8.27.19 Targeted promo codes abound online; Ford offers relief for defective transmissions; Change of address scam

Individual discount codes are hit or miss these days, because they’ve become more personalized. Online sellers are using algorithms to target individuals specifically with tailored coupon offers, often specific to that calendar day. It’s a code only for you, only for today. This started with electronics sellers and has been spreading. These codes pierce privacy so consumers need to decide if they’re worth it. Also, it’s important to hide your identity while shopping. Online sellers have become more sophisticated and give convenience shoppers potentially higher prices. Shopping anonymous may yield a lower price.

Ford knowingly built 600,000 vehicles with defective transmissions. The Detroit Free Press published a long-form investigative series on this. Whistleblowers and leaked documents offer proof Ford sold Focus and Fiesta models that were potentially dangerous and routinely required costly repairs due to defective transmissions. For owners, thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Ford will offer extended warranties to 600,000 owners of these vehicles. They will repair and reimburse transmission repairs for 2014-16 Focus models and 2014-15 Fiestas.

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We’re numb with data breach fatigue, but Marketwatch reports how brutal and multi-layered ID theft can be, profiling one case.  This couple faced $25,000 in fraudulent charges and while dealing with that, the criminals doubled down, creating a change of address with the USPS. In addition to unknown accounts being opened, this couple’s mail vanished. It took 2 months to unwind this at the postal service so they could again receive their mail. In the interim, despite their best efforts, they missed some bills and late pays damaged their credit further. 1. Freeze your credit. Freeze your kids’ credit. A credit freeze would have prevented this. 2. Have a system for keeping track of all your bills, a list on paper or reminder system via on an online calendar.

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