Search found 5308 matches

by Mudpuppy
Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

It's hard to believe that a financial institution would allow an account to be open with transactions of any kind (at least withdrawals) without an associated email address. I mean, could you open a credit card or Paypal account without email? Does anyone have an old credit card account without ema...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

It's odd then because I've had a bank not make an external transfer to another bank for which I was the account holder on both, claiming there was a mismatch in the name, even though the routing and account numbers were entered correctly. That just means you were dealing with an institution that de...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Account security - Hackers gain access to mobile and then break havoc
Replies: 157
Views: 11335

Re: Account security - Hackers gain access to mobile and then break havoc

My phone died this weekend. I went into the local Verizon store, handed over my drivers license and bought a new phone. I told the representative I have a PIN on the account and he looked at me like I had two heads. My number went from the old phone to the new phone without any problems. Did you ha...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer withholding mistake
Replies: 15
Views: 2418

Re: Employer withholding mistake

So even with the extra withholding to cover the first bonus check, you will have less withheld in 2017 than your 2016 liability? The answer to that will depend on whether or not they issue my regular pay check on the November 1st appropriately. As long as taxes are withheld correctly on that check,...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

In order for Transamerica to have detected a mismatch between the check information and the account holder information, they would have needed a process by which they could verify account holder information at another financial entity, namely Regions Bank. While there are many methods to detect "ru...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I need help figuring out if I should ask Fidelity to lower my credit limit. I applied for their 2% cash back card about 2 weeks ago, and the approval finally came through and it's for $50k. I have no need for that high a limit, and am s bit concerned that it'd lock up my credit and mess with me get...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer withholding mistake
Replies: 15
Views: 2418

Re: Employer withholding mistake

I just checked my bank account for my latest overtime direct deposit and, much like the pop song, "whoops, they did it again". :oops: It looks like they once again marked me as "exempt from taxes" instead of as an exempt employee. The overtime pay only had Medicare withheld, not federal or CA state ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Woes
Replies: 46
Views: 5113

Re: Toilet Woes

I happened to have to plumber over for some other work so he replaced that valve. The refill is going very fast now. At the same time, the flushes have also improved, with only an occasional failure of the bowl to empty completely. Previously, there were problems just about every other time. The im...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

Thanks whomever. The counting number on the check in fact matches the routing number for a branch of Regions Bank in Alabama. It's also possible to forge the NAME on the check, while leaving a valid routing number and bank account. Anyone with a laser printer and the appropriate type of paper can m...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

Thanks whomever. The counting number on the check in fact matches the routing number for a branch of Regions Bank in Alabama. It's also possible to forge the NAME on the check, while leaving a valid routing number and bank account. Anyone with a laser printer and the appropriate type of paper can m...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft - follow-up

I called Regions Bank, the bank to which the money was supposedly wired. Regions Bank says they have no record of either the account number which is on the copy of the voided check sent to the custodian of the account (Transamerica), nor do they have any record of an account existing under my fathe...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)
Replies: 51
Views: 3176

Re: First visit to Hawaii (flight, Amex Plat benefits, extend stay?)

Since it's a rewards flight and you will likely be booking far in advance, it might be worth it to upgrade seats in case the carrier changes the itinerary. My United rewards flight to LIH has changed from going via SFO with a late afternoon return to going via DEN with an overnight return. That mean...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla roof deposit: Anyone paid one?
Replies: 16
Views: 2090

Re: Tesla roof deposit: Anyone paid one?

Here's a discussion on the Tesla Solar Roof from earlier this year: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=218650
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Embassy Row Map in PDF
Replies: 7
Views: 1048

Re: Need Embassy Row Map in PDF

Chrome lets you print to PDF. So if you find an interactive page with the visual data you want, you can view it in Chrome then print it to PDF for use later.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5305

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

We test drove the 2017 Accord (Hybrid) and 2017 Camry (Hybrid) back in June. The Accord had the most uncomfortable seats I have been in for quite some time. We didn't buy either -- decided to wait for 2018s -- but I could not imagine lasting more than a half hour in the Accord. I would agree that t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5305

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

The Accord beats the Camry with infotainment: Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Probably no need to get Navi. Yes, but I wish Honda didn't omit the bird's view parking cameras. I use that pretty much every time I park - very useful. I don't know why they included pretty much everything you can think ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?
Replies: 54
Views: 4145

Re: Amazon Prime - Decline in Delivery Service?

