Friday Grab Bag – 5/29/2009

The Federal Trade Commission has a sense of humor?

Perhaps not as funny as the original, the FTC’s parody of the catchy jingle is still a worthwhile watch. This free credit report commercial is part of a new campaign to promote, the government-sponsored website that supplies consumers with their free (no strings attached!) annual credit reports.

Courtney Love runs up six-figure credit card bill; AmEx sues

I can’t even imagine having credit limits that let me charge anywhere near $352,059.67, but I guess I’m not a celebrity either (D-list or otherwise). Doesn’t Courtney Love care that her credit score is probably in the gutter? Do celebrities even need good credit scores to get loans? Love’s lawyer claims that Courtney is the victim of identity theft, citing the crazy-high number (104) of AmEx cards taken out in her name. WalletPop tells all.

Wipe that smile off your face

Four states have instituted a “neutral expression” policy when it comes to snapping your pic for your driver’s license. Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada, and Virginia want you to “look how you normally look” on your license, so that your photo can be properly mapped by facial recognition software. Slight smiles are okay, large grins are not 🙁

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A look at the identity theft black market underworld

Jim Giles takes readers on a fascinating tour of the identity theft underworld in his recent New Scientist article. He explains how it no longer takes real technical skill for a criminal to get into this market. Almost anyone can visit certain websites to “buy everything they need to go phishing.” He concludes that while officials do occasionally make big busts, identity theft is here to stay, so we have to learn how to protect ourselves.

Summer is here! Is your wallet (and waistline) in shape?

MoneyEnergy points out how to kill two birds with one stone this summer: Keep your wallet fatter and your body leaner by foregoing the lattes, the eating out, and the unnecessary snacking and sodas. M.E. takes it one step farther by suggesting fasting, but that drastic step certainly isn’t necessary to get results.

Saturday Night Live’s “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford” skit

And to end this Friday’s post on a comedic note, thanks to PrimeTime Money for reminding us of this classic SNL skit. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time. So funny because it’s so true.

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