Friday, February 21, 2020

Personal information of guests at MGM resorts taken in data breach and posted to hacker forum


The personal information of over 10.6 million people who stayed at MGM resorts (which might include National Harbor near Washington DC) was taken and apparently was posted on a hacker’s forum. 
  

Lifelock also sent out advisory emails to AOL email account holders today.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Dear credit card companies: Make your websites easier to log on to, and late payments won't happen as often



OK, I have to face up.  I let three bills slide, got preoccupied (partly with following coronavirus).

I suddenly “remembered” when I was paying a check at a Ruby Tuesday while “on the road” yesterday evening on a “dangerous day trip”.  I probably had forgotten to do the American Express Optima payment due Feb. 3.

When I got home, indeed I had.  An email had just arrived.  I got charged a $28 late fee but the minimum payment was not raised.  The new bill had not been generated yet.  I added $28 to the last statement and paid it online immediately. 

It looks like Amazon had been missed but not marked behind.  I paid that, but it takes two days the way the account is connected to BofA.  An Amazon Prime membership had come in and been overlooked.  The problem is that the Chase account is very hard to log on to, the pw gets lost, so I tend to put off doing it.

I caught the Best Buy card ($197 bill) just in time.  But it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to get to my credit card account from my Best Buy logon. 
   
Lesson to credit card companies:  make your websites easy to use, and “accidentally” missed or late payments will occur less often.

Friday, January 24, 2020

FICO changes may hurt many consumers, and help more stable ones over long time periods


Fair Isaac will change its credit scoring model to FICO 10, which will evaluate payback trends over a longer period (so sudden bursts for vacation trips don’t hurt) but will sometimes penalize loan consolidation, especially into personal loans. Here is a typical writeup
  
  
When I worked for Chilton in Dallas in the 80s, there was a system called “risk predictor” (coded in assembler) that fed input into the Fair Isaac system.  Chilton became TRW and then Experian.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Equifax settlement deadline filing is January 22, 2020


Okay, I got this popup from Windows from CNET on the Equifax breach and tried it.  Jan. 22 is the deadline for submitting a claim to Equifax.

  
I was told that according to my last name and last six of the social that there was evidence of breach.


   
But in my case the only remedy available was the free credit monitoring.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Credit freezes v. credit locks



Here’s a little summary from Lending Tree on the pros and cons of freezing your credit report to prevent impersonation and identity theft.
  
The biggest problem is that it creates extra work for you.  That’s particularly true if you are buying a house or car, renting an apartment (Tenant check), or entering into business arrangements with others (which is becoming common now with various Internet platforms and even the crypto “free speech” movement). 


Tangentially related may be the report that Airbnb is supporting the development of an artificial intelligence “social credit check” of a consumer’s social media (would expect Uber, etc, might do the same – anything where a gig contractor or worker has to be concerned about security from potential consumers).  That’s on my Trademark blog Jan. 7.
   
Jazz Wealth Managers explains the difference between credit freeze and credit lock.  A credit lock offers an app where you can unfreeze your credit with less work, but it allows the credit reporting companies to keep selling your data (think about this – compare to COPPA, CCPA, etc for Internet content creators and behavioral ads).

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

A surprise credit check for New Year's from the "other" credit reporting company


I got an email from the least known of the three credit reporting companies, Trans Union, today, and found I had a password with them that I had never recorded.  Odd.  But it did the two-step verification and let me reset it.
My scores were all A and low insurance risk (950).  That itself is interesting because that means my blogging and social media presence isn’t considered to affect my credit score.  That is, we don’t see “social credit scoring” in the main credit system, yet, in the US.  It just seems that tech companies have their own.

I did see that TransUnion has a concept called “Alerts”, and when I worked for Chilton in Dallas (became TRW, became Experian) in the 1980s, we had a whole department of ALC programmers managing “Alerts”. 
   
TransUnion is located in Chicago (I thought some of it was near Harrisburg PA). 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Is privacy.com convenient enough to use for everything? It does seem curative for credit card fraud


As I recall, it was David Pakman who mentioned privacy.com as a practical shield against fraud and maybe identity theft when shopping online.

Here’s a video

   
And here’s a writeup on how it’s supposed to work.  You create pseudo-cards with each vendor and pay from a bank account, but you give up rewards.