403 Beware

Tony Isola  |  October 12, 2018

PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers’ biggest problem isn’t rowdy students. Instead, it’s their retirement plans that should be sent to the dean’s office.
After leaving my job as a foreign currency trader for an international bank, I became a middle school history teacher. My teaching career lasted more than 20 years. One of the worst things I encountered was the state of public school teachers’ non-ERISA 403(b) plans.
Having a front-row seat to the carnage was not pretty.

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Protect Your Privacy

Adam M. Grossman  |  April 20, 2018

ERIC SCHMIDT SAID this when he was Google’s chief executive: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
In his Congressional testimony last week, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg didn’t say anything nearly as condescending or abrasive. But his testimony was a good reminder that we’re in a very different world privacy-wise than we were even 10 years ago,

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An Ode to Owing

Julian Block  |  April 11, 2018

A MEDIA-SAVVY IRS often announces that one of its top priorities is combatting criminals who steal tax-related information. The good news: Reports of tax identity theft have declined markedly in recent years. The bad news: Resourceful identity thieves remain active and constantly introduce new schemes.
One consistently remunerative ploy is to use stolen Social Security numbers and other information to file fraudulent tax returns that claim hefty refunds—claims that generally are submitted at the start of the filing season.

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Tax-Time Robbery

Adam M. Grossman  |  March 16, 2018

THERE’S A NEW TYPE of financial fraud on the rise: tax refund theft. All an identify thief needs are an individual’s name and Social Security number. This information, unfortunately, is readily available. In a single incident in 2017, thieves stole information on almost half of all Americans from credit reporting agency Equifax.
Using this information, thieves then prepare and file a fake tax return in such a way that it appears a large refund is due.

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Keeping It Private

Kristine Hayes  |  November 21, 2017

WHILE SITTING AT my desk a few months ago, I received a text message from Citibank notifying me of “suspicious activity” on my primary credit card. I immediately logged onto my account and discovered someone that morning had attempted to use my credit card number at a luxury resort—one located several hundred miles from where I work. The charge had been denied, but the damage was done. I immediately cancelled the card. I also began notifying the companies I have automated payments with,

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Stop Thief

Jonathan Clements  |  September 12, 2017

THE EQUIFAX DATA breach seems to be a tipping point, unleashing a barrage of articles—and a boatload of angst—about the security of personal information. What are the potential problems and what’s the best way to defend yourself? I got some great ideas from followers of my Facebook page, where I posted a draft of this article and asked for feedback.
It seems there are five key scenarios where hackers could potentially wreak havoc with your financial life.

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