Friday Grab Bag

It’s Friday again, and that means it’s time for the weekly SpendOnLife grab bag! Here we share some of the week’s more interesting tidbits from the world of credit and identity theft. Enjoy!

Credit card statements get a makeover

I love Free From Broke’s breakdown of his new, post-CARD Act credit card statement. Now, his American Express bill tells him upfront that if he doesn’t pay on time, they are going to charge him $39. It also displays a calculation that tells him if he only pays the minimum, it will take him nine years to pay off his balance. Do you notice similar changes on your card’s statement this month?

Do you know a credit junkie?

And should you have an intervention? My Life ROI points out the telltale signs that someone is totally addicted to plastic.

Celeb Mischa Barton’s credit cards declined

I used to watch The O.C., which is the only reason why I know who Mischa Barton is (she played Marissa, the rich, misunderstood girl-next-door). Sadly, she hasn’t gotten much work since the popular show, and her finances are feeling it. Two of her credit cards were declined at a Whole Foods in Hollywood. Luckily, she had a friend with her who picked up the tab.

Bankruptcy plagues 80% of retired pro-footballers

I guess it makes sense that so many pro-athletes can’t make their millions of dollars last a lifetime. After all, their forte is playing their sport, not managing money. Bad business advice, family and friends who leech, and the pressure to look like a big baller both on and off the court all take a financial toll. Check out these seven sob stories of pro athletes who have fallen on tough times.

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Deceased, child, and tax ID theft, all rolled into one

Sadly, there are identity thieves out there who add insult to injury by stealing the identity of a deceased child. This happened recently to a Washington couple, who discovered their baby was being claimed by a stranger for tax benefits. Now, the couple must prove to the IRS that they are indeed the parents, which means paperwork, tax accountants, and bureaucracy during a time when they should be left in peace.

Band buys their own music with stolen credit cards

In a way, this is kind of genius. A struggling band negotiated a 40% royalty deal with iTunes, then used stolen credit cards to purchase $750,000 worth of their own songs. Not only did they get to bank $300,000, but their popularity on iTunes also increased, leading to more sales. The nine-member British “band” (can’t imagine what their music sounds like) was living the rock star life until they were caught by Scotland Yard and the FBI.

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