The phone rings as your toddler plays with his toys on the floor. You pick up the phone as usual, only this isn’t a friendly call--it’s a credit card company demanding payment for thousands of dollars.
At first you think that your account has been hacked. Then the collector says that the bill is for your toddler, blissfully unaware of the serious financial and legal consequences ahead for you.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon recently conducted the most extensive study on child identity theft to date and found that the rate among children in the report who had their Social Security Number used by someone else (10.2%) was 51 times higher than the adult identity theft rate (0.2%).*
Child identity theft is a severe problem for a number of reasons. A child’s age can allow fraud to go unreported for years, even decades. By the time it’s discovered, the damage to their credit history may be difficult to legally dispute or irreparable altogether.
Medicare scams come in many forms. A very common scam offers "free" medical equipment or services but you have to provide your Medicare number. The most recent scam of this type targets people with diabetes. Callers are claiming to be from Medicare and are offering free testing supplies. That's a red flag as Medicare never makes calls offering supplies or services.
“We’ll pay off your loan no matter how much you owe.”
Have you seen auto sales ads, often online, that promise this? This promise to pay off the balance of any loan you have on a vehicle you plan to trade-in is often misleading, the Federal Trade Commission warns in a recent alert. Why? Many people owe more on the trade-in vehicle than it is worth. This is called “negative equity” or being “upside down” in the loan.
It's tax season and many taxpayers are expecting tax refunds. The fastest way to receive your refund is to use IRS e-file. Submit your tax return electronically using IRS Free File, paid tax preparer, or commercial tax software. Have your refund deposited directly into your account and receive it in as few as 10 days.
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