Our local USPS delivery is fairly decent, although there is the occasional package marked as "delivered" which is actually still at the post office. Also, since I'm rarely home when USPS delivers, sometimes I'll get the piece of paper saying I have to go pick up the package at the post office, but I...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Why 6 cards and no more than 9?? Side note: This question reminds me of an old computer security paper titled "Why 6?" which sought to answer why an early intrusion detection system used 6 attributes for its anomaly detection algorithm. And the answer was essentially the same as here: 6 was a balan...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Prioritizing among tax-advantaged accounts
Replies: 7
Views: 704

Re: Prioritizing among tax-advantaged accounts

We're in our late 30s now. I'm not planning an early retirement - in fact the opposite. I like my job and can do it to a relatively late age. I would expect my wife to retire more or less at standard retirement age (early to mid-60s), but she may continue to have some consulting income. It's possib...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/09/new-no-fee-united-card/ Other benefits of the United TravelBank Card include 25% back as a statement credit on food and beverage purchases on board United flights, auto rental coverage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. There are also no foreign transacti...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 226
Views: 26647

Re: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft

There seems to be a thread to the OP father's employer. Since the OP's father retired three decades ago, that means we're likely dealing with paper documents from his time of employment. It's possible that some archival documents were not properly destroyed and landed into the wrong hands. There's a...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Security after equifax breach
Replies: 23
Views: 2580

Re: Email Security after equifax breach

If one half of gaining access to a user's account is knowing the username, and that username is publicly available, well... But that's my point, the username may very well be "publicly available" to a hacker with the victim's social security number through any number of "forgot your username?" prom...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

You're thinking of the reimbursement for the one who has had their card stolen, which is covered by EMV liability rules. I'm thinking of the entire transactions, including the gift cards purchased with the stolen credit card. This is more about the stolen gift cards than the stolen credit card. The...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Security after equifax breach
Replies: 23
Views: 2580

Re: Email Security after equifax breach

For your really sensitive accounts (financial) I would recommend changing your login username away from your email address. For the average hacker, knowing your email address is your username on XYZ site is basically giving her 1/2 of the access needed to get into your account. If both your usernam...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CC online purchase at BestBuy denied - related to recent credit freeze?
Replies: 22
Views: 1250

Re: CC online purchase at BestBuy denied - related to recent credit freeze?

Capital One used to routinely deny my first routine purchases whenever we went to Hawaii (something we do annually). I would call and they would unlock the card and advise me to always let them know in advance when leaving the US. :mrgreen: So what was their reaction when you pointed out that Hawai...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CC online purchase at BestBuy denied - related to recent credit freeze?
Replies: 22
Views: 1250

Re: CC online purchase at BestBuy denied - related to recent credit freeze?

When I first bought my house, I got the fraud alert call from my credit card company due to the sudden (from their perspective) spike in purchases at home improvement stores. So like the others have said, this is probably just the fraud alert algorithm at play and it has nothing to do with your cred...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Security after equifax breach
Replies: 23
Views: 2580

Re: Email Security after equifax breach

For your really sensitive accounts (financial) I would recommend changing your login username away from your email address. For the average hacker, knowing your email address is your username on XYZ site is basically giving her 1/2 of the access needed to get into your account. If both your usernam...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?
Replies: 40
Views: 3329

Re: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?

The OP stated that the bill they received was the "final bill" and the bill was sent to collections just before the payment arrived. The lesson to be learned from this is not to delay paying bills. It seems that if this bill has been paid in a timely manner, the entire event would have been avoided...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I can see why Walmart has this policy of requiring cash or debit for a large gift card purchase though. What is one quick and easy way to convert a stolen credit card into cash? Use it to purchase a gift card and then liquidate the gift card or resell it on the Internet. That it is also a technique...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2268
Views: 394434

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

For those that are thinking about buying VGCs at Walmart, these purchases do not always go as planned. Below is a link from a churning site about a not so successful buy. There are a ton of post on these sites from people that tell of success stories at Walmart. The general consensus from those sit...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nationwide 457 plan changes
Replies: 19
Views: 1490

Re: Nationwide 457 plan changes

You also have the PCRA option. If yours is set up similarly to CA SPP, there should be some index funds available that do not charge transaction fees, which leaves you with the annual PCRA maintenance fee, plus the 0.08% on whatever balance they require in the regular account. I am curious, Mudpupp...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47184

Re: Equifax customer information leak

:? Equifax, under fire for data breach, wins $7.25 million contract from IRS http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/equifax-fire-data-breach-wins-7-25-million-contract-irs/ The Internal Revenue Service signed a $7.25 million contract with Equifax last month. The no-bid contract... is for Equifax to pr...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6010

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

We do each system once a year, at $89/shot. The first few years were included with our installation, and we just started paying last year. In addition to the obvious advantage of making sure everything is running in tip-top shape, annual maintenance is a requirement for this particular installer's ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47184

Re: Equifax customer information leak

The reason why there isn't a centralized website is because the three credit reporting bureaus are private firms. It would be like asking why when you move you have to notify all of the companies you do business with of your new address instead of just submitting a change of address with a centrali...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6010

