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February 25, 2008
DIY credit safeguard system
You don’t need to pay for identity theft protection, says David Colker in the Los Angeles Times. Instead of forking over $10 a month, you can “easily set up” your own fraud alert tool at little or no cost. First, you can, and should, get a free copy of your credit report each year from the three major bureaus—go to annualcreditreport-dot-com. Look for late payments and try to resolve them, and scour the reports for “irregularities,” like things you never bought or “addresses where you’ve never lived.” If you find problems, the agencies will help resolve them. Also, you can place a free fraud alert or an often-not-free credit freeze on your credit record.
Princely tax fraud
The principality of Liechtenstein is fuming over a German tax-evasion inquiry, says The New York Times in an editorial, but what should you expect when you act as “a secret haven for other countries’ tax evaders”? The probe has already taken down the head of Deutsche Post, “the world’s largest logistics company,” and the “tens of thousands of companies and individuals” who use Liechtenstein for “what folks there delicately call ‘wealth management’” are probably nervous, too. It’s about time. In the “modern world,” fighting “fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion” is how you “earn respect and influence.” Since the principality didn’t seek that voluntarily, “Germany is right to crack down.”
of The Week magazine.