New York nurses charged with forging Covid vaccine playing cards to earn greater than $1.5 million

Prosecutors said that officers obtained a ledger documenting profits in excess of $1.5 million from the alleged illegal activity.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

Two nurses on New York’s Long Island are being charged with forging Covid-19 vaccination cards and entering the fake jabs in the state’s database, a scam that allegedly raked in more than $1.5 million.

The Suffolk County District Attorney on Friday arrested Julie DeVuono, 49, the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville and her employee, Marissa Urraro, 44, according to a complaint.

From November 2021 to January 2022, the pair of allegedly forged vaccination cards, charging adults $220 apiece and $85 per child for a fake record that would land in the New York State Immunization Information System database. Prosecutors said that on one or more occasions, DeVuono and Urrano allegedly created records to indicate a vaccine was given to an undercover detective despite never administering the vaccine.

Julie DeVuono (L) and Marissa Urraro’s booking photos from the Suffolk County Police Dept. on Jan. 29th, 2022

Courtesy: Suffolk County Police Department.

“Forging COVID-19 vaccination cards and entering false information into the New York
State database used to track vaccination records puts the health and well-being of others at risk, and undermines efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” special agent Scott Lampert said in a statement announcing the charges.

During a search of DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000. They also allegedly found a ledger documenting profits from the scheme in excess of $1.5 million.

During a search of Julie DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

DeVuono’s husband Derin DeVuono, who is a New York Police Department officer, is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau in terms of his possible involvement in his wife’s alleged scheme, sources told the New York Daily News.

DeVuono and Urraro are each being charged with one count of forgery in the second degree. DeVuono is also being charged with an additional count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The pair’s legal defense was not immediately clear.

Just a month ago, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law criminalizing fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

Fanatics acquires Topps buying and selling playing cards for $500 million

Topps’ 2016 season baseball cards will be displayed during an event in New York City.

Kris Connor | Getty Images

Michael Rubin’s e-commerce company Fanatics has acquired Topps trading cards, sources close to the deal confirmed to CNBC Monday evening.

The terms of the deal weren’t available, but industry circles put the deal at around $ 500 million. It will only include Topps’ name and sports and entertainment division, not the company’s candy and gift card line, a source said.

Fanatics and Topps declined to comment, but an announcement is expected on Tuesday.

The deal comes after Fanatics acquired Major League Baseball trading card rights last august. The MLB extended its contract with Topps in 2018 and the existing contract ends in 2025. But with this agreement Fanatics immediately receives the trading card rights from MLB.

Fanatics will also receive rights to Major League Soccer, UEFA, Bundesliga and Formula 1. These leagues also have active agreements with Topps.

And last year Fanatics secured trading card licenses for the National Football League Players Association and the National Basketball Association. In order to maintain these agreements, Fanatics provided equity capital to the leagues and player unions that is guaranteed to generate at least $ 1 billion in revenue over the duration of the partnerships.

Straight to the consumer model

Fanatics who reached one Valuation of $ 18 billion in 2021, wants to further expand the trading card business via direct-to-consumer commerce. For example, when collectors buy a trading card, they can insure, value, store, and even list the asset on a marketplace for sale or trade through Fanatics.

The company plans to capitalize on a sports trading card business that is expected to reach $ 98.7 billion by 2027, according to Verified Market Research.

The Topps acquisition is also in line with Fanatics’ plans to expand its NFT collectibles sector through its Candy Digital company, which owns the exclusive rights to produce MLB digital artwork.

Last year, Topps was valued at $ 1.3 billion as part of a SPAC merger Mudrick Capital Acquisition Corp. II, which fell apart after Topps lost his MLB rights.

Topps was a publicly traded company before it was privatized in 2007 after a $ 385 million deal. Founded in 1938, the company was best known for selling trading cards, including the 1952 Mickey Mantle card, one of which sold for $ 5.2 million in January 2021.

Stimulus Cash Minimized Impression Retail Closures Had on Retailer Credit score Playing cards

Pheelings Media / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Despite limited access to physical stores at the start of the pandemic, retail credit card-backed securities have not and have not been affected by store closures lead to increased failures, according to data from Fitch Ratings.

Stimulus update: Child tax credit & Golden State money has been sent, find out where yours is
Continue reading: Petition for 4th Stimulus for Monthly Payments of $ 2,000 Reaches 2.9 million signatures

After three rounds of stimulus, more Americans were able to put cash into savings or on outstanding debt. A study by Northwestern Mutual found that personal debt has fallen by more than 20% since 2019.

“The fact that people are making significant strides in deleveraging is encouraging to see, especially at a time when many are still recovering from the financial impact and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Christian said Mitchell, Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer at Northwestern Mutual.

Fact check: Will there be a fourth stimulus check?

The performance of the retail credit card trust is largely influenced by consumer strength. While fees slowed at the beginning of the pandemic, they have since increased to higher levels than they were before the pandemic. Fitch Ratings cites consumer willingness to use federal unemployment benefits and individual stimulus checks to help settle credit card debt.

According to Fitch’s retail credit card index, the 12-month average of late payments of 60 days or more fell from 2.78% in March last year to 1.77% in August. Withdrawal rates are still low with a 12-month average of 4.92% (as of August 2021 from 7% in March 2020) The increase in credit card balances continues to show an upward trend.

Discover: Credit card advice you absolutely need
To learn: Millennials and Generation Z Financial Confidence Raised 60% During COVID-19

Fitch Ratings also noted that as the delta variant spreads, it is too early to say if the balance continues to rise and Consumer confidence is falling. Retail cards also have a lower consumer payment priority.

The story goes on

More from GOBankingRates

Last updated: September 23, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Stimulus Money minimized the impact of retail closures on store credit cards

Dango Merchandise MC01 light-weight titanium cash clip holds as much as 80 payments, playing cards, and extra » Gadget Circulate

Store up to 80 bills, cards and mini items in the lightweight titanium MC01 money clip from Dango Products. These EDC accessories are designed to take with you on the go and are sturdy yet small enough to stow in your pocket. In fact, you can get a bulky one. substitute wallet with this slim money and card holder. It contains a silicone strap that wraps around the body of the chassis and provides extra storage space to crush large bills. Or you can use this tape to separate cash. In addition, this lightweight titanium money clip has a manoeuvrable titanium clip that makes it easy to pull in a single bank note at a time. But the Dango Products MC01 isn’t just for the money, because it has a whimsical surprise you’ll love: it has a built-in bottle opener. It is available in a total of 3 colors: Champagne Gold, Jet Black and Satin Silver.

Household Virtually Loses Cash with Airbnb Present Playing cards – NBC Los Angeles

If you are planning a short vacation, consider renting a home. If so, the NBC4 I team warns of a popular vacation rental website: your rental could cost you more than you expect.

Jodee Peko and her daughter planned a family trip to Las Vegas to celebrate graduation. Peