December 3, 2014
T HE PRESSURE is on this holiday season. Cashiers will be pushing store-issued credit. And for many of you, the pushiness isn't pleasant. Yet you cave. Credit.com found that 31 percent of shoppers felt store clerks "bullied" them into opening store-branded credit accounts. During the holiday shopping season, 28 percent of consumers said they succumbed and signed up. But it turns out the discounts dangled to get people to give in aren't enough to overcome the regrets they have later.
November 26, 2014 |
WE'VE BECOME a nation charmed by offers that something might be free. Especially when it comes to credit. Many consumers will receive offers as they shop for the holidays. Professionals call these promotions "deferred-interest plans. " But more commonly the advertising may say something like: "No interest for 18 months" or "0 percent interest for 12 months. " This is credit with a catch. And if you are caught, it's expensive. The no-interest deals involve getting a credit card on which your purchases will be charged.
November 12, 2014
ISSUE | GRIDLOCK Well water's fine I'm absolutely flabbergasted by the thought that the metaphorical well could possibly be any more poisoned than it already is ("Boehner warns Obama not to 'poison the well,' " Oct. 7). House Speaker John Boehner initiated a court case to punish President Obama for a minor tweak of the Affordable Care Act. Fellow House Republicans have been perfectly happy to twiddle their thumbs while unemployment, as a result of the burst housing bubble, continues at unacceptable levels.
October 25, 2014 |
SEPTA's long-delayed, $130-million smart-card payment system will be called SEPTA Key, the agency announced Thursday. Like Ben Franklin's key. Get it? But unlike Franklin's kite experiment, no lightning speed is involved with SEPTA's move away from tokens, passes and tickets. The first new subway turnstiles are in place, but widespread use of the card on subways and buses won't happen till next year, and on Regional Rail, not until 2016 at least. The new system will allow riders to use any "contactless" credit card or a SEPTA-issued card or even a smartphone to pay their fares at card-reading turnstiles or bus fare boxes.
October 19, 2014 |
American Express unveiled a new effort Friday to combat credit-card fraud with a big assist - from President Obama. He announced the American Express Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program during a news conference in Washington, detailing a $10 million initiative designed to help merchants defray the cost of replacing check-out terminals with ones that will accept secure, chip-based credit cards. So-called EMV technology offers greater payment security by storing data on a chip embedded in a credit card, assuming payment terminals are equipped to read the chip.
October 10, 2014 |
The treasurer of a Chester County fire company was charged Wednesday with stealing $300,000 from the station by forging checks, stealing from the firehouse safe, and manipulating bingo records. Hower Smith III, 57, allegedly stole the money from Coatesville's Westwood Fire Company between 2006 and 2012. Smith, who lives in Coatesville and was a member of the company for about 40 years, was removed from his post and came under investigation in 2012 after he charged $2,000 to a fire company credit card while on vacation in Hawaii, officials said.
September 17, 2014
APPLE'S RELEASE of the Apple Watch and iPhone6 makes it clear that Silicon Valley's future will be directly tied to its ability to protect tech users' privacy. Securing Americans' personal information in an increasingly tech-dominated world has to be a higher priority for tech leaders and the valley's congressional and legislative delegations. Their failures up to now have left them, shall we say, exposed to the point of embarrassment. The confidence Apple executives expressed in their ability to protect customers' private information would be more believable if the whole world hadn't just seen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities courtesy of hackers who broke into supposedly secure private Apple accounts.
August 6, 2014 |
A FORMER longtime employee at the U.S. Department of Labor's Philadelphia office and a relative were held for trial yesterday on charges that they used credit cards to steal more than $4,100 in gasoline last year. Municipal Judge Patrick Dugan ordered Rhonda Winston, 54, and Maleek Adams, 24, to stand trial on charges of forgery, conspiracy, theft by deception and related counts after a preliminary hearing. The judge dropped a charge of possession of an instrument of crime that both defendants had faced.
July 21, 2014 |
Two Montgomery County brothers and a Philadelphia man have been charged in a scam that "duped" more than 70,000 people into buying a credit card they thought would help them buy merchandise over the Internet while improving their credit score, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia said Friday. Blake Rubin, 30, of Huntingdon Valley, faces a prison term of up to 45 years and a $750,000 fine if convicted. Chase Rubin, 28, of Rydal, could get a maximum sentence of 65 years and a $1 million fine.
July 18, 2014 |
Penn Medicine Tuesday announced a data breach involving receipts from Penn Medicine Rittenhouse that were stolen last month from a locked office in Pennsylvania Hospital. Notifications of the theft were sent to 661 patients Monday, said Susan Phillips, a senior vice president and spokeswoman for the health system. She said no arrests have been made. There have been no instances of identity theft related to theft. Phillips said that was a "very low risk. " Many of the receipts were found on hospital grounds.