Police: Illegal Use of a Credit Card; Vomit-Covered Woman Imagines Cops …
News from Patch.com:

FRIDAY, FEB. 24 

Illegal Use of a Credit Card

Tracy A. Morack, 33, of the 8200 block of Pecan Place in Frankfort, was arrested around 7 p.m. at the Tinley Park Police Department, 7850 W. 183rd St., on a warrant for unlawful use of a credit card. 

SUNDAY, FEB. 19

Laptop Snagged at Chuck E. Cheese’s

A man reported that sometime between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., someone stole his Dell laptop from Chuck E. Cheese’s, 16090 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park. The man said the computer was in a backpack that he’d placed on the floor during a 2-year-old’s birthday party. The bag was under the seat of one of the booths at the restaurant, the report said. The theft wasn’t reported right away because the man assumed someone accidentally took the bag home with party gifts.

THURSDAY, FEB. 2

Vomit-Covered Woman Imagines Cops Pulling Her Over

Officers charged a local woman with drunken driving after they found her sitting in her idle car, which she stopped four houses away from where she lived, the report said.

Marlene J. Meier told officers she was stopped in the 16700 block of Oketo Avenue because that’s where she was pulled over by police, according to the report. But t…………… continues on Patch.com

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How the credit CARD Act does not protect you
News from KAIT:

By Andrew Housser

The Credit CARD (Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure) Act went into effect two years ago. Its purpose was to regulate how credit card lenders can charge and communicate with consumers. The law’s two-year anniversary is a good time to revisit the law and understand the ways consumers can still be vulnerable even with the law in place.

With the CARD Act, credit card issuers must:

1) Provide consistent due dates.

Lenders must allow at least 21 days from when they mail a bill for the payment to be due. Also, a credit card’s due date will be on the same date each month.

2) Apply payments to costliest balance.

Card issuers must apply all payments above the minimum amount due to the balance with the highest interest rate.

3) Require co-signers.

Borrowers under 21 require a co-signer, or proof of sufficient income to repay debt up to their credit limit. As well, card issuers can no longer give gifts in exchange for completing card applications in settings such as college campuses.

4) Consider ability to repay.

Lenders must consider a borrower’s ability to repay debt before approving a card or raising credit limits. This helps consumers stay within healthy debt limits, an…………… continues on KAIT

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No cash, credit or debit card at Home Depot? Use PayPal

Posted by administrator | 29/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

No cash, credit or debit card at Home Depot? Use PayPal
News from Chicago Sun-Times:

Customers at Chicago-area Home Depots will be able to start paying with PayPal accounts beginning Mar. 7, 2012. | AP Photo~Danny Johnston

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fileheaderid: 4424068

Updated: February 28, 2012 9:07PM

Beginning next week, customers at Chicago-area Home Depot stores will be able to pay for purchases using PayPal, either by punching in their mobile phone number or swiping a special PayPal card.

The PayPal rollout — which comes to Chicago’s 60 Home Depot stores March 7 — is part of the San Jose, Calif.-based online-payments company’s efforts to take advantage of consumers’ growing use of mobile technology to pay for goods at brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Indeed, PayPal plans to make its payment system available at 21 more nationwide retailers by year’s end. PayPal hasn’t yet named those retailers.

Chicago-area residents with existing PayPal accounts or those who set up an account online must go to Pa…………… continues on Chicago Sun-Times

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Banks promoting credit card use for big purchases
News from mydigitalfc.com:

Credit card companies are encouraging existing customers to revolve their credit and promoting card use by reducing interest rates and going in for co-branding of cards.

Last month HSBC reduced the annual interest rate on its credit cards by 600 basis points to 31.2-33.6 per cent. SBI Cards too recently reduced the interest rate on its fixed deposit-linked credit cards to as low as 18-27 per cent per annum, from 37 per cent earlier.

The move by the companies came at a time when the credit card companies were struggling to add numbers. The total outstanding credit cards in the country have remained stagnant at 17.60 million levels since April 2011, compared with the 27 million-levels seen at the peak of the business in 2007-08. Debit cards on the other hand have been seeing growth every passing month with 263 million debit cards outstanding, as of December 2011.

“Unlike the peak of the credit card crisis in 2007-08, when delinquencies were as high as 17 per cent, delinquencies in the credit card business has fallen significantly. The industry average is at about 4 per cent. Users have become more responsible and we encourage them to use their credit cards to make big purchases and revolve their credit payment cycle,” says Kadambi Narahari, CEO, SBI Cards.

Revolving a credit cycle in a card means paying the minimum balance or above it and repaying the rem…………… continues on mydigitalfc.com

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Rising Credit Scores, Falling Debt: Here’s How To Jump On The Bandwagon
News from www.CreditCards.org:

Congrats average Joes and Janes! Your New Year’s resolutions are paying off. Credit scores are on the up and up, according to CreditKarma.com’s U.S. Credit Score Climate Report.

