■ Bad air for kids
■ Age and money
against ID theft
By David Horowitz
IDENTITY THEFT CAN take many different forms,
but it usually begins the same way: Someone uses your
personal information, such as your Social Security
number, credit card or banking account numbers,
without your permission and commits fraud or a host
of other crimes.
For example, identity thieves might rent an apartment, purchase a car, obtain a credit card or open a
telephone account in your name. The major problem
is that you might not find out about it until you review
your credit report, a credit card bill comes with
charges you didn’t make or you are suddenly contacted by a debt collector.
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as
many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen
each year. Some identity victims can resolve their problems quickly, but others might spend thousands of dollars and enormous time to repair the damage.
Victims have lost out on job opportunities, home
or car loans, education or housing because of the negative information on their credit reports. There have
been cases in which innocent people have been arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. The most frightening part is that no one is immune—not even cops,
judges, members of congress or news reporters.
The way to Fight Back! is to be aware and informed. For more information, go to www.ftc.gov/
factured before 1990, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency, and are big polluters. The older
buses not only spew more thick, filthy emissions, but
they also allow the emissions and other pollution to
enter through doors and windows.
The EPA says the longer the bus ride, the more
harmful it is to children. Parents may be wise to support
measures in their local school districts to keep buses
I PLACED an ad for
my small business in
an education publication. After one month
I haven’t received
a single response. I
haven’t paid the bill of
$2,610 yet, but it is due.
The ad rep told me they
have a subscriber base
of 100,000, but I have
doubts about the circulation. What can I do?
Meadow Vista, CA
Cleaning up school bus air
Activists for the environment and children’s rights
are demanding that something be done about the pollutants contaminating the air for millions of schoolchildren. Every school day, children across the country are
transported to class in aging buses, breathing in dangerous fumes and filthy pollutants.
Boston’s Clean Air Task Force put electronic monitors in students’ backpacks to test air quality inside
school buses earlier this year and found that diesel
exhaust levels averaged five times higher than on the
outside. Some 390,000 diesel school buses are currently
in service. But about one-third of the buses were manu-
Saving for retirement
According to the Society of
Actuaries, 68 percent of retired men
and 60 percent of retired women underestimated life expectancy for people of their
age. Experts believe that
retirees today could live
to their 90s, and the truth
is that many simply aren’t
A survey of retirees
recently found that 38
percent are concerned
that they will deplete
their savings and be
left with only Social
Security. Asked what
they would do if they
lived five years longer
than expected, 53 percent said they would slash
spending and 42 percent
would tap money intended for their heirs. C
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate.
His “Fight Back!” commentaries are heard daily on
the Jones Radio Network. For stations and times,
check the radio page at www.fightback.com.
should be verified. Most
list the paid-subscriber
information in the front
of the magazine. These
numbers guide the
It is important
to determine the
before paying for
ad space. The
ment should be able to
information and who
audits or verifies it.
Before you pay the
bill, I suggest checking
out the verified paid-
circulation stats. If the
the circulation—and you
can document that mis-
have grounds for cancel-
ing the advertisement.
© 2007 FIGH T BACK! INC. ALL RIGH TS RESERVED.
The Costco Connection
Costco offers a credit reporting and monitoring service
through Identity Guard. This service enables users to
check their credit reports to detect unusual activity
and avoid identity theft. For more information, go to
costco.com and click on “Services,” then “Financial,”
then “Credit Reports & Monitoring.”
Do you have a question for David?
Just log on to www.fightback.com and “Ask David.” He will personally respond
to your problem if you follow the instructions printed on his Web site. (Costco
members receive a rebate off the normal fee.) Questions and answers of the
greatest interest to Costco members will be used in this column with the
permission of the contributor and will be posted on www.fightback.com.