in this issue

By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

Have you recently had all your credit cards replaced with chip enabled cards? Us too. And it left us wondering how the new credit cards are more secure than our old cards. It is that small, metallic square you see on new cards.

The magnetic stripes on traditional credit and debit cards store unchanging data. Whoever accesses that data gains the sensitive card and cardholder information necessary to make purchases. That makes traditional cards prime targets for counterfeiters, who convert stolen card data to cash. If someone copies the data contained on a magnetic strip, they can easily replicate that data over and over again because it does not change.

Unlike magnetic–stripe cards, every time a chip enabled card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique nine digit transaction code that cannot be used again. If a hacker stole the chip information from one specific point of sale, card duplication would never work because the stolen transaction number created in that instance would not be usable again and the card would be denied. Even with these new security features, credit cards are not widely accepted in real estate closings. Discover why in the story entitled "CREDIT cards."

Cyber–criminals are targeting lonely women. Read "DESPERATE women" and find out how these ladies are literally sucked into committing a crime while attempting to meet the love of their life in person, for the first time. It is a sad, but true story that should be shared with women you know who are engaging in online dating to ensure they do not become the next money mule.

Ever close a sale transaction involving a trust with no taxpayer identification number? It happens all the time, right? When the trust has no taxpayer identification number, the sale has to be reported to the IRS using a Form 1099–S. To discover how to report a sale for an entity with no taxpayer identification number read "HOW to properly report a sale by a disregarded entity."

Be sure to answer the monthly 1099–S question to make certain you understand the tips on properly reporting sales in order to avoid penalties!

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