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Senator calls for SEC, Justice investigation into Equifax

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 12:31 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 1:12 PM

AP Photo/Mike Stewart
AP Photo/Mike Stewart

Sen. Sherrod Brown Wednesday blasted credit bureau Equifax Inc. for the cyber breach that exposed the financial data of nearly half of all Americans, calling for a Department of Justice and U.S. Security and Exchange Commission investigation and changes in company policies.

He also talked of a plan to introduce legislation to offer consumers up to a decade of free credit monitoring.

In a phone call with reporters, Brown was joined by a Hamilton resident, Bill Durfey, whose data was exposed in the Equifax breach, Brown said.

RELATED: Equifax breach exposes 143M: What you need to know

“He is one of so many in this country who have played by the rules and done so many things right,” Brown said.

Credit reporting bureaus find it “unacceptable” if a consumer misses a credit card payment, Brown said. “Now they have left those people vulnerable to criminals, and we have to hold Equifax accountable.”

The Hamilton resident faulted Equifax for not being “proactive” in notifying consumers affected by the breach.

RELATEDSenator calls on Equifax to end ‘forced arbitration’

“They made a press announcement and then left it at that,” Durfey said. “It was two months after the fact.”

He said he is still waiting on an email from Equifax on the final steps on how to protect himself. And he said he was unwilling to pay Equifax to freeze his credit.

“Hell, no. They’re not going to get a nickel from me. They broke it; they own it,” Durfey said.

“I’m not sure Equifax has shown a whole lot of remorse or a lot of urgency to get this fixed,” he added.

Equifax, one of the biggest consumer credit reporting bureau, acknowledged last week it suffered a “cybersecurity incident” that could affect nearly half of U.S. consumers.

Unauthorized access to the company’s data took place from mid-May through July this year, Equifax said. But the company did not alert the public to the breach until late last week, about six weeks after it was uncovered.

The information exposed included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers, the company said.

In addition, credit card numbers for about 209,000 U.S. consumers, and “dispute documents” with personal identifying information for some 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed, Equifax also said.

A message seeking comment was sent to Equifax spokespeople.

4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:17 PM

Sites like Airbnb let you rent out your home to make money.
Sites like Airbnb let you rent out your home to make money.

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more.

RELATED: How to Cash In on Short-Term Rentals Like Airbnb, VRBO

It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process?

The following are four ways your house can make you money:

You can relax on the lake, in the woods or even in the back of a van when you're looking for a staycation in Gwinnett County.(Airbnb)

List your home with Airbnb or VRBO.

If you're planning to be out of town for a few days or don't mind bunking with a friend, you may be able to make some money by renting out your home through sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

Before jumping in, you'll need to take time to learn about the market, your expenses and any taxes you may need to pay. And before you list your property, you'll need to understand how to make it stand out with a good listing, including compelling photos and competitive pricing. Airbnb has a series of toolkits to help with this.

RELATED: Atlanta has Airbnb's most desired rental property in the world.

Rent it out to the area's growing TV and film industry.

When TV, film and commercial producers want to depict a home on screen, many times they'll rent the real thing, according to Money. It can be inconvenient for owners, however, since their homes may be taken over by a large crew and be completely rearranged.

On the other hand, homeowners often have fun with the experience while making some extra money. And while you're watching TV or a movie, you may be able to spot your home.

Host a foreign exchange student or faculty member.

Temporarily hosting a foreign exchange student or faculty member who's studying or teaching in this country can help you make some extra cash for anywhere from six weeks to six months at a time. You'll also be exposed to a different culture and language, and the experience could help you form a bond that lasts even when your guest returns home.

The Penny Hoarder suggests contacting student housing offices at local community colleges and universities, asking to be placed on their list of host families. After this, you'll have to apply, be interviewed, and allow your home to be toured. You'll also need to pass background and reference checks.

The 4-bedroom house sits on a corner lot with a concrete driveway that leads up to the two 2-car garages both having rear service doors. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY KATHY TYLER

Rent out your driveway or storage space.

If you have extra space in your driveway, you may be able to make some money by letting others park there, according to Men's Health. This is especially true if you live near a commuter rail line or sports stadium, but you'll need to check to make sure you're not violating any local ordinances. Check out websites like JustPark to get started.

The Balance also suggests renting out any extra storage space you may have. From vehicles to personal items, your garage or home could help you make money through a site like StoreAtMyHouse.

Related

6 things to know about working for Uber

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:27 PM

Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them as a driver Uber has its own system for estimating earnings You need to be a fit driver to work for Uber You might also face disqualification if you've got a record Your vehicle's gotta be fairly roomy Local vehicle regulation can trip you up Uber will lease you a vehicle You can work for Uber on scooter too

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out.

RELATED: 5 things to know before becoming a Lyft driver

Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them as a driver:

Uber has its own system for estimating earnings. When you see those tantalizing statistics about how much Uber drivers in your area are making, keep in mind that they're not referring to a profitable side hustle or long-term estimations. Uber estimates local net median hourly earnings of drivers using stats from the previous month and assumes you'd be working 40 hours per week and four weeks per month.

You need to be a fit driver to work for Uber. If you've sat in the back of an Uber vehicle on your way home from a bar and thought, "I could do this," well, maybe. But before you even start worrying about your vehicle qualifying, recognize that you yourself could be denied work for any number of reasons, according to an article written by Ridester staff and last updated in September 2017. 

To start, you must be 21 to drive for Uber and have three years of driving experience. From there, it gets trickier. You'll need an in-state drivers license, in-state insurance with your name on the policy and pass a background check successfully. 

You must not appear on any national or state sex offender registries or suspected terrorist databases.

 And just in case you think you're home free, you might also face disqualification if you've got one of these on your record:

  • DUI or drug related driving conviction
  • Fraud
  • Reckless driving
  • Hit and run
  • Violent crime (assault, battery, homicide)
  • Act of terror
  • Sexual offense
  • Crime involving property damage
  • Felony or misdemeanor for theft (burglary, stealing, robbery or anything similar)
  • Fatal accidents
  • Resisting/evading arrest
  • Any other felony
  • You'll also be disqualified if within the past three years you have driven on a suspended, revoked or invalid license.

Uber debuted in Austin in 2014. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN(Ralph Barrera/The Conversation)

Your vehicle's gotta be fairly roomy. Even to drive for UberX, the basic service, you'll need a four-door car, minivan or truck that sits four passengers plus a driver. And it can't be too beat up − no major cosmetic damage and it must be able to pass vehicle inspection. You can't get the gig with a taxi, police or other marked vehicle or full-size van.

Local vehicle regulation can trip you up. In addition to Uber's minimum requirements, your city will have its own regulations for vehicles. Sign up on Uber to get more information.

Uber will lease you a vehicle. If you qualify as a driver but your vehicle isn't up to snuff, renting or leasing a vehicle through Uber might be the solution to send you on your way.

You can work for Uber on scooter too. Uber has a delivery service, and some of the possible vehicles are bikes and scooters (they'll also take cars, usually).

Related

German grocery retailer Lidl to expand to Beavercreek

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 @ 10:28 AM

Could Lidl come to your neighborhood?

German grocery retailer Lidl will open a store in Beavercreek, one of the first locations in Ohio.

Planning officials confirmed with this news organization that the German chain grocery store Lidl has submitted a land development application to build a grocery store on a lot on the southwest corner of N. Fairfield Road and Lakeview Drive. More than four acres of land will be developed.

» RELATED: Logan’s Roadhouse renovation, new hotel plans approved by city council

“It’s great news any time the consumer has more choices,” said Sandra Pereira, associate city planner.

The proposed site of the Lidl grocery store is near the ALDI grocery store, which opened at 2451 Lakeview Drive in Beavercreek in December 2016. The ALDI spans 18,500 square feet, and offers discounted prices on grocery items. 

This news organization has reached out to Lidl for more information about the property.

The chain, which is known for its discounted prices on food products, is focused on its first round of 10 stores that just opened in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Lidl is also known for its private labels and innovative store layouts — and it even sells “fashionable but casual” clothing.

» INITIAL REPORT: German grocery retailer Lidl looks to expand in Ohio

The popular discount grocery chain is rapidly opening stores, with its U.S. headquarters situated in Arlington, Va. A spokesman told the Dayton Daily News in July that the grocery chain is “actively looking at sites across the state.”

The company posted two job openings in Columbus earlier last month — hiring for a regional real estate development manager and a regional real estate acquisitions manager. Both jobs would be based out of Columbus and would require travel, according to the job postings.

» SNEAK PEEK: Take a look at the new grocery store coming to Dayton

Lidl is looking for possible new store sites in Texas, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware, according to Lidl’s website. Lidl plans to create more than 5,000 jobs in the U.S. in the next year, and will open up to 100 stores on the East Coast by summer 2018.

» RELATED: Parties and handshakes to help get Gem City Market off the ground

According to Lidl officials, potential sites should be: located within current targeted Lidl areas; a minimum of 3.5 acres to accommodate a 36,000-square-foot stand-alone store with room for at least 150 parking spaces; positioned in an established retail location; within a dense population area within three miles. Possible sites must also see traffic of more than 20,000 vehicles come through the area daily, and must be zoned for grocery retail use.

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Elder-Beerman parent company to close 40 stores

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 9:11 AM

Learn more.

Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company of Elder-Beerman, will close at least 40 stores by the end of 2018.

The retailer will shutter about a sixth of its 260 department stores, furniture galleries and clearance centers. The chain has Elder-Beerman stores at the Dayton Mall, Mall at Fairfield Common and several others at Dayton area locations.

The company has not disclosed what stores will be shuttered.

» Elder-Beerman: What’s next for Bon Ton-owned stores?

Elder-Beerman’s parent company hired a restructuring firm earlier this year to look into bankruptcy as it grapples with more than $900 million of debt. Bon Stores Inc. hired PJT Partners to find ways to refinance the company’s debt as sales and customer traffic declines at stores like Elder-Beerman, which got its start in Dayton in 1883 when the Boston Dry Goods Store opened.

The company’s comparable store sales decreased by more than 6 percent in the second quarter compared to 2016, and its net loss was more than $33 million. Total sales in the period decreased 7 percent to $504 million, compared with $542 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Holiday Shopping Guide 2017
Deals, hiring, hours and everything else you need to know about local shopping for the holidays

Bon-Ton also owns and operates stores like the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates. The company hasn’t stayed immune to the retail apocalypse. Bon-Ton closed its Bon-Ton store at Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine at the end of August — laying off 55 employees. Bon-Ton closed a store location at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio in late March. That closure impacted 46 employees.

The Elder-Beerman store in Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown, which is in Warren County, also closed earlier this year. The closing impacted 65 employees.

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