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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.

How Real People Can Actually Use Bitcoins

Personal Finance

How Real People Can Actually Use Bitcoins

How Real People Can Actually Use Bitcoins

Bitcoin enthusiasts gathered at a trade show in New York City last week to show off their latest digital currency creations. Heading the discussion: Efforts to make sure bitcoins are accepted and available as broadly as possible. To that end, word leaked that a bitcoin-based debit card may soon make its way to the U.S…. Read More

Will the Internet Ever Be ‘Safe’?

Identity Theft

Will the Internet Ever Be ‘Safe’?

Will the Internet Ever Be ‘Safe’?

This one really hurts. In the past few months, consumers have been deluged with one reason after another to fear technology and transactions. Target. Neiman Marcus. Michaels. Millions of stolen credit cards. Millions of passwords leaked and lost by Adobe. Net users are used to, and perhaps growing numb to, the constant bad news. But… Read More

New Bill Would Mandate a Free Annual Credit Score

Credit Score

New Bill Would Mandate a Free Annual Credit Score

New Bill Would Mandate a Free Annual Credit Score

Americans would gain free access to their credit scores and new rights to challenge errors that keep scores low under a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday. The “Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act” is sponsored by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The legislation would force the… Read More

The Strategy Car Dealers Use to Get You to Pay More

Personal Finance

The Strategy Car Dealers Use to Get You to Pay More

The Strategy Car Dealers Use to Get You to Pay More

There’s a car dealer outside New York City who aggressively advertises $7,500 discounts for buyers who show up for a “sale.” The sale is, of course, temporarily permanent, and offered for every Hallmark holiday. How can he do it? Listen carefully to the ad, and you’ll hear the phrase “discounted … from the posted dealer… Read More

A Browser Add-On That Lets You Control Your Data

Identity Theft

A Browser Add-On That Lets You Control Your Data

A Browser Add-On That Lets You Control Your Data

If you make a product designed to help people protect their privacy, a shout-out from Edward Snowden is marketing gold.  That’s what happened recently for the makers of Ghostery, a free Web browser plugin that shows users which companies are tracking their online habits. The tool, which lists third-party firms collecting data in a small… Read More

The Slacker’s Guide to Facebook Privacy

Identity Theft

The Slacker’s Guide to Facebook Privacy

The Slacker’s Guide to Facebook Privacy

If you are really concerned about privacy, then you probably shouldn’t use Facebook. But if you are like a billion people on the planet, you’ve decided that Facebook’s tradeoff between sharing and privacy is worth it. That’s certainly reasonable.  Plenty of non-Facebookers today complain that they miss out on a lot of social activity —… Read More

The High Cost of Being Sentimental

Personal Finance

The High Cost of Being Sentimental

The High Cost of Being Sentimental

Wasting time recently on a discussion board for rabid sports fans, my eyes stopped on a phrase that shocked me: “endowment effect.” Dropped casually in among the emotional discussion of who’s the best offensive or defensive player was a high-fallutin’ term from economics. I thought it out of place for a moment, but quickly realized… Read More

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