Archive for January 31, 2015

Caught on camera: car burglar reportedly uses stolen credit cards

A Snohomish family has surveillance footage of cars being broken into in their driveway–and, they say, of the bad guy using a stolen credit card at Bellevue Square Mall.

I want him put away, I want him off the streets because were not safe,” said Michaela Bulgur, who lives at the home.

 Camera footage shows a man in a black hoodie committing car prowls around 3:15 am Thursday to three cars in the family driveway.

 Bulgur says that man stole $2,500 in cash, as well as $1,000 in valuables like phones, wallets and credit cards.

She says they’d all gone on a family vacation recently and had left the cars unlocked with cash inside. 

I went into a state of shock,” she said after watching the video.

 Just hours later, Bulgur is convinced the same thief spent hundreds of their dollars at Bellevue Square Mall. 

And detectives told KIRO 7 they are hot on his trail. They are investigating at the mall now, as well.

He went to Helly Hansen, he bought himself some pizza at Bella Pizza, he stopped and got himself a pair of sunglasses,” said Bulgur, who says the charges appeared on her mother’s stolen credit card.

She says she has pictures to prove the same guy tried on clothes and spent her moms money at a clothing store called Urbanity.

She even obtained a credit card receipt from the store owner. 

On that receipt is her moms last name, signed in a “big squibble,” Bulgur says, for a total of $177.39.

I will find him. I dont care about the cops, I dont care about detectives, I will personally find him. I dont care how long it takes, but he will be brought down,” she said.

BBB: Secured credit cards can help rebuild credit

The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is offering up some suggestions for those trying to rebuild bad credit as a result of financial difficulty or no credit for consumers such as recent college graduates.
According to BBB Accredited Business nerdwallet.com of San Francisco, a good secured credit card can be a lifeline for those with bad credit: theyre easier to qualify for than regular credit cards, and unlike prepaid or debit cards, theyll raise your credit score and help you reestablish a payment history.
How do secured credit cards work? A consumer would deposit a set amount, usually $200 to $500, which will be held as security for the secured credit card. The amount deposited usually also determines the limit on the card. For instance, if you send the bank $500, your beginning limit will likely be about $500.
Nerdwallet.com reports some secured cards have no fees for the first year, while others actually earn rewards. But there are also pitfalls. Some of these cards take advantage of consumers and charge very high interest rates on top of application, monthly maintenance and other fees, which can eat up much of the credit on the card.
It is the responsibility of the consumer to shop around, look for the best rates and lowest fees and steer clear of predatory cards. Some have annual fees as high as $119. Beware of secured cards that tell you that theyre the only option. There are several low-fee cards out there, so dont settle for exorbitant fees.
According to Bankrate.com, in order for a secured credit card to be effective in helping to repair credit, the consumer must ensure that the card will report to the credit bureaus as an unsecured card.
The business also recommends that once a card is in hand, consumers should buy a few things and pay off the card every month rather than roll over balances with higher interest rates.
With a good payment history over time, there is a good chance that the secured card issuer will often issue the borrower an unsecured card to maintain them as a customer. The average is about a year.
One downside to secured credit cards is the issuers usually do not pay interest on the customers security deposit, though a few do offer rewards on spending. Also, find out how long the money has to stay on deposit after the account is closed. Some banks will want to keep the deposit for a couple of billing cycles to cover any stray charges that arrive.
BBB offers the following tips when dealing with credit cards:
 Start With Trust® check out the company with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org
 Read all communications from your lender. Often your credit card statements contain important messages about fee or rate increases.
 Make all required payments on time.
 Pay as much as you can to avoid or reduce fees and interest charges.
 Monitor all transactions of an additional user you add to your credit card account. You might consider setting a personal spending limit well below the card maximum.
 Protect your card from fraud. Do not give out your credit card number, expiration date, or security code on back to an unsolicited phone call or e-mail. Even if it is someone claiming to represent your bank or your credit card company, its best to hang up and call the bank or credit card companys reported phone number yourself, not the phone number of the unsolicited caller.
Be a wise consumer, improve your credit score and pay bills on time.
Contact the BBB at bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 any time of the day or night for information on businesses throughout North America.
The BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

Credit cards can offer savings, but use carefully

Look at the benefits your credit cards offer. Some can be very beneficial to you. For example, BankAmericard Cash Rewards cards offer a $100 cash reward bonus as cash back on certain purchases. A Citi Simplicity Card offers 0 percent balance transfer, no annual fee, no late fees and no penalty rates.

A Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is good for avid travelers. Users get a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles, and earn 1.25 miles on every purchase and pay no annual fees. These miles do not expire nor have blackout dates. Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard also rewards its credit card holders with cash back on certain purchases along with complimentary FICO scores! Discover does the same thing with its card, as does Chase, along with several others.