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

Assuming having the HVAC system checked every year or every 2-3 years is a good idea (for gas furnace. I imagine an electric furnace needs less maintenance while an oil system needs more), why can't there be a combined heating/cooling systems check? Can't check the A/C when it's too cold, but the f...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel room bookings
Replies: 3
Views: 608

Re: Hotel room bookings

It's pretty common for one person to book multiple rooms for a group. But if you want to be sure the hotel understands that you need two rooms to accommodate your group, and one of the rooms is only needed for one night, you can always call them.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6010

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

I get my HVAC unit serviced every 2-3 years, primarily for the cleaning aspect (I don't want to go on my roof to clean it). It costs about $200-250 (depending on company) to have them come out in spring to check the AC part and come out in fall to check the heater part. I have several CO monitors ar...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reach out to hiring manager directly on LinkedIn?
Replies: 52
Views: 2942

Re: Reach out to hiring manager directly on LinkedIn?

It really does depend on the corporate culture. It could work, or it could backfire. Read the ad carefully and see if it says anything about the process, such as the preferred timeline for application review and when the job begins. Check Glassdoor or other sites that could speak to the corporate cu...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of thistle
Replies: 10
Views: 966

Re: How to get rid of thistle

I prefer to use stump killer (also sold as brush killer) for any invasive plant with a persistent root system. This could be vines, unwanted tree seedlings, rhizome thistle... pretty much anything other than nutsedge. Brand doesn't matter much, as most stump killer is the same thing, triclopyr. Tric...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investor: Snapshot after your advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1126

Re: Need Portfolio Help: First time investor

The wife works for a charter high school and isn't a proper part of the district. She asked the principal and said that they don't have a 403(b) nor a 457(b). I am kind of surprised, too. What kind of tax deferred account can she take advantage of? Sign up through Vanguard IRA and go through that? ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investor: Snapshot after your advice
Replies: 12
Views: 1126

Re: Need Portfolio Help: First time investor

1. Which funds should I invest in with my 457? Should I just aim for a 3 fund portfolio with Vanguard 500 Index Fund, 1 international fund, and then Vanguard Total Bond Market for bonds? You actually should use the Vanguard Institutional Index Fund instead of the Vanguard 500 Index Fund. The Vangua...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 47184

Re: Equifax customer information leak

- Having to deal with multiple agencies, each with their own security issues (including Innovis, Chexsystems, and a lot of others ). I could see the point of multiple agencies if I could choose which one has my data (e.g. based on which one I think is most secure or gives me most control over my da...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wiki article - Credit freeze
Replies: 49
Views: 6433

Re: Wiki article - Credit freeze

Consumer Reports just came out with this article about what to do beyond freezing at the big 4: https://www.consumerreports.org/equifax ... h-threats/

It might be worth incorporating into the Wiki article somehow.
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Woes
Replies: 46
Views: 5113

Re: Toilet Woes

No, not all flushes would be affected. If it's the sewer line for example... But the other toilet in the house has no problems - good flushes and fast refills. Note I said it could be either the sewer main or something specific to that bathroom. If the obstruction is just in that bathroom, and just...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Woes
Replies: 46
Views: 5113

Re: Toilet Woes

For the bad flushes, the physics of how a toilet works would indicate that is due to either a poorly filled tank or due to an obstruction in the sewage line, the trap part of the toilet, or the water jets around the bowl. The tank appears to fill the same for good or bad flushes. If there were any ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 67
Views: 2997

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

As someone who favors ebooks, I like the idea of digital newspapers (and magazines). There is one advantage of printed newspapers, however, that I didn’t appreciate until the digital versions appeared: no animated embedded ads. I’m not talking about ad pages that one can swipe past to get to more c...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 67
Views: 2997

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

Forgive me if this has already been posted, but i didn't see it upthread. A digital subscription to the Washington Post is free for six months to Amazon Prime members. There's also a "Prime Exclusive Deal" currently to have it renew at $3.99/month after the 6 month free trial, instead of Washington...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 67
Views: 2997

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

Also footnotes are a problem. I found this out when reading the first volume of Mark Twain's autobiography on my Kindle. This book is about 2/3 autobiography and about 1/3 footnotes which are all in the back of the book, not on the page. No way was I going to skip ahead each time and read the footn...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 67
Views: 2997

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

The newspaper in my area has a digital subscription option that comes with actual paper newspapers on the weekends. It seems like a nice compromise for the moment, although maybe only extreme couponers really care about getting a physical Sunday paper.
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toilet Woes
Replies: 46
Views: 5113

Re: Toilet Woes

Here's my limited DIY plumbing expertise.... For the bad flushes, the physics of how a toilet works would indicate that is due to either a poorly filled tank or due to an obstruction in the sewage line, the trap part of the toilet, or the water jets around the bowl. A flush is all about breaking the...