The trend data for January 2012 shows that the average credit card debt in the U.S. fell eight percent since December, landing at $ 6,069. That helped raise the average consumer credit score one point to 661– the first time since April that credit scores have increased.

Every state can go ahead and pat themselves on the back for paying down credit card debt this month, except for Wisconsin. The Cheeseheads were the only ones to add to their average credit card debt (by four percent).

But let’s focus on the winners. According to the report, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Iowa paid down their debt by the largest percentages. West Virginians have the least amount of mortgage debt. And Wisconsin made up for their credit card debt by claiming the lowest auto debt.

Three Easy Ways To Raise Your Credit Score

There’s no magic spell for fixing a mediocre credit score, and taking your credit from “yuck” to “wow” takes time and financial focus. But here are three simple steps you can take to get a quick score boost:

1. Get a cred…………… continues on www.CreditCards.org

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Americans continue to seek new lines of credit
News from Debtmerica Relief:

Consumers are growing more comfortable in dealing with credit card debt these days, and demand for new lines of credit of all kinds has grown substantially.

In the second half of 2011, the number of inquiries for credit accounts, which are viewed as a reasonable gauge for consumer credit demand, increased 2.7 percent, according to new data in the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition, the average credit limits consumers could carry rose $ 98 billion nationwide, a 3.6 percent increase over available maximums at the end of the third quarter, as the number of open credit card accounts jumped 3 million to a total of 386 million.

Meanwhile, consumers continued to be more conscientious in their efforts to pay down existing debts on time, the report said. Overall, household debt delinquency fell in the fourth quarter, but still a…………… continues on Debtmerica Relief

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Ex-MATC manager was warned on questionable credit card use

Posted by administrator | 28/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Ex-MATC manager was warned on questionable credit card use
News from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Kristin Seimits was warned in 2009 about questionable use of her Milwaukee Area Technical College credit card.

But the former MATC procurement manager’s fraudulent spending continued unchecked, and dramatically ramped up, until she had embezzled about $ 259,000 in goods and services over seven years, according to a fraud investigation by an outside auditor completed this month.

The investigation by Titus group revealed no evidence that other MATC employees were involved, had knowledge of the fraudulent transactions or were committing a similar type of fraud.

Titus staff reviewed 11,352 transactions by all 183 MATC credit card users for unusual activity between Sept. 11, 2009, and Sept. 29, 2011, according to MATC.

The MATC Board of Directors is to discuss the report at its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Seimits faces two felony charges of theft exceeding $ 10,000.

Investigators say her purchases included a car, a wedding trip, vacations, laptop computers, iPads, entertainment, home remodeling, home f…………… continues on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Charlack public officials fighting over credit card use
News from KSDK:

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Expert advice: Credit vs debit cards

Posted by administrator | 27/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Expert advice: Credit vs debit cards
News from WJXT Jacksonville:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –

Among the financial decisions many people regularly face is when to use a credit card and when to use a debit card.

Money experts say debit card transactions are for everyday purchases: gas, a cup of coffee and recurring bills. Credit cards should be used for large, occasional expenses.

“Particularly travel related activity: Airfare, hotels, rental cars and things like that,” said Mary Svoboda of Jax Federal Credit Union. “When the transaction is very large, it can put a hold on the funds in your checking account, and that could cause problems with paying your mortgage, utilities…………… continues on WJXT Jacksonville

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Telephone and internet credit card scams net €14m in year
News from Irish Independent:

INTERNET and phone scams netted a massive €14m from unsuspecting credit card customers and retailers in a year, according to the latest official figures.

They now account for almost three quarters of all credit card frauds.

The growth of what is known as ‘card not present’ fraud has been spectacular since the Garda national fraud bureau virtually eliminated the eastern European gangs who controlled ‘skimming’ rackets at ATMs and in retail outlets.

Garda operations led to the arrest of key Bulgarian and Romanian figures and drove the rest of the criminals involved in skimming out of the Irish market. Gardai believe many of these are now exploiting the market in Scandinavia, while others have moved into other types of fraud.

During 2004 and 2005 skimming, which involves electronically copying account details from an ATM card’s magnetic strip onto a blank plastic card, became the fastest growing white collar crime in Ireland.

The offence had not existed here in 2003 but in one eight-month period fraudsters skimmed at least €2m from ATM customers and targeted more than 100 ‘hole in the wall’ machines in the first 10 months of 2005.

…………… continues on Irish Independent

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Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels

Posted by administrator | 26/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels
News from MyFox Memphis:

Updated: Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST

(New York Post) – More American households are falling back into the debt hole, this time without the safety net of home values to help bail them out, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Last year, total US consumer debt reached its highest point in a decade, according to a credit card industry observer.