First and foremost, if you have a balance and high APR on a credit card, find one that offers a 0 percent rate on transfer balances, preferably no less than 12 months and move the money. The key point to consider when transferring existing debt to another card is that if you don’t pay the full transferred amount by the end of the promotional period, you will be paying interest on the initial balance, not the current balance when the promotion ends.

So even though a 0 percent interest rate is tempting, you must to decide how much money you want to transfer and focus on paying more than the minimum balance to pay it off in time. If you transfer too much money, you risk the chance of not paying the full amount in time and have to pay all the interest. If you transfer too little, you risk paying on the high interest rate card longer. Your probationary period starts when you first activate the transfer balance program. Go to www.creditkarma.com/creditcards to find the best credit cards for you.

Also check out the benefits of store credit cards you use. These days, most credit cards act as a rewards card. I really discourage store credit cards because there is no flexibility in the APR rates and they are often higher than credit cards. However, if you are realistic with your purchases and can pay off the balance on your store card every month with no issues, then take advantage of their benefits.

The Target REDCard Credit Card (also come in a debit card version) offers a variety of rewards. It provides 5 percent off your purchase in store and online.

Even though it’s a small percentage, this discount can be combined with store coupons, manufacturer coupons, 5-cent bag credit and Cartwheel, so it really does add up. The REDCard also rewards 1 percent of your purchase to your local and favorite schools. The money helps schools provide books, supplies and even renovations to improve learning facilities.

Cardholders also receive an extra 30 days for returns, automatic free shipping online, no matter how much is spent, as well as earn a coupon for filling prescriptions in the Target pharmacy. For more information about the Target REDCard, go to www.target.com/redcard.

Gap is another store credit card that offers great benefits. You can use it at Old Navy, Banana Republic, at the outlets as well as online. If you have an Old Navy credit card, you can use it at Gap and the other stores listed as well.

This store card offers money back in a form of dollar-off certificates when you make purchases. If you lose your receipt, you can use the card to obtain proof of purchase.

It also comes with coupons for birthdays and special occasions.

Every Tuesday, you get an additional 10 percent off, no coupon necessary.

If you have other store credit cards, inquire about all the rewards and see if you truly benefit from them.

Women arrested with 85 fraudulent credit cards, say police

Three women — one from Uniondale, one from Yonkers and one from Queens — were arrested Thursday afternoon in Lawrence after they used fraudulent credit cards to make purchases at a McDonalds, a Subway and a Chipotle Mexican Grill, police said.

Nassau County police said the trio were arrested by Fourth Precinct officers who responded to a call reporting a fraud in progress at the McDonalds on Rockaway Turnpike at 12:10 pm Officers found the three women in possession of 85 fraudulent cards, which had been re-encoded.

City Council Weighs Banning Credit Checks On Job Applicants

The city council is moving toward abolishing the pernicious practice of allowing employers to run credit checks on prospective hires.

Forty-one of 51 members have already signed onto the bill, the Times reports, on the basis that allowing such checks disproportionately harms Hispanic and black job-seekers, who are already targeted for predatory loans that wreak havoc on credit histories.

Requiring good credit to be considered for employment presents an obvious Catch-22, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union told the paper. People want to pay off loans, but because of their troubles, they cant even get a job.

According to data collected by Councilman Brad Lander, one of the bills sponsors, credit scores have not been found to have any connection to job performance. Moreover, bad credit is often the result not of irresponsible spending habits, but medical bills, identity theft and the incredible financial burden that is college.

Several other states that have banned credit checks do stipulate some exceptions, such as employees with expense accounts, corporate credit cards and with access to firewall-protected computer networks.

Similar legislation was proposed in 2013, but failed to garner adequate support from the council.

Police find over 170 stolen credit cards during traffic stop

Rene Perez, 29, and Brian Diaz, 24, both of Louisville, were arrested Thursday afternoon by an ISP trooper while driving along I-65 southbound.

Upon stopping the vehicle police say the trooper developed probable cause of a crime being committed, and was granted permission by the driver to search the vehicle.

During the search troopers located over 170 credit cards that were determined to have stolen credit card numbers on them, according to ISP.

Perez and Diaz were charged with one count of Fraud and taken to the Jackson County Jail.

The investigation is continuing with the assistance of the United States Secret Service.

100% Approval for Bad Credit Auto Loans Now Available for All Shoppers in 2015

The bad credit auto lender, Complete Auto Loans, is offering auto loans up to $35,000 to shoppers now.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) January 15, 2015

The 2015 year brings changes and updates to shoppers as well as to Complete Auto Loans. With the newly updated online application, shoppers can quickly and easily be approved for their auto loan needs.

https://completeautoloans.com/application-form/ Get approved for a car loan in as little as 60 seconds.

Approval is easy and requires only 60 seconds of an applicant’s time. All US residents that make at least $350 per week will receive instant approval. Once the online application is submitted, the no credit check auto lender will choose a local area lender than can provide the best loan available to the applicant.

