Is Your Tax Refund Safe?

file_161555_0_tax refundYour tax refund may take a few days longer to land in your bank account this year. That’s because criminals from around the world are determined to get to it first.

“Our systems are attacked about a million times a week,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says. “These are Russian syndicates, Chinese. … They’re coming from all over.”

I talked to Koskinen on the same day his agency revealed that last year’s attack on the IRS’ Get Transcript system was more than twice as bad as previous estimates. The hackers apparently accessed tax return information for more than 700,000 people, not 334,000 as was reported last summer.

In my latest for NerdWallet, what the hackers did with that information, and how it could affect this year’s refunds.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to prevent identity theft. Also in the news: The costs that are often overlooked when deciding to rent or buy, reasons to file a tax extension, and how you’re using your credit card incorrectly.

How to Prevent Identity Theft
Staying one step ahead.

The Major Costs People Often Overlook When Deciding to Rent or Buy
What you need to taje into consideration.

6 Reasons to File a Tax Extension
Beyond procrastination.

5 Ways You’re Using Your Credit Card Wrong
Bad credit habits you should kick.

6 times it’s more expensive to be a woman
Happy International Women’s Day!

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

635522783074355959-holiday-cardsToday’s top story: How to protect yourself against online identity fraud. Also in the news: Myths about student loan consolidation, why fewer retirement savings options could be a good thing, and the hefty cost of those Oscar gift bags.

Follow These Steps to Guard Against Online Identity Fraud
Doing whatever it takes to protect your identity.

5 Myths about Student Loan Consolidation
Don’t fall into a deeper debt trap.

How a Simpler Approach to Retirement Savings Can Make You Richer
Lots of options isn’t always a good thing.

The Taxability of Oscars Gift Bags
All that swag comes with a hefty tax bill.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

321562-data-breachesToday’s top story: The worst online passwords of 2015. Also in the news: Why you should beware of the word “afford,” how to start saving for your retirement in your 20s and 30s, and steps to get more college financial aid.

The Worst Passwords of 2015
Stop making life easy for identity thieves.

Be Suspicious of the Word “Afford” to Keep Your Budget Balanced
Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you should buy it.

6 Steps to Saving for Retirement in Your 20s and 30s
It’s never too early to start saving.

3 Steps to More College Financial Aid From FAFSA
The sooner you fill out the form, the better.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

321562-data-breachesToday’s top story: The excuses that are keeping you from being debt-free. Also in the news: A major data breach at Time-Warner Cable, smart ways to spend your tax refund, and why most Americans couldn’t handle a surprise $500 bill.

5 Excuses Keeping You From Being Debt-Free
No more excuses.

If you’re a Time-Warner Cable customer, you should change your passwords immediately
The first big data breach of 2016.

9 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Some are unexpected.

Most Americans can’t handle a $500 surprise bill
Living on the financial edge.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Last-minute tax moves to make on December 31st. Also in the news: How to tell if your financial advisor is giving you good advice, why you should consider freezing your credit reports, and the top 6 financial resolutions for the new year.

4 Last-Minute Tax Moves You Can Make on Dec. 31
Tick tock!

How To Tell If You’re Receiving Good Advice From Your Advisor
Making sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Why you should consider freezing your credit reports
Preventing identity theft.

Top 6 financial New Year’s resolutions and how to fulfill them
Making resolutions that last.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

635515781002297417-D12-PRIMES-GRINCH-30-3881065Today’s top story: An identity theft checklist for the holidays. Also in the news: How to save for retirement while paying off student loans, defending yourself against financial bullies, and 25 ways to improve your finances in 2016.

Your Holiday Identity Theft Checklist
Beware the identity theft Grinch.

5 Ways To Save For Retirement While Paying Off Your Student Loans
It’s not impossible.

5 Ways to Defend Yourself Against Financial Bullies
Stand your ground.

25 Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2016
Every bit helps.

Want better holiday deals? Try haggling
It can’t hurt!

Monday’s need-to-know money news

check-credit-report-easilyToday’s top story: Five credit reports you may not know about. Also in the news: Money gift ideas for the holidays, why your nest egg could be at risk next year, and the top money scams affecting your pocketbook.

5 Credit Reports You Don’t Know About But Should
How’s your casino credit?

5 Money Gift Ideas for the Holidays
Financially creative gift giving.

5 Reasons Why Your Nest Egg Could be at Risk in 2016
Looking towards the future.

12 Top Scams Affecting Your Pocketbook
The latest scams you need to watch out for.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

best-credit-cards-for-holiday-shopping-2013Today’s top story: Smart ways to use credit cards over the holidays. Also in the news: Personal finance tips people wish they’d know when they were younger, how to survive Black Friday, and steps you should take before the next financial crash.

5 Smart Ways to Use Credit Cards During the Holidays
Protecting your money and your data.

5 Personal Finance Tips Most People Wish They’d Known When They Were Younger
It’s never too late.

Surviving Black Friday: How to set a budget and stick to it
Resisting temptation.

Steps You Must Take Before the Next Financial Crash
Trouble could be on the horizon.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

check-credit-report-easilyToday’s top story: The email mistake that can hurt your credit. Also in the news: Tools to eliminate student debt, tax identity theft, and scams that target investors.

The Email Mistake That Can Hurt Your Credit
Unsubscribe is your friend.

2 Tools to Eliminate Student Loan Debt
Income-based repayment plans could reduce your monthly payments.

ID Tax Theft: What You Can Do To Limit The Damage
How to fight back.

5 Scary Schemes and Scams That Target Investors
Staying a step ahead of the scammers.

If You Have Poor Credit, Beware Extra Charges on Your Monthly Bills
You could be subject to risk-based pricing.