Online Savings, Identity Theft and Do Not Call Registry

I found a great online high yield money market savings account online this morning.  It’s being offered by Capital One.  The current yield is 5.00% and there are no fees or minimum balance!  Plus you can get free checks and an ATM card too!  It only takes a few minutes to open the account online and the minimum opening deposit is just $1.00.  It links to your existing checking account and that is how you deposit or withdraw money.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes.  I myself was recently a victim of this when someone fraudulently used my credit card to establish an AOL account and pay eBay fees.  Luckily I noticed the suspicious activity before any major damage was done.  Here’s a short identity theft prevention checklist:

1.  Check your credit report annually.  See my previous post on how to do this free.

2.  Review your bills and statements on a regular basis.

3.  Guard your mail and trash from theft.  It’s a good idea to use a paper shredder when tossing out financial or other sensitive documents.

4.  Use caution when giving out your personal information.  This is especially true on the Internet where there are many traps for the unwary.

5.  Copy the contents of your wallet or purse.  An easy way to do this is by using your digital camera to take photographs of your identification, credit and membership cards.  For added protection, burn the pictures to a CD and store it in your safe deposit box.

6.  Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately.

Find out more online at


I was working at home this afternoon and interrupted several times by telemarketers.  I decided to finally just say “no” and add my name to the National Do Not Call Registry.  I’ve been hearing about this for several years but never got around to actually using it.  I was pleased to discover it was really easy to do.  The FTC has set up a simple website and the whole thing only takes a minute.  Basically, you just enter you telephone number and e-mail address.  The site sends a confirmation e-mail that you click and you’re good to go for five years!  Yay!

— Michael