As an extra service, Complete Auto Loans also provides a complimentary online credit score tool which has helped drivers save thousands of dollars. Upon completing the easy online car loan application, applicants are given the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on their loan. For more information, visit Complete Auto Loans website.

About Complete Auto Loans:

Complete Auto Loans is a Seattle-based company that is dedicated to helping their customers acquire national car financing. They design and develop customized no credit financing, bad and good credit loans. Voted the best for Quality Customer Service and Best National Service by thousands of people, their finance experts focus on providing their customers with the following: information and tools available for different loan offers, how to choose the best loan that fits their budget, as well as related eligibility guidelines.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/easy-bad-credit-auto-loan/no-credit-check/prweb12446613.htm

Police: Pair spends $6K on stolen credit cards

Montgomery police are searching for a man and woman accused of stealing credit cards from a purse and fraudulently charging $6,000.

On Dec. 21, police report that the accused man went through a womans purse at a restaurant in the 2500 block of Berryhill Road in east Montgomery. The suspects were captured by the restaurants and the retail stores video surveillance.

Amazingly, the subject was so quick the family didnt observe the crime occurring, Tony Garrett said, director of CrimeStoppers.

Later that same day, the pair are shown on surveillance video leaving a store after using a stolen credit card. The suspects are accused of using the cards at several locations and charging $6,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Montgomery police or CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP. Your tip could lead to a cash reward.

Credit Counseling Centers of Oklahoma Joins Money Management International

HOUSTON, Jan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Credit Counseling Centers of Oklahoma, Inc. (CCCS of Oklahoma), a community-based nonprofit credit counseling agency, has announced its decision to join Money Management International (MMI), the nations largest nonprofit full-service credit counseling agency. CCCS of Oklahoma has been providing financial education services, including credit counseling and coaching, debt management assistance, and community financial education programs, to local Oklahoma residents since 1968.

Over nearly 50 years of service, the financial educators at CCCS of Oklahoma have helped more than 150,000 individuals and families regain control over their finances. This partnership represents our commitment to providing our local community and clients with the highest quality counseling services and financial education, said Margo Mitchell, President and CEO  of CCCS of Oklahoma. Through this new relationship, Oklahoma families will have access to valuable national programs, as well as additional tools and resources to help them reach their financial goals.

Together, the combined organizations will provide consumers with face-to-face financial education and counseling services at nearly 70 branch locations nationwide, with 24 hour a day, 7 day a week assistance available by telephone and Internet. Tulsa area residents will continue to have access to in-person counseling and education services at CCCS of Oklahomas existing Tulsa branch.

We are excited to welcome CCCS of Oklahoma to the MMI family, said Ivan Hand, President and CEO of MMI. They have been a vital member of the Oklahoma community for many years and we look forward to helping expand on the valuable work they do every day in those local communities.

Your money: Managing debt wisely in your retirement years

Skipping a few restaurant meals this month can help with both problems, but for many retirees that isnt going to be enough.

People are dipping their big toes back into credit again and showing a pent-up desire to spend, said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Credit card and other debt get in the way of retirement saving for pre-retirees, but can sink an income plan for retirees on a fixed income.

And experts say older consumers arent just spending on health care. As retirement stretches into decades of healthy living before true old age, seniors are buying more new vehicles and purchasing pricey home upgrades.

Were really good at deceiving ourselves, Cunningham said. Seniors often think theyre in pretty good shape for retirement, but this is not a time in life to fool yourself.

Medicare costs, identity theft and just old-fashioned spending creep are tripping them up, she said.

So is housing debt. The percentage of people 65 to 85 with mortgages has increased by a third since the 1980s, according to Pamela Villarreal, senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Credit card debt among people 75 and older has soared since then, too, to an average balance of around $4,600, she said.

Getting a handle on debt in retirement means either altering spending or setting new expectations for family members who might have been expecting an inheritance.

Cunningham offered a few tips on the former.

* Write it down. Keep a separate register for credit card purchases. Writing it down on a ledger has the psychological effect of making consumers more aware of how much money is going out the door, she said.

* Manage Medicare. Medicare plans account for a big share of many retirees budgets, but often they miss out on better and cheaper options because they are overwhelmed by the complexity and dont spend time really reviewing their plans, she said.

* Test yourself. Are you regularly just paying the minimum due on credit cards? Are you arguing more about money with your spouse or hiding purchases? Do you frequently charge items you used to pay for in cash? Are you applying for new credit because your old cards are near their limit? Are you using cash advances to pay routine bills? If so, she said, youre heading down a dark path, and its time to take action.

* Stand guard. Identity theft and other scams can destroy seniors financial stability, so its important to keep an eye on your credit history even if you never expect to apply for a mortgage again. The websites myfico.com and annualcreditreport.com offer free reports.

* Come to the table. At least annually, meet with your spouse or a loved one at the kitchen table and bring enough financial documents to be able to accurately discuss your household net worth, assets and debt. If your partner continually refuses, Cunningham said, thats a big red flag.