New Bank Trojan Virus Steals Money

Trojan HorseFinjan, an internet security firm, has discovered a new Trojan horse virus that steals money from your account. Your typical phishing or virus will steal your login credentials and send it to a thief, who either sells it or empties your account. This new virus, called URLZone, will steal your credentials but also steal money from your account, all the while displaying a fake balance when you login. How much it steals depends on your much is available, it only steals enough not to trigger a bank’s fraud detection systems.

At the moment, URLZone can only infect Windows systems using Firefox, Internet Explorer 6, 7 & 8, or Opera web browsers. Computers are infected when you open an e-mail, click on a website distributing malware, or visit an infected website using one of those browsers. When you visit a targeted bank, and it’s thus far been limited to German banks, the trojan transfers money without you even knowing.

This is the first Trojan Finjan has come across that hijacks a victim’s browser session, steals the money while the victim is doing online banking, and then covers its tracks by modifying information displayed to the victim, all in real time, Ben-Itzhak [chief technology officer at Finjan] said.

This is scary.

Banking Trojan steals money from under your nose [CNet News]

(Photo: hendricksphotos)


Does Closing a Bank Account Hurt Your Credit Score


Your credit score is a number calculated from the information in your credit report. Your credit report will contain information about your loans, other credit obligations, and negative actions in public record (bankruptcy, collections, court judgments). It actually contains absolutely no banking information so closing, or opening in most cases, a bank account does not hurt or help your score.

In some cases, your credit score might be hurt if you open a bank account. The most common case is if you open a checking account with overdraft protection. Since the bank may be giving you a short term, the overdraft protection, they may do a hard inquiry to see how credit worthy you are. If you are concerned, always ask the bank if they pull your credit and whether it’s considered a hard inquiry or soft inquiry.

So does that mean my recent rash of bank account closings will have no effect? Not necessarily. As you may remember in my post about checking your specialty reports, there is a ChexSystems report that collects information about your banking activity. Banks may see my activity, frown upon it, and deny me a bank account in the future. Is that enough to stop me from simplifying my finances? Not at all.


Toyota Recalls 3.8M Cars for Floormat Issue

Toyota TundraToyota announced yesterday that they would recall 3.8 million cars in the United States in what is the largest ever U.S. recall. The removable floor mats can cause the accelerator to stick and push vehicles to speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. Toyota is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a fix.

They advise that you remove the floor mat on the driver’s side immediately.

The following vehicles are affected:

  • 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry
  • 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Toyota Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
  • 2007-2010 Lexus ES350
  • 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.

Their advice, if the car is accelerating out of control, is to step on the brake pedal with both feet, then try to put the car into neutral and switch the ignition to accessory power (where only the radio is on). Don’t turn off the power or the steering wheel will lock up. If you have a start/stop button, like in the Prius, you can hold the button down for three seconds to shut off the engine.

Toyota to recall 3.8M vehicles over floor mats [Associated Press]

(Photo: alexdixon )

 The Home 

5 Green Ideas For Naturally Clean Kitchen

Dishes in a DishwasherGreenwashing in the newest term around the green shopping aisle and it refers to the marketing practice by companies who are creating products and hoping that you think they are eco-friendly and healthier for you simply because they look “green”. This can include the simple addition of the word “natural,” which is currently not defined or regulated by the FDA. This sneaky marketing practice is certainly not in the best interest of the consumer, but it’s not illegal. It’s just dirty and not very ethical or honest. The best way to learn about a product is to look past the wildflowers and butterflies fluttering on the box and to actually read the label of everything you purchase. This will help you avoid common dangerous ingredients and learn more about what you are bringing into your home.

Now, if you’re looking looking for ideas to be green while washing around the kitchen, here are some ideas you consider:
(Click to continue reading…)


Disney “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” Rewards Volunteers

Donalt DuckDisney just announced that they would be kicking off a marketing campaign titled “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” promotion. Starting January 1st, 2010, if you volunteer a day of community service at select charities, you can get a free one-day, one-park ticket. They will give out a million tickets until December 15th, or until they run out. The “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” promotion is going to replace the current promotion where you can get free admission to the park on your birthday.

How do you participate? Visit’s the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day page to sign up and look for an eligible volunteer opportunity in your area. You won’t be able to sign up or search for opportunities until January 1st but you can sign up to get an email reminder when the program gets started.

I checked out the terms & conditions of the offer and it’s fairly relaxed. There are some restrictions on when you can use the ticket (You can’t enter Walt Disney World Resort between March 29th – April 8th, and July 4th; you can’t enter Disneyland on February 13-14, March 21, June 21-22, July 4, NOvember 21, or December 11-12). Outside of the day restrictions, I don’t see aren’t any other notable or unexpected requirements (full terms & conditions).

Give a Day, Get a Disney Day [HandsOn Network]

(Photo: savannahgrandfather)


Passive Investing Protection with Options Collars

This is a guest post written by Mark Wolfinger of the investing blog Options for Rookies. Mark grew up in Brooklyn and in an earlier life, earned a PhD (chemistry) from Northwestern. After several years as a research chemist, in Dec 1976 he moved to Chicago to trade options. Over the next 23 years, he was primarily a CBOE market maker, but also worked as a risk manager, and coached new traders. He left the CBOE in 2000 and began a career as an educator. He’s published three books and numerous magazine articles.

Mark recently authored The Rookie’s Guide to Options and he approached me with a novel guest post idea. You don’t normally associate options with passive investing but he is going to explain how you can use options, specifically collars, to protect yourself when passive investing.

Let’s begin by agreeing:

  • a) Passive investing beats active investing – for all but the few talented traders who consistently outperform the markets. Let’s also agree that none of us is a member of that elite group.
  • b) The rules: allocate assets, diversify, buy and hold, don’t panic by selling into market declines etc. These are the most commonly used methods to minimize investment risk. They are constantly repeated by journalists, bloggers, brokers, financial planners and financial advisors.

Should most of us follow this advice with confidence? Do we save a portion of each paycheck, invest passively, and confidently accept whatever happens?

I vote ‘no.’

(Click to continue reading…)


Writing Your Debt Collection Dispute Letter

DebtThis is the second guest post in a special How to Fight Debt Collectors series on

Writing a debt collection dispute letter is the first line of defense against a debt collector. Make them prove that the debt is legitimate before you do anything. Just because they have your name doesn’t mean the debt is legitimate. If you don’t remember it or you remember paying it off, a dispute letter can help you resolve it quickly.

Once you know who is calling you and what they are likely to do, it’s time to push back with a properly worded dispute letter.

(Click to continue reading…)


MyFICO 25% Off Promotional Code: FinancialHelp25

MyFICO LogoThis code has expired but there’s a new myFICO 30% off coupon: SURVEY30.

Every so often MyFICO, the consumer arm of credit score equation creator Fair Isaac Corporation, offers discount codes to some of their products. The product I’ve had the most interaction with has been the MyFICO ScoreWatch product, which has a 30 day trial, so I haven’t been keeping close tabs on the promotional codes lately.

The latest promotional code is valid until September 30th and it’s FinancialHelp25. It drops the price of all their products by 25%, making them:

In the purchase process there will be a place to put in a promotional code, just enter FinancialHelp25 for 25% off.

(Click to continue reading…)

Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2016 by All rights reserved.