Friday Grab Bag – 6/5/2009

Mississippi gas station gives away personal credit card information

A gas station in Panola County, MS apparently reused receipt paper, inadvertently sharing the complete credit card information (full 16 digits, name, birth date, and address) of hundreds of customers. The company that owns the gas station has yet to notify the victims or offer them any credit monitoring compensation. Click here or the photo at left to see local news video coverage.

Red Flags for the rest of us

If you’re a small business owner who knows you keep your customer information safe from identity thieves, you still must comply with the recent Red Flags Rules. The FTC has published a 4-step process to help you get Red-Flag compliant – it’s aimed specifically at those businesses that already have a low risk of ID theft.

List of the cities that are most in debt

Forbes has just put out its list of the cities that have the highest credit card debt. They calculated the results by looking at each city’s average household credit card balances compared to the average household income in the area. Florida takes the cake – Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando all fall into the top five. The average Miamian, for instance, would have to spend 23% of her yearly salary to pay off her credit cards in full.

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National average credit score drops 6 points

The average TransUnion credit score is now 651, down from 657 at the end of 2008.  California and Arizona saw the steepest drops of 10 points and 11 points, respectively. The average drop is mainly due to increased delinquencies hitting consumer credit reports. Experts believe it may not be until the end of 2010 before scores start rising again.

Famous money quotes

Thanks to our friends at WiseBread for compiling 64 interesting and funny quotes all about the money. My favorite? “If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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