February 4, 2014 |
The blockbuster theft of credit card data from Target during the holiday shopping rush was just one example of the way outdated cards are leaving Americans more vulnerable to fraud and identity theft than shoppers are in other developed countries. The good news is that the credit card industry is in the process of fixing part of the problem. The bad news is that squabbling among retailers, banks and payment processors is getting in the way of a more complete solution. The United States is one of the few remaining places where credit and debit cards rely on a magnetic stripe, rather than a microchip, to store and transmit account information.
February 2, 2014 |
Dear Liz: I'm confused about paying down credit card debt. Some say to pay the lowest-balance cards first and others say the highest balance or the one with the highest interest. I have almost $16,000 on credit cards ranging from a $4,930 balance on a card with an 8.24% interest rate to $660 on a card with an 18% rate. Answer: Actually, the first question you should ask is "How much credit card debt do I have compared to my income?" If your balances equal half or more of your annual earnings, you may not be able to pay it all off. You should make appointments with a legitimate credit counselor (such as one affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at http://www.nfcc.org)
January 31, 2014
Re "Banks put cost ahead of card risk," Column, Jan. 28 David Lazarus is correct that switching to chip-and-PIN cards would make for a much safer credit-card system. But his repeated mantra that lawmakers should impose heavy fines on companies whose customers' personal data are compromised is rather naive. Companies don't have as much control over the more intelligent hackers as he might think. Yes, I was one of those customers whose card was compromised when I used it at Target, but I feel sorry for the corporation, not bitter.
January 30, 2014 |
Moss Adams, one of the nation's largest accounting firms, has launched an online exchange for trading film and other tax credits. Called the Moss Adams Tax Credit Exchange , the marketplace allows film producers and other companies with tax credits to match up with buyers, converting credits they can't use into cash they can reinvest in their business. Buyers can purchase credits online, helping them offset state taxes owed. “We're proud to bring the exchange to our clients and future members and expect it to transform the way tax credits are purchased and sold,” said Rob O'Neill, state and local tax partner at Moss Adams.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Californians who use their credit cards for online purchases would gain some protection, and voters would decide whether the state's public universities could consider race and gender for admissions, under measures passed by the state Senate on Thursday. The Assembly has yet to act on either measure. Responding to cases in which hackers stole personal financial information on millions of credit card users, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) proposed limiting the details that online merchants may collect from their customers.
January 29, 2014 |
AT&T is continuing its fight with T-Mobile by offering new and existing users $100 credit for every new line they add to their service. The Texas-based carrier announced the promotion Wednesday, saying it is a way to reward existing users and entice new ones. The $100 credit applies for every new smartphone, tablet, feature phone, mobile hotspot or wireless home line users add to their AT&T wireless service. The promotion runs through March. PHOTOS: Top 10 tech fails of 2013 To receive the credit, users must keep the services and be in good standing for 45 days.
January 27, 2014 |
Leah Padow knows from identity theft. She recently had five accounts at three banks compromised. The fraud occurred in mid-November, so it was apparently unrelated to the digital break-in at Target, which began after Thanksgiving and resulted in the card numbers and personal information of up to 110 million customers being accessed by hackers. And it was apparently unrelated to the hack attack on Neiman Marcus, which began last summer and resulted in at least 1.1 million customers' card numbers being jeopardized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 2014 |
Rosa Estrada wanted some serious changes at her child's Cudahy elementary school. She joined efforts last fall demanding new leadership amid complaints that the principal had failed to address campus bullying, boost academic performance or work collaboratively. Estrada said none of her numerous calls to L.A. Unified's south area administrators were returned. And in November, after parents submitted a petition to the L.A. Unified Board of Education signed by more than 600 people demanding the principal's removal, they were told the document had been misplaced.
January 21, 2014 |
"The Wolf of Wall Street" director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio will both have the chance to claim their very own Academy Award for best picture at this year's ceremony. On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it had determined the four producers who will represent the film in its bid for the Oscars' top prize: Scorsese, DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. PHOTOS: Oscars 2014 top nominees When the film was nominated for last Sunday's Producers Guild Awards, neither Scorsese nor DiCaprio was among the individual nominees.
January 19, 2014 |
For the millions of millennials stuck living with their parents or struggling with finances on their own, credit cards promising thousands of frequent flier miles on sign-up seem wonderful to pay for a getaway. But beware, experts said at the "More for Your Money" panel at the L.A. Times Travel Show on Saturday. Jen Leo , Web Buzz columnist for the Times, led the conversation with Eric Rosen, editor of The Points Guy blog, and Johnny Jet (John DeScala) world traveler and regular guest on "The Tech Guy Show.