Consumer Payment Card News

Coronavirus Breeds Device Viruses + Fake Rankings

Coronavirus Breeds Device Viruses

Coronavirus breeds device viruses as hackers seek to exploit the fear and uncertainty of the possible physical pandemic. Consumers should look for mandatory arbitration clauses before buying. Loan sites get hit for misleading rankings and your financial health depends on baby steps.

Coronavirus Goes Phishing

Mimecast discovered a sample phishing email, showing attackers were disseminating malicious links and PDFs that claim to contain information on how to protect yourself from the spread of the coronavirus.

The message instructs the reader to go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of corona virus.” It’s not surprising that they would attempt to incorporate the coronavirus into that playbook so quickly. CardBuzz says the move illustrates how phishing attempts so consistently hew to certain time-tested topics and themes.

Senior Analyst Robert McKinley says these scum-buckets are trying to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts.

Car Dealers & Auto Insurers Spying ?

If you claim to drive less than 5,000 miles per year to get a lower insurance rate be aware you could be monitored by your car dealer and the insurers. A California man was left scratching his head after he recently received word from his insurer, State Farm, that his low-mileage discount may no longer apply. He claimed to drive fewer than 5,000 miles a year, but State Farm said in an email that it believed he may have actually traveled 5,700 miles last year. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the car owner gets to decide whether the tracking technology is installed.

Hiding Behind Mandatory Arbitration

A Chicago man noticed a few small insects scurrying on his new upholstered headboard. He pulled back the sheets to find dozens more bugs, all seemingly engorged with blood, according to a class-action lawsuit his lawyers filed against Wayfair, the online housewares company that sold him the headboard. At Wayfair’s request, a judge halted the suit in and sent his individual complaint to a closed-door, virtually unappealable proceeding known as arbitration. Most credit card issuers now require customers to agree to mandatory arbitration rather than filing class action lawsuits if they feel they have they are being victimized by fees or interest rates.

Fake Reviews Boost Student Loan Rankings

A website that compares student loans and other financial products have agreed to settle for $350,000 with the Federal Trade Commission for misleading consumers to believe their website provided objective product information, when in fact they offered higher rankings and ratings to companies that paid for placement. According to the FTC’s complaint, the operators of falsely claimed that the website provided “objective,” “accurate,” and “unbiased” information about consumer financial products, such as student loans, personal loans, and credit cards.

According to the FTC’s complaint, reviews about LendEDU’s website and customer service appear on third-party review platforms, including, which allows users to select a star rating when reviewing a company.  Of the 126 reviews on, 90 percent were written or made up by LendEDU employees or their family, friends, or other associates, and all of these manufactured reviews provided five-star ratings for the company, according to the FTC.

Bankcenter cautions consumers to be wary of credit card information and marketing websites who ranked cards and have a promotional interest in the products offered.

Treating Financial, Mental and Physical Health

Thrive Global, the behavior change technology company founded by Arianna Huffington, and Discover, have launched Thriving Wallet. According to the executives involved Thriving Wallet illustrates the connection between financial, mental and physical health by leveraging compelling storytelling to highlight research and new insights, and features new Microsteps–Thrive’s small, science-backed steps–that individuals can incorporate into their daily lives to help improve their relationships with money and achieve brighter futures. 

Professor Cardworthy adds treating the whole financial person is the same as treating the whole physical person as modern medicine has broadly discovered.

A supporting study found that nearly 90% of individuals say that financial considerations have an impact on their stress levels. Additionally, 35% of survey respondents reported wishing that they could have a fresh start with regard to their finances, even as they acknowledge that they have no idea where to begin. Thriving Wallet aims to jump-start positive behavior change and help reframe our relationship with money, so people can live their lives with less stress and more joy.

Card Business Talk

CardFlash reports charge-offs (or losses) among the Top 4 U.S. bank credit card in the final three months of 2019 decreased modestly from the prior quarter and up a smidgen from one-year ago. Loan loss reserves for credit card or consumer banking among the Chase, Capital One, Bank of America, and Citibank increased 9.1% YOY, according to CardData and PYRPTS.

Credit card balances for the fourth-quarter, among the Top 4 U.S. issuers, grew a solid 6.0% year-on-year, compared to 2.8% one-year ago. Among the nation’s Top 4, Chase, Capital One, Bank of America and Citibank the annual growth rate for U.S. outstandings in the fourth-quarter is the second highest in the past five years, reports RAM Research and CardWeb.

A reminder thousands of retailers will be gathering in Palm Springs this month for the popular eTail West event. PYVNTS sys the event is set for February 24-27 at the JW Marriott in Palm Springs, CA.

Finally, CardTrak reminds you to not miss Professor Cardworthy’s blog, daily podcasts and daily videocasts each week.

Sources: CardData; RAM Research; CardTrak; CardFlash; Cardworthy; CardWeb; PYRPTS; CardBuzz; Bankcenter; PYVNTS; Ruebud Media; Red3 Media; Robear’s List