Ever dream of winning the lottery? The golden ticket holders on this list might convince you otherwise. Most of them either regret winning the jackpot, or admit it made their lives hell. Let them show you what the lottery could make you lose.
10 People Who Won the Lottery–Then Lost it All
Ever dream of winning the lottery? The golden ticket holders on this list might convince you otherwise. Most of them either regret winning the jackpot, or admit it made their lives hell. Let them show you what the lottery could make you lose.
LOTTO FRENZY 20/20 MARCH 30, 2012
Does winning a lottery jackpot really buy happiness?
"Be careful what you wish for"
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(I watched this show last night....Must watch show)
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CONSUMER FINANCE: What To Do If You Fear Your Credit Card Is Hacked
Published March 30, 2012
Dow Jones Newswires
A "massive" security breach of potentially more than 10 million Visa and MasterCard credit cards could leave you exposed to fraud and means you will have to be on guard over your accounts and credit reports.
Visa Inc. (V) and MasterCard Inc. (MA) have alerted banks nationwide Friday about specific credit cards that may have been compromised at a U.S.-based card processor and are investigating the situation, according to the Krebs on Security.com blog.
The processor has been identified as Global Payments Inc. (GPN), an Atlanta firm that acts as a third-party processor of credit, debit and gift cards for banks and merchants, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The card associations have told banks that the break-in to the system occurred between Jan. 21 and Feb. 25 and that information stolen could be used to counterfeit new cards.
In a statement, MasterCard said that law enforcement is involved and that there is an "ongoing forensic review" by an outside "data-security organization." Visa representatives did not respond to requests for information.
Banks are scrutinizing transactions on compromised accounts and have found common purchases in parking garages in and around the New York City area, according to the Krebs on Security blog, which is written by Brian Krebs, formerly a reporter with the Washington Post. At least 482 credit unions also have been alerted by a provider of online financial services to the industry, the blog said, and fraudulent activity has been uncovered on 876 accounts, a relatively small number of the 56,455 member accounts covered by this particular service provider.
If you're worried that your information was stolen, contact the bank that issued the card. Visa and MasterCard don't actually issue cards but process the transactions for the bank issuer.
"One of the first things consumers should do is pull a copy of their credit report," said Dave Blumberg, a spokesman for TransUnion, the credit-rating agency. The report will list all the cards you have open, alerting you to any new accounts that you may not have opened. You also can get a free credit report every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com.
If your card was stolen, you're liable, under federal law, for up to $50 of unauthorized credit or debit transactions. In cases like this, though, you're not likely to be responsible for any charges.
Yet you could open yourself to greater risk with your debit card if you don't report the fraud quickly or respond within 60 days to a bank statement that shows the fraud. Keep close tabs on your debit account because you could lose all the money in it if it's not reported.
You might also want to place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit reports to stay vigilant. Those, however, generally only last a year and will have to be renewed.
MasterCard, Visa confirm credit card data theft described as 'massive
By Bob Sullivan
Law enforcement officials are investigating what appears to be a massive theft of U.S. consumers' credit card data, MasterCard and Visa confirmed Friday. The computer security expert who first reported the theft said it might involve as many as 10 million accounts, making it one of the largest known credit card heists.
"MasterCard is currently investigating a potential account data compromise event of a U.S.-based entity and, as a result, we have alerted payment card issuers regarding certain MasterCard accounts that are potentially at risk," that association said in a statement. "Law enforcement has been notified of this matter and the incident is currently the subject of an ongoing forensic review by an independent data security organization."
Payment processor Global Payments said late Friday it was the target of the hack.
In a statement, the firm said it "identified and self-reported unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system." Earlier Friday, trading in Global Payments stock had been halted.
"In early March 2012, the company determined card data may have been accessed," the firm said. "It immediately engaged external experts in information technology forensics and contacted federal law enforcement. The company promptly notified appropriate industry parties to allow them to minimize potential cardholder impact. The company is continuing its investigation into this matter."
Paymemt processors -- "middle men" that handles transactions between retailers and banks -- have long been a target of identity thieves because of the enormous amounts of data they control. In 2008, Princeton, N.J.,-based Heartland Systems was hacked, exposing tens of millions of credit card account numbers to theft. The theft confirmed Friday was first reported by well-known computer security journalist Brian Krebs on his blog, KrebsonSecurity.com. He reported that hackers had access to the then-unknown processor's data from Jan. 21 through Feb. 25, and were able to siphon off enough data to easily create counterfeit cards. His sources called the leak "massive."