“Now more than ever, families need to work at saving and paying off any outstanding debts,” said Howard Dvorkin, a certified public accountant and founder of the credit counseling service Consolidated Credit.

After a few months of reducing credit card debt levels, Dvorkin said, Americans are starting to return to their reliance on debt.

“People made some progress in reducing card debt earlier in the year, but in the last few months, as the stock market started to rise, they started to return to their old ways of charging things,” he explained.

In December 2011, the total consumer debt — which is the combination of non-revolving and revolving debt — rose by some 9.3 percent to $ 2.498 trillion, according to the latest Federal Reserve Board numbers.

Both revolving debt and non-revolving debt increased. Revolving debt, which is credit-card debt, went up by 4.1 percent. Non-revolving debt, which includes loans for cars and education, ro…………… continues on MyFox Memphis

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Credit card debt easing in county
News from Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Judi Krug’s credit card crisis came to a boil two years ago.

With alimony payments ending and expenses from her son’s wedding looming, Krug sought help from an agency that promised to consolidate her mountainous debt.

Instead, the company did nothing — a fact made clear when American Express served her with papers, Krug said.

The shock of that ignited her into action, forcing her to approach her six credit card companies, form payment plans and end the shopping habit that fueled the problem.

A year and a half later, the 51-year-old Krug has whittled her debt from more than $ 50,000 to $ 15,000 and it’s still shrinking.

“Each time I pay off another credit card bill, it’s such a huge accomplishment for me,” said Krug, a property manager in Petaluma.

Krug may make an extreme example, but one way or another more Sonoma County residents appear to have lightened their credit card load.

At the end of 2011, the average county household owed $ 5,683 on their charge cards, down 7 percent from the end of 2010, according to Equifax Inc.

As a percentage of income, the credit reporting agency listed Sonoma County as having the 23rd biggest drop in credit card debt in the nation last year. continues on Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy

Posted by administrator | 26/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy
News from The Dough Roller:

Recently I published a review of the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express credit card. With the preferred version of the card, you earn 6% cash back at the grocery store. That’s a huge return, and it got me to thinking–could a typical family earn $ 1,000 a year or more in cash rewards simply by using the right credit cards?

I call it the Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Strategy.

The trick is to use the right card for the right purchase to maximize your cash back. The approach takes some effort. You can’t maximize your rewards by using just one card. But you can get excellent results with just a few credit cards. To get you thinking along these lines here are a few things to consider:

  • Understanding how the rewards program works: Understanding how the rewards program works is a must. Many of the programs have limitations or caps on how much you can earn. For example, some cards might offer 5% cash back, but it’s on rotating categories that change every three months and there are caps on the amount you can earn.
  • Seek out cards with double or triple points: The standard cash back reward is 1% or 1 point per $ 1 spent. But there are cards that do much better. Go for the cards that…………… continues on The Dough Roller

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Inference For Profit: How Credit Card Companies Can Predict the Future
News from Technorati:

Who have you told you are pregnant? Who have you told you are having marriage problems? Well you should add to that list your credit card company, Target and many others. These companies have gone beyond just using your data for basic trend lines of sales, to a point where they can predict your future.

That’s right, predict the future. No, your credit card company is not psychic, scary as that thought would be, with enough data a company can predict what is going on in your life. From the Huffington Post: “According to Marissa Meyer at Google, some credit card companies can now use your purchasing decisions to predict whether you’re going to get a divorce with 95% accuracy — two years out.”

That’s right, two years out. Why a credit card company would want that information is for them to know and us to ponder (increased risk of credit issues?), but what it shows is that we spend so much of our lives filling vast warehouses with data about ourselves, and big companies have finally started connecting the dots. Quite literally it seems. Purchase A + Purchase B = Divorce in two years time.

This opens up all sorts of ethical issues that we as a society have yet to deal with. For example, we generally have a right to privacy, but do we have a right to the privacy of t…………… continues on Technorati

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On the Money: Credit card interest rates may be entering a new era
News from The National:

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Historically, credit cards have always carried high interest rates. But in the UAE, the rates we pay are apparently among the highest in the world, averaging anywhere between 27 per cent and 36 per cent a year.

We pay more interest on our cards than many of our GCC neighbours; in Qatar and Kuwait, consumers pay about 18 per cent interest per year, while Saudis are charged up to 24 per cent.

Then again, there’s also a good case as to why we should consider ourselves relatively lucky. Brazilians, for instance, are slugged up to 200 per cent a year on their credit cards, according to Reuters. Let’s just pause for a moment to imagine those repayments.

“Consumers pay annual rates of up to 200 per cent for normal credit-card loans – the highest borrowing costs for that segment among the world’s major economies,” Reuters said last July in a story about the country’s central bank tightening rules on credit-card loans backed by salaries and pensions.

