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Bob Sullivan

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Identity Theft

Bob Sullivan is author of the New York Times best-sellers Gotcha Capitalism and Stop Getting Ripped Off. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of other publications. He has appeared as a consumer advocate and technology expert numerous times on NBC’s TODAY show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC, NPR’s Marketplace, Terry Gross’ Fresh Air, and various other radio and TV outlets. He helped start MSNBC.com and wrote there for nearly 20 years, most of it penning the consumer advocacy column The Red Tape Chronicles. See more at www.bobsullivan.net. Follow Bob Sullivan on Facebook or Twitter.

Nation’s Biggest Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealer Fined $8 Million

Managing Debt

Nation’s Biggest Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealer Fined $8 Million

Nation’s Biggest Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealer Fined $8 Million

It’s been a bad week for debt collectors who employ questionable tactics. The largest buy-here, pay-here car dealer in the nation must pay an $8 million civil penalty after an investigation by federal authorities found it had repeatedly harassed consumers and furnished incorrect information to credit bureaus. DriveTime Automotive Group offers car purchase agreements that… Read More

How to Spot a ‘Work From Home’ Scam

Personal Finance

How to Spot a ‘Work From Home’ Scam

How to Spot a ‘Work From Home’ Scam

“Local mom makes $6,795/month part-time!” How? Easy! Posting links on websites. Helping charities raise money. Signing up friends. And really, it is possible — but then, so is winning the lottery this week. Follow that ‘mom’ offer (how did they know what town I live in?) and you’ll find yourself on a page that explains… Read More

Bad Credit Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk

Credit Score

Bad Credit Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk

Bad Credit Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk

A low credit score can’t give you a heart attack, but it might mean you’ll have one soon, a new study has found. There’s now another reason to keep track of your credit, and it actually can be a matter of life or death. Researchers at Duke University have found a link between low credit… Read More

BlackEnergy: The Scariest Malware in America?

Identity Theft

BlackEnergy: The Scariest Malware in America?

BlackEnergy: The Scariest Malware in America?

Malicious software that researchers think has been used by hackers to attack critical infrastructure systems, such as trains and power plants in Ukraine and Poland, has been found in similar American systems, the U.S. government says. And while there is no sign hackers have used the software — called BlackEnergy — to wreak havoc by… Read More

US Postal Service Suffers Data Breach

Identity Theft

US Postal Service Suffers Data Breach

US Postal Service Suffers Data Breach

Employee databases, full of sensitive personal information, are a treasure trove for hackers, and the U.S. Postal service on Monday became the latest employer that’s had to deliver bad news about that data to its workers. Computer criminals potentially compromised critical employee data from the USPS, the agency said, including “names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers,… Read More

4 Student Loan Debt Collection Tricks

Students

4 Student Loan Debt Collection Tricks

4 Student Loan Debt Collection Tricks

Debt collectors have been known to use dirty tricks to get consumers to pay, but those collecting student loans have an especially powerful tool on their side. Unlike most other debt, student loan debt cannot be routinely discharged in bankruptcy. And depending on the type of loan, the debts can be collected through wage garnishments… Read More

Have You Called Your Nana Lately? Debt Collectors Have

Managing Debt

Have You Called Your Nana Lately? Debt Collectors Have

Have You Called Your Nana Lately? Debt Collectors Have

Gripes about debt collectors are the most common complaint filed by older Americans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday. Collection gripes are roughly one out of every three complaints the bureau gets from seniors, it said. Confusion over medical bills, attempts to collect debts of deceased family members, and illegal threats of garnishing federal benefits like… Read More

How Often Should You Change Your Passwords?

Identity Theft

How Often Should You Change Your Passwords?

How Often Should You Change Your Passwords?

“How often should you change your password?” Sounds like it should be a pretty easy question, right?  After all, it gets right to the heart of most security issues that people face. Turns out, it’s a really hard question to answer. And that’s a problem, because as I spend more time giving talks about computer… Read More

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