Visa, in a statement, also acknowledged the data theft but said its own systems were not hacked.
“Visa Inc. is aware of a potential data compromise incident at a third party entity affecting card account information from all major card brands," the firm said. “Visa has provided payment card issuers with the affected account numbers so they can take steps to protect consumers through independent fraud monitoring and, if needed, reissuing cards."
Follow @RedTapeChron Gartner security expert Avivah Litan said she's been told that the stolen data is already being used on the street by identity thieves.
"I’ve spoken with folks in the card business who are seeing signs of this breach mushroom. Looks like the hackers have started using the stolen card data more recently," she said.
She's been told that investigators believe the data theft originated in New York City.
"From what I hear, the breach involves a taxi and parking garage company in the New York City area, so if you’ve paid a NYC cab in the last few months with your credit or debit card — be sure to check your card statements for possible fraud," Litan said in her blog post on the topic.
MasterCard said none of its computers were hacked as part of the incident.
"MasterCard is concerned whenever there is any possibility that cardholders could be inconvenienced and we continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information," the association added in its statement. "If cardholders have any concerns about their individual accounts, they should contact their issuing financial institution.... It is important to note that MasterCard's own systems have not been compromised in any manner. "
9 things you should know about your credit card receipt
By Melody Warnick
You may know them as those annoying scraps of paper that litter your purse or flutter from your wallet at inopportune moments, but receipts for credit card transactions are actually worth paying attention to.
Here's what you probably didn't know about them, but should:
Receipts are more secure than you think ... Unless a merchant made a big mistake, you won't see your whole credit card number on a receipt. That's because the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act -- an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act that took effect in 2006 -- legislated that for better financial security, only the last four or five digits of your card number can appear. That's why you see something like XXX-XXXX-1234 instead. Your card expiration date can't show either.
... but receipts aren't totally thief-proof. Your truncated card number isn't enough to steal, but those digits "should still be treated as sensitive, confidential information," says Jamie May, chief investigator at AllClear ID, an identity protection company. Scam artists who get their hands on even part of your card number can use it to phish for the whole number by posing as your credit card issuer or utility company over the phone. "Your card company will never call you and ask you to give them your whole card number," May says. "A good rule of thumb is to hang up and call them back at a number you know is theirs."
Receipt numbers aren't just gobbledygook. Besides the recognizable parts of your receipt, like your truncated card number and the date, are a slew of mysterious numbers. They're not alien communications; they're codes that identify the store to the company that processes their credit card payments -- for instance, a merchant ID number, an approval code, a reference sequencing number and sometimes a terminal number to identify which cash register took the payment. They're generally the same on every receipt issued by the same store. Consider them behind-the-scenes details that you can safely ignore.
Store copies and customer copies are the same. You've eaten a nice restaurant meal, tallied the tip and signed the credit card receipt -- only to realize that you've walked off with the wrong copy. "It's usually not a problem," says Heather Petersen, CEO of National Merchants Association, a payment and transaction processor. Most companies now put the tip and signature line on both copies of the receipt, so it's not a big deal if you signed the wrong one. Even if you left only an unsigned copy of the receipt, your dinner will still get charged.
You can sign as Mickey Mouse, but you shouldn't. Speaking of signatures, they matter more than you think. In an ideal world, a cashier should compare the signature on your receipt to the one on the back of your credit card. However, that rarely happens these days, and certainly no one at the bank is scrutinizing electronic signatures. That doesn't mean you're free to scrawl whatever you want, though. "This is a legally binding contract," says Petersen. "It states right on there that the undersigned agrees to pay." If the seller does notice that you signed a silly name, he can void the transaction. Plus, if you need to dispute a fraudulent charge, the signature can be a key bit of evidence. Signing your receipt "Kim Kardashian" will not help your case.
Your receipt and your bill may not always match. When your credit card bill arrives, pull out your receipts and make sure what you signed for is actually what you were charged, paying particular attention to transactions where you wrote in a tip. It's easy for a cashier to mis-key the wrong amount or to fraudulently add a few bucks to your tip. Plus, if you messed up on your math, your cashier will generally go by what the total is -- but not always. "It could be a case where they take the liberty of saying, ‘I'm pretty sure they meant $5, so I'm going to charge $5,'" says May. If something is off, your credit card receipt gives you the ammo to dispute the charge with your credit card company.
