be aware it may not prevent all thefts, as thieves are learning new techniques.  Emerging threat: Your current credit freeze won’t stop this growing fraud Have you frozen your credit? There may be one more thing you need to do. The Identity Fraud Institute has received multiple reports of people having fraudulent cell phone accounts opened in their names even after freezing their credit at Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. How? The director of the...

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Beware! Thieves!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018

IRS is open for business. However, refunds can be held up for closer scrutiny – especially if you are claiming refundable child tax credit or earned income credit. Measures to help detect tax identity theft and refund fraud could result in delays. Emerging Threats New tax bill may increase tax fraud this year. Experts warn that the combination of new laws, IRS budget cuts, and data breaches gives way for hackers to commit tax identity theft. For example, the Equifax breach in 2017 exposed the Social Security numbers of 143 million people, which can be used to file fraudulent tax returns. The...

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Are We On A Sugar High?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018

The stock market has been on a terror. The Dow blowing through a 1000 point increase in just a few days from the end of 2017 into the new year. The S&P rose 19.4% excluding dividends, in 2017 and is up again in 2018. Are we on a sugar high? Can this growth be sustained? Aren’t we do for a market correction? Following several economists and market strategists, there is a consensus that growth will continue in the US and international economies for 2018. Fidelity ‘simplified’ a complicated topic. Fidelity states there are 3 basic concepts for a bright economic outlook. We have resolved...

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Equifax Hack Update

Posted by on Sep 26, 2017

  200,000 credit cards were stolen in the Equifax hack; complete with card numbers and expiration dates. Monitor your credit cards statements closely. Investigate any charges that look unfamiliar no matter how small. Often cards are tested with small purchases. The 3 times my credit card has been accessed, the credit card company caught 2, as they were large and unusual purchases for me i.e. $800 of janitorial supplies in Florida. The third time was a small charge that slipped past the credit card company. I called the company phone number listed on the statement to confirm I had not done...

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