The interest rates we pay on our credit cards are much higher than other types of credit – such as mortgages and car loans – simply because th…………… continues on The National

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Visa 1Q profit rises 16 percent as card use rises
News from BusinessWeek:

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Credit card debt: Back to the bad old days?

Posted by administrator | 24/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt: Back to the bad old days?
News from Fox Business:

The Federal Reserve published its monthly G.19 statistical release of consumer credit on Feb. 7, and, as many expected, it revealed another uptick in household borrowing. In December alone, the month the figures covered, it rose at an annualized rate of 9.3 percent. At the end of 2011, we as a nation owed some $ 90 billion more than we did at the end of 2010.

Revolving credit, which is virtually all credit card debt, had fallen in 32 of the previous 37 months, but was up again in December, the third consecutive monthly rise. As with the wider consumer credit measure, after two years of successive and significant falls (9.6 percent in 2009 and 7.5 percent in 2010), credit card debt actually rose very slightly between the start and end of 2011.

Problem credit card debt returning to haunt us?

How worried should we be by rising consumer debt? Unsurprisingly, some think we should be positively petrified. Writing in The Hawai’i News Daily on Feb. 5 (before the latest Fed figures were released), Michael Snyder’s predictions were positively apocalyptic. Under the headline “The financial crisis of 2008 was just a warm-up act for the economic horror…………… continues on Fox Business

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Council Candidate Selma Avdicevic: Town Is Living On Credit Card Debt
News from Patch.com:

Selma Avdicevic, a founder of Woolly Boo—which sells natural, chemical-free bedding for children—has announced she is running for the 2nd ward councilor position in May’s local election.

In an email Friday, she said she has not joined any slate as she “personally believes them to be beauty contests. Should there, however, be a slate with candidates that have same interests at heart for the Montclair and all its residents as myself, I will gladly join it. I am nothing if not a team player. In the mean time, I will try to bring forward the issues that have been plaguing us all, AND TRY TO FIND THE SOLUTIONS. Those issues are:

“1. Stop the tax increases!
1a—Deal with the crushing municipal debt.
1b—Create efficiencies of scale in the Municipal Office. It is time they enter the 21st Century.

“2. Help the town recruit and hire a new superintendent of schools.
2a—Create economies of scale in the main office. It is time they enter the 21st Century as well.
2b—Improve test scores.
2c—Improve graduation rates and college admissions.
2d—Close the achievement gap.
2e—Resolve Montclair Community Pre-K funding.

“3. Save things that make Montclair what it is:
3a—Library
3b—Galleries
3c—Theaters
3d—First Night/May in Montclair
3e—Public spaces

“4. Bring commercial tenants to the shopping areas.
4a…………… continues on Patch.com

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Is It Safe to Swipe Your Credit Card in a Taxi?

Posted by administrator | 24/02/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Is It Safe to Swipe Your Credit Card in a Taxi?
News from ABC News:

Here’s a warning that caught our eye: A sticker in the window of a taxi warning riders in Dallas that if they try to pay by credit card, their identities may be stolen. The sticker was captured by Cory Doctorow, an editor for Boingboing.net. “WARNING,” the sticker read. “The method used to authenticate credit card transactions for approval is not secure and personal information is subject to being intercepted by unauthorized personnel.”

[Related article: Obama Unveils Privacy Bill of Rights]

Wow. That sounds really bad. But is it? That’s hard to say, according to Ondrej Krehel, information security officer at Identity Theft 911. The real answer may be the simplest, Krehel says: many taxi drivers simply prefer their fares to pay with cash instead of credit. “My first thought is whether this is just the driver trying to get people to use cash,” Krehel says.

Doctorow didn’t speak to the driver about the sticker, but the UK-based author, activist, journalist and blogger did have an interesting conversation with another cabbie during his trip to Dallas. “I noticed on the way from the airport that the driver of a different cab was rea…………… continues on ABC News

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Home Furnishings Independents Association Selects TD Retail Card Services …
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ — The Home Furnishings Independents Association (HFIA) has selected TD Retail Card Services’ Renovate Card private label credit program for use by its 1,100 retail members nationwide.

Under the agreement, the Mahwah, N.J-based business unit of TD Bank, N.A., will offer participating members the full range of services, custom financing options and other special benefits associated with the Renovate Card. Created specifically for the home furnishings sector, the Renovate Card is a revolving private label consumer credit card that can be used for purchases of products or services at any merchant participating in the program. Merchants opening the individual consumer’s account can have their store’s name embossed on the card.

Retailers participating in the program will be able to offer their customers a variety of special financing options, including six no-interest programs, as well as low-APR programs.

Founded in 1923, HFIA is one of the nation’s largest retail trade associations. The Dallas-based organization offers independent home furnishings dealers business tools and solutions to help them operate more efficiently and, in return, more profitably. Members in the trade organization enjoy benefits designed specifically for their businesses, helping them save…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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