It's wise to keep your receipts around. "By far the best reason for archiving receipts is in case of an IRS audit," says Jake Brereton, marketing manager for Shoeboxed, a company that digitizes customers' receipts. But it's also helpful in case you need it to use a warranty, get a refund challenge a charge or (duh!) make a return. With Shoeboxed, you mail in an envelope of receipts and wait for them to be added to your cloud-based archive; basic service starts at $10 a month. To do it yourself, file receipts for a year or two, then shred.
Old-fashioned isn't best. Remember those clunky machines that cashiers once used to make an imprint of your credit card? Occasionally you still see them (or hand-written receipts) when small businesses lack the infrastructure to process your credit payment electronically. It seems like an innocent throwback, but "those are riskiest kinds of transactions," warns May, because you have no idea what happens to your credit card number afterwards. If a salesperson hauls out the old-school imprint machine, it's best to go get some cash.
You don't have to get a receipt. If you don't plan on keeping your receipt, don't ask for it. "It's better to not have it than throw it in the trash," points out Petersen -- not only because it's not secure, but because it's a waste. Plus, many retailers have moved toward electronic receipts and ask whether you'd like your receipt emailed to you vs. receiving a paper receipt. According to some estimates, it takes approximately 9.6 million trees to create the 640,000 tons of paper that go into receipts each year. So, if you choose an emailed receipt or just hit "no receipt" when you pay at the pump, you'll be doing yourself a financial and environmental favor.
Published: January 26, 2012
6 steps to handle a sudden financial windfall
Knowing what to pay off and how much to save can be harder than you think
By Tamara E. Holmes
Few people would turn down a financial windfall, whether via an inheritance, lottery winnings or an unexpected bonus. But while a cash infusion may be welcome, it can also raise questions about the most effective ways to use it, particularly if you have credit card debt to pay off and other financial goals to reach.
"When people get a windfall, usually there are multiple demands for that money," says Susan Bradley, author of "Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall." While the size of the inheritance determines how many goals you can satisfy, the following steps can help you ensure that your money goes the furthest, whether you've received an additional $10,000, $50,000 or $100,000.
Step No. 1: Take a pause
An unexpected cash infusion "can feel like it's infinite and will always be there," Bradley says. In fact, many people commit to spending three or four times the amount because they think they have more money than they actually do, Bradley says. To avoid spending impulsively, take some time out before making any financial decisions. "Usually people don't see the full range of what's possible at the very beginning of a windfall event," says Bradley.
If the amount seems large to you, hire a financial planner to help you prioritize your goals and a certified public accountant to help you handle the tax implications, suggests Zaneilia A. Harris, president of Harris and Harris Wealth Management Group in Upper Marlboro, Md. Also, create a prioritized list of your financial concerns "because depending upon how much money you received, there might not be enough money to solve all your problems," Harris says.
You'll know you're ready to make financial decisions when you stop changing your mind about whether you'll invest the money, go on a cruise or start a business, Bradley says. "If you're going back and forth, it just means you're not ready yet."
Step No. 2: Emergencies first
While there are likely multiple ways you can improve your financial situation, emergency situations take precedence. For example, "if you don't have a dime in savings and you're behind on the mortgage, take care of that first," says Mike LeClear, vice president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Indiana.
Lottery winner Richard Lustig poured his entire windfall into financial emergencies that had just cropped up when he won $10,000 18 years ago. The seven-time lottery winner, who wrote, "Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery," had been recently saddled with a leaky roof and medical bills after his son was born. "I didn't have to think twice. All my money went to the hospital bills and the roof," he says.
Step No. 3: Cash is king
Once emergencies are handled, your strategy will differ based on the amount of the windfall. While clearing up credit card debt is definitely a smart move, "if it's going to take all of that windfall to pay it off, I wouldn't recommend that," says LeClear. You can't get out of debt if you don't save money because inevitably the car will break down or some other unexpected expense will have you reaching for the cards again, LeClear says.
Instead, take a portion of the windfall to put toward an emergency fund. While many financial experts suggest having three to six months of savings, if you've amassed a lot of credit card debt, LeClear suggests making that about one month of savings before focusing on those bills.
Step No. 4: Prioritize debt Credit card debt and other loans that are weighing you down should be your next priority. Not only should you first consider credit cards that have the highest interest rates, but you should also look to eliminate loans that have the greatest impact on your monthly cash flow, Harris says.
For example, a card with a high balance likely carries a high minimum payment. By paying that debt off, you free up the largest amount of money to go toward other financial goals.
Step No. 5: Safeguard the future
Once your emergency savings and monthly cashflow issues are addressed, it's time to look to the future. "This is when you focus on your long-term objectives," such as saving for retirement or taking care of a child's education, says Harris. This is also the time when you consider financial gifts and charitable donations. Designate an amount you can afford, and be willing to say "no" to requests that exceed what's allotted. "You create a giving plan so you can make the money go the furthest," Bradley says.
Step No. 6: Do something fun While it's important to further your financial goals, once you've addressed your top financial priorities, take a portion of the money and enjoy yourself. Doing so makes it less likely that you'll splurge impulsively or squander all of the money, LeClear says. When Lustig scored a $842,000 lottery win, he paid off all of his credit card debt and loans, invested a little -- and then bought a Harley-Davidson. "When you get that kind of money, you also have to have fun," he says.
Published: May 16, 2011
5 Reasons You Don't Really Want to Win all that Lottery Money
Do you find yourself dreaming of the day your lucky lottery numbers are called? Or fantasizing about what numbers lurk under the silver bar of that scratch-off ticket you impulse-bought while gassing up?
The lure of "Mega Millions," "Powerball" and other lottery jackpots has millions in search of, well, millions. And while it's fun to daydream about what having more money than you can count would be like, winning the lottery might not be all it's cracked up to be.
[Related: World record $540 million lottery drawing]
A windfall of widely publicized winnings that finally allows you the luxury of affording a trip around the world, a fancy car or flat-screen TVs for every room in your house just might ruin your life.
Here's a look at the ugliness landing all that loot can bring to your life. And a reminder that being mega rich isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
1. Your friends will take advantage
Once word gets out that you had the winning ticket, you can expect everyone to try to cozy up to you, from the college roommate you haven't heard from in 20 years and the kid who tortured you on the kindergarten playground, to fellow carpool parents and "friends" you barely recognize. It's common for lottery winners to see a flood of online and in-person friend requests that range from wanting to share a meal to suggesting a weekend getaway to relax or catch up. Of course, these "buddies" all hope that you'll ultimately pick up the tab for their good time.
After she was one of a pool of 12 people who won the Missouri Powerball in 2006 and split $224 million, Sandra Hayes had to rethink her social network. "It became necessary to be careful about who I make friends with because some people can be cruel and have alternative motives for befriending you. Some feel that just because you have money, you owe them money," she says.
"When I would hang out with friends and we would stop to get something to eat, they would order their food and then announce they did not have the money to pay, which happened a few times," says Hayes. She quickly figured out her friends' plan and stopped going to eat with them. "I eventually stopped hanging out with them altogether."
Lottery winners get pleas from pals and hopeful BFFs in need of a personal bailout, too.
Hayes says one of her friends even expected her to rescue their family from their serious financial woes. "I did not rescue them thanks to the advice of my financial adviser, who told me if I bailed them out they would continue to sponge off me. If I did not draw the line, I would go broke," she says.
[Related: 7 Things You Could Do If You Winthe Mega Millions Jackpot]
2. Your relationship could fail
Money woes can put a strain on a relationship . But those who come into big windfalls find coming into a lot of money all at once can also overtax a relationship.
Alexey Bulankov, a certified financial planner who's worked with a family who won a lottery jackpot saw this devastation firsthand. "Following a string of unfortunate financial decisions, the family fell apart," he says. Bulankov says the husband, who was emotionally unprepared for the enormous responsibility and pressure of winning the lottery, took to gambling and womanizing to deal with the troubles adjusting to his new lifestyle. When his wife found out, she retaliated with vindictive shopping.
Eventually, they talked and sorted it out, says Bulankov. "Needless to say, the level of trust was not the same and the fighting and blame-placing for the squandering of their fortune became routine occurrence in this once tightly knit family," says Bulankov.
3. You'll have an increased risk of bankruptcy
Given the fact that you'd have enough dough to clear up your debt, bankruptcy seems a long shot after winning the lottery. But experts say lottery winners actually are at greater risk of bankruptcy.
"Winners suddenly have significantly more credit available to them than they ever had. That makes them more likely to make purchases on credit, rather than use cash," says Scott Dillon, a senior bankruptcy attorney at Tully Rinckey in Albany, N.Y. "Winners are much more likely to make significant impulse purchases far beyond their previous means. So the purchase amounts will be much higher, making the interest accrued on those credit cards much higher. And because they don't stop to think the money could run out, winners don't generally think they need to create or live by a monthly budget."
"While it may be counterintuitive, a large influx of wealth without proper planning can easily cause people to forget the need to save for the future," adds Dan White, founder and president of Daniel A. White & Associates, a financial planning firm in Glens Mills, Pa., that specializes in asset protection and transitional and retirement planning.
4. You'll have to fight off a host of long-lost family members
Jeff Motske, a financial planner and president of Trilogy Financial Services, headquartered in Huntington Beach, Calif., says lottery winners often become targets for long-lost relatives who knock on the door with one hand and hold the other palm up. Somehow they think when one family member wins the lotto, the whole family wins the lotto. "A family member who wins the lottery will appear as a better option than a bank for fast cash that comes with the price tag of little to no interest paid and no application process," says Motske.
So many winners find themselves fielding pleas for help with a pile of credit card or medical debt, foreclosure or car repairs.
"The majority of my family members treated me the same as they did before I won the lottery, however, there were those family members who suffered the entitlement syndrome," says Hayes. "A few of my family members with whom I did not have a previous relationship with before winning the lottery came out of the woodwork and started calling me to butter me up just for money."
[Related: Charitable Donations: What You Need to Know]
Hayes says she faced her share of bad experiences, including family members borrowing money that they felt they didn't have to pay back. "Some family members I gave a monetary gift for a special occasion thought I should have given more," says Hayes.
5. You'll be a target for a litany of lawsuits and scams
Hoping to carve out a chunk of your fortune, Motske says lottery winners are often targets for bogus lawsuits because everyone starts to come after them. "If the winnings are public knowledge, winners can bet their phone will never stop ringing. Winners hear from investors, reputable firms and scammers, and every planner/schemer under the sun," he says.
They also need to be wary of people who purposely "slip and fall" on their property, including claims of winners rear-ending them and so on. That includes contractors, babysitters, friends and family who visit you, borrow your car, etc.
Hayes says she endured some less-than-honest business deals. "Some people I dealt with were honest, but others were not. I experienced contractors changing their work bids to a higher price after they found out I won the lottery," she says. "Now I will only work with people who have been referred from trusted associates, friends or family."
HOW TO SET UP GMAIL Account (Free email account) & Forwarding Instructions
Click below to go to GMail
Click on: Create Account (top right hand corner)
Complete the Info requested on the screen:
You will pick a username for your account here - and password (Remember these two)
(You do NOT have to enter correct information for any of the other fields if you choose not to & You do NOT have to enter your secondary email address here either)
AGREE TO TERMS
CLICK NEXT STEP
SKIP THE PROFILE (unless you want to set it up) and Click NEXT
Click on CONTINUE TO GMAIL Your GMail account is now ready to use..
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR GMAIL FORWARDED TO YOUR REGULAR EMAIL ACCOUNT(so you only have to use your current email account and not log into GMail) FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:
On top right of page: Grey box that looks like a wheel (this is the Settings Tab)
Choose SETTINGS from the drop down menu
Click on: Forwarding & POP/IMAP tab
Click on: Add a forwarding address
Click on: Forward a copy of Incoming Mail
Enter the email address you want to receive all gmail emails sent to you
(For example: when I set up my gmail accounts, I forward a copy to my aol account so ALL emails that come in to my gmail account are AUTOMATICALLY forwarded to my main email)
Which means I do NOT have to log into Gmail to get my email.
A confirmation code email will be sent to the email you entered
Go to your email and click on the link that says ALLOW TO FORWARD
Then go back to your NEW GMail account and Again Click on Forwarding & POP/IMAP
Click on Forward a copy to email
Click on SAVE CHANGES
BEST PLACES TO RETIRE FOR ME.....Thanks to one of my favorite listeners for sending me these great pictures...You help keep me sane....