Digital bank Monzo is one of the fastest-growing new banks in Britain, opening 750,000 accounts over the past two years. Now, in an extraordinarily candid move for a bank, it has thrown open its doors to Guardian Money to expose the scams and brazen criminality that threaten customers – and how it is fighting back. Some of the scams are shocking, others audacious – and one so simple we are banned from telling you about it. The student ‘mules’ Students are selling their bank accounts – giving someone else their account details such as logons – for as little as £50 to £100, often as they are finishing university and heading abroad for a period. These accounts are then used by fraudsters to evade the strict checking procedures when individuals try to open an account. These “mule” accounts are a vital link for crooks moving money around the banking system. A common cry among victims of fraud is that banks must have an electronic … [Read more...] about Fraud: here’s how scammers get away with it
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My wife and I are thinking about climbing up the property ladder and buying our second home. We have a budget of roughly £450,000 and have been to see one or two homes we are keen on. However, I noticed rumours are swirling about a potential axing of stamp duty on property sales under £500,000 – for all buyers, not just first-time ones. We'd be at the upper end of the scale – if we bought somewhere for £450,000, we'd be looking at £12,500 on stamp duty – I'd much rather this was zero. So, should we hold off? How likely is it to happen? Furthermore, would it have an instant knock-on effect to prices? As in, would more people be willing to buy, creating more demand? Time for change: Mr Johnson has told MPs that an overhaul of stamp duty is needed MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth replies: Speculation around changes to stamp duty has intensified following the change in the Conservative leadership. Within days of Boris Johnson … [Read more...] about Should I hold off buying a new home until later in the year to potentially avoid a chunky stamp duty bill… and would mooted changes hit prices?
This is what happens when the government targets you for zombie debt collection. You receive a letter from your state’s department of human services claiming that you were “overissued” $4,132 in food stamp and cash benefits in the 1980s. Enclosed is a copy of the original overpayment notice they say they sent you when you were still listening to Madonna and Bobby Brown. You don’t remember ever seeing it before. The letter informs you that, since you didn’t respond immediately three decades ago, your 90-day window to request a fair hearing and contest the overpayment has closed. You now have a debt, and it’s past due. The state threatens to refer this debt to the United States Department of Treasury, which has the power to withhold your federal tax return, your earned income tax credit, a portion of your military retirement pay – even your social security disability check. You are barely making ends meet, so the financial loss might mean doing … [Read more...] about Struggling Americans are haunted by zombie debt. Will you be next?
The Consumer Data Protection Act, more commonly known as the 'Mind Your Own Business Act,' would amend the Federal Trade Commission Act to authorize the creation of new authorities to regulate and punish online companies for privacy violations. The bill, introduced by Oregon senator Ron Wyden, would establish minimum standards for privacy and data protection that every online business would have to meet. Companies that violate those standards would face fines of up to 4 percent of their annual revenue for a first violation, according to a report by The Verge. Oregon senator Ron Wyden (pictured above) introduced the 'Mind Your Own Business' bill into the senate on Thursday For comparison, Facebook's recent settlement with the FTC for privacy violations required the company to pay a penalty of $5 billion. That is the equivalent of a little less than 10 percent of the $55.8 billion in revenue the company generated in 2018. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Cosmic rays formed … [Read more...] about New ‘Mind You Own Business’ bill would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to regulate digital privacy and fine companies for violations
The Favourite (15) Verdict: A right royal treat Rating: The Favourite is set in the early 18th century, in the corrupt and debauched court of England’s Queen Anne, gloriously played by Olivia Colman, while the War of the Spanish Succession rages on the Continent. It is an absolute hoot. We will soon be seeing Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series The Crown, but it’s safe to say this regal outing doesn’t give us much of a preview. Her Anne bears more resemblance to another Elizabeth: Miranda Richardson’s Queenie in the TV sitcom Blackadder. She is childlike, tantrum-prone, full of self-pity, and in need of constant nurse-maiding at the hands of her lifelong but infinitely more glamorous and capable friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz). Olivia Colman, right, plays Queen Anne, while Rachel Weisz is Sarah Churchill, left, in The Favourite At the start of the film, Anne shows Sarah a model of the fabulous palace she is … [Read more...] about IT’S FRIDAY FILM: Olivia’s crowning glory – with tantrums, tiaras and a monstrously funny turn from Ms Colman as Queen Anne, The Favourite reigns supreme, says BRIAN VINER