I am delighted to say that I am a credit card deadbeat! In fact, some of you might already be credit card deadbeats too, if so, I commend you for your excellent work! Now, as for those who don’t know what a credit card deadbeat is, before you start thinking I have a screw loose, you may want to continue reading!
When I say that I am a credit card deadbeat, I don’t mean that I avoid my credit card bills. To the contrary, a credit card deadbeat is the insider term used by credit card company executives and refers to all of the credit card users who pay off their bill each month promptly; in doing so, such customers pay no interest and prevent the creditor from making any profit! That’s me! I love being a credit card deadbeat!
The alternative to being a credit card deadbeat is what credit card executives call a revolver. A revolver is a credit card user that constantly carries a balance and is charged regular, monthly interest on their charges. Credit card companies love revolvers because they, in essence, increase the bottom line for the credit card company and make them a nice profit. Further, from an insider perspective, the best customers not only carry a balance, but also make their payments late, triggering extra fees and a higher interest rate.
Okay, so I’ve been a credit card deadbeat for awhile now, but last year I went even further in improved my deadbeat ways. Not only did I hang onto my hard earned cash by refusing to line the wallets of the credit card companies, but I also happily lined my own wallet with their money, to the tune of $1,402. Yes, that’s right, they paid me $1,402 to use their cards; continue reading to find out how!
Cash Back Credit Card
First, I applied online for a Cash Back Credit Card and I was instantly approved. My new cash back credit card arrived to my house the following week ready for me to use. This card offered me 0% APR for 12 months and carried no annual fee; With it, I made all of my gas purchases, as well as grocery and drugstore purchases and earned 5% back cash back on the gas purchases and 1% back on all other purchases. I have a family of four and the gas purchases included gas for my spouse’s car as well. My average monthly purchases and cash back earnings were as follows:
Monthly Gas Purchases $325 x .05 = $16.25
Monthly Grocery Bill $1,200 x .01 =$12.00
Monthly Drugstore Purchases $160 x .01 = 1.60
Total Cash Back Earnings From Credit Card $ 29.85 x 12 = $358.20
Airline Rewards Credit Card
I also applied for an airline rewards credit card and again was instantly approved online. Like the cash back credit card, my new airline rewards credit card arrived the following week, came with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months and had no annual fee. This credit card earns 1 frequent flyer mile for every $1 charged.
I charged many of my miscellaneous expenses, including major purchases and business expenses, on my new Airline Rewards Credit Card. As a result, the qualified expenses came to an average of $2,250 monthly or $27,000 for the year, earning 27,000 frequent flyer miles, more than enough for an airline ticket to Hawaii: a $500 value!
0% Introductory APR for 12 Months
Now here’s the kicker. Since both credit cards came with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months, I paid only the minimum payments on each card and placed the money for my purchases into a savings account earning 2.5% (rates have gone up since). Using averages for simplicity, I made 12 monthly deposits of $3,935 into a savings account earning 2.5% interest compounded monthly. By the end of the year, I earned $544 in interest!
My Total Credit Card Earnings for the Year
So here is my total earnings from the cash back credit card, airline rewards card, and interest earned.
Cash Back 12 x 29.85 = $358
Free Airline Ticket $500
Savings Account Interest $544
Total Earned $1,402
Just to make sure I maintain my deadbeat ways, now that the 0% introductory rate has expired, I’ve paid off my balance from the money I deposited into my savings account during the year. To be a credit card deadbeat you need persistence, determination, and discipline. I did it, and so can you!
What does credit card identity theft really mean? Starting a day with the fact that you have just been robbed of your personal information is bad enough. The credit card number you saved on your computer becomes your three-year-old agony. You change your mind about the safety of a personal computer. The credit card identity theft is one of the most common online crimes.
The unauthorized use of another individual's personal information in fraudulent acts is considered identity theft. This personal information can be:
• birth date,
• street address,
• email address,
• marital status,
• geographical location,
• driver license number,
• credit card number,
• debit card number,
• Bank account number.
And therefore credit card fraud is the unauthorized use of a credit or debit card, or similar payment tool recurring charge, to fraudulently obtain money or property. Credit and debit card numbers can be stolen from unsecured websites, personal computers and used in credit card identity theft.
Credit Card Identity Theft Facts
Whatever would someone want with stolen information? Believe it or not, there is a substantial and thriving market on the Dark Web selling this kind of data. Depending on how much personal information a thief can collect on one person, it could cost anywhere from $1 to $450 a piece.
These thieves are also referred to as hackers. The hackers are computer enthusiasts, however, the ones with fewer ethics are prone to stealing. Which, in consequence, brings us to the cybercrime groups always on the hunt for information.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conducted a research that showed that this stolen information will appear on black markets within minutes. It takes about 9 minutes for the thieves to categorize and put up someone's identity for sale.
The most affected country in the world is Mexico. While 46% of all worldwide credit card identity thefts occur in the USA. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, this form of identity theft happens every two seconds. Seems that the most affected age group is over 50 years of age and young adults from 20 to 29.
The elders are having a problem because of their lack of knowledge. They are the easiest targets.
"It says I opened a new account?" - said the elderly Mrs. Smith shaking her head in shock. "Well, I have never... " - the old lady kept going in disbelief when the bank called her.
That was the beginning of three years of agony for the old lady and $7,761 in expenses she had to borrow to solve the issue. Many of the victims have exactly the same financial losses due to being victims of credit card identity theft.
Mrs. Smith had discovered this shocking fraud within three months. However, Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) Aftermath Study shows reports that it takes almost three years for victims to realize their identities are stolen.
Credit Card Identity Theft Protection
An aftermath of credit card identity theft is emotionally, and physically exhausting. The greatest impact has the financial expense. How does someone protect themselves from the credit card frauds and identity theft?
The best practices for the users are:
- Reviewing the bank accounts, and credit statements on regular basis. A truth can be uncovered if the irregularities are noticed early.
- Keeping a social media and other accounts under control. It is a well-known fact that the social media networks are data hungry. Keeping a personal data to a bare minimum is the best practice. Also, ensuring that only friends can see the event posts.
- Running a scan and discovering personal information stored on the computer. The security companies developed a software designed to keep private information private. Such is the Identity Theft Preventer that scans within text files, as well as the Internet Browser to uncover the sensitive information exposed.
Storing the Personal Data on the Computer is a Bad Idea
Keeping the personally identifiable data away from the computer and hard drive can immensely prevent any inconveniences. The market research uncovers that many people save their information on their personal computer. Most of them save the bank account credentials or SSN numbers in text files.
Cisco's research of the Asian market shows that 27% even store their personal data on office computers. Any trace of such data can get a user in much greater trouble. Some of the victims of identity theft have reported that they went through all sorts of inconveniences. Some had been interrogated by the law enforcement due to their personal data being abused by criminals.
The Malware created below the grid and on the Dark Web, can allow its creator to see all the files stored on victim's computer. The majority of online Identity Thefts are performed through the distribution of malicious software. Keeping the personally identifiable data out of the reach can minimize the exposure of personal information.