Identity Theft

/Identity Theft
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Article: What Can $15,001 Of American Girl Purchases Teach Us About Credit Card Fraud?

This is how it all began, innocently enough (from MarketWatch; 7 minute read):

I was at my desk the other day when my phone buzzed out a warning: My credit card had just been charged $1. No such dollar had been spent by me, but I didn’t think much of the notification. Typically, such unexpected charges have perfectly legitimate explanations given my various subscriptions and recurring monthly charges, all of which come at different and unexpected times.

How does a $1 charge turn into $15,000 worth of American Girl dolls? Read the article and find out!

Questions for your students:

By |June 20th, 2017|Article, Credit Cards, Current Events, Identity Theft, Research|

Quiz: Can You Outsmart an Identity Thief?

Good ten question quiz to teach your students about many of the methods that identity thieves use to steal your identity.

__________

By |June 7th, 2017|Identity Theft, Interactive, Quizzes|

What is Bitcoin and How Does Cryptocurrency Work? (A Primer)

Recently, Bitcoin, the most famous of the cryptocurrencies, has soared to all-time highs (Fortune, May 2017), increasing the amount of press attention and internet searches (Google Trends, May 2017) surrounding the little-known digital currency.  We’ve also heard this question from many of our users, “what is Bitcoin and what do my students need to know about cryptocurrencies”?  You are not alone!  83% of respondents in a 2015 survey conducted by PwC were “slightly familiar/not at all familiar” with cryptocurrencies (PwC, August 2015).

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Although a complex topic, we will attempt to shed some light through this brief primer:

Cryptocurrency Explained in One Paragraph:  Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.  Bitcoins [and other cryptocurrencies] can be used to buy merchandise anonymously.  Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them.  In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.” (CNN Money

What is Bitcoin (and how is it different from traditional currency)? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash (Investopedia, 2017),  are digital, de-centralized, and verified currencies.

Resource Lists for Financial Educators (courtesy of Barbara O’Neill of Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

What does a distinguished professor do during her sabbatical? Curate personal finance resources, of course! In this blog post, Barbara O’Neill shares the fruits of her hundreds of hours of labor in putting together three awesome resource lists (see bottom of post for links to her lists), including what what she considered the “best of the best” from the NGPF library. As she describes below, the purpose of her odyssey was to replenish her “well” of creative learning activities. I hope that your “well” overflows as you find resources that will work in your classroom. Thank you Barbara for this tremendous gift to the community! Your commitment and dedication to improving financial literacy in this country inspires us.

How Can You Protect Your Online Accounts from Hackers?

Some great advice from WSJ (subscription) as identity thieves continue to develop more sophisticated strategies to steal your identity. Moral of the story: You are your own worst enemy when it comes to giving up information when you should not be.

A few highlights and some strategies to protect oneself:

  • Phishing is the most common online scam:
By |February 28th, 2017|Article, Current Events, Identity Theft|

WebQuest: How To Protect that Credit (and Debit) Card!

I am always amazed when I am searching Google for interesting news stories about credit cards how frequently the articles detail how the “bad guys” manage to steal credit card information. Identity theft can seem like an adult problem to many teens (unless their parents or they have been personally victimized), so I thought this quick WebQuest might bring the topic home to them.  I thought it would be interesting to provide an update to my earlier 2015 post titled (apologies to Paul Simon) “50 Ways to Swipe Your Credit Card (or Debit Card) Number.”

So, here’s the assignment:

Question: What Are The Ten Most Popular Passwords?

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Before I answer, please let your students know if their password shows up below on this list, they better change it NOW!

Answer (from Consumerist):

By |January 19th, 2017|Current Events, Identity Theft, Question of the Day, Research|

Chart: How Is Card Fraud Committed In US Compared to Rest of the World?

From Federal Reserve Payment Study 2016:

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Questions for your students: