25 Sep Online Payday Lenders: The Next Wave of Indentity Theft?

In the last few years, payday lenders have grown on the Internet.  Are you setting yourself up for identity theft problems? It's a common-enough scenario these days:  You are looking for a quick, small loan and the Internet seems to make it really easy.  Just log-in to a friendly website, plug in your  personal information and bank account data and a quick loan appears in your account.  Easy as can be. For a lot of people, this happens every day and nothing unexpected happens.  Other than the predictable cold jolt upon discovering that incredible interest rate they're charging for short-term small "payday" loans, of course. On the other hand, how crazy does it sound to log into a website -- where in most cases you can't find a physical address, only phone numbers and e-mail forms for the company -- and hand over all your financial and personal information?  As early as 2000, the Massachusetts Division of Banks was warning about this risk.
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23 Sep Beware Bally's Bills

Have you ever quit Bally's Total Fitness?  If so, you might be getting an invitation to re-join.  The "invitation" comes in the form of a bill that looks a lot like a demand for payment of a past due bill. In fact, it is a bill.  For "past due" amounts.   On the back of the statements, it includes warnings that if you have past due amount, there is a message to that effect on the front of the statement, and it includes the FDCPA mini-Miranda warnings that "this is an attempt to collect a debt" and that failure to pay may result in a negative report to a credit bureau. But, as the Consumerist is reporting, if you quit your membership and actually don't owe anything, Bally's claims this is not a bill or a threat to damage your credit or try to collect anything, it is only an option for those who did quit to reinstate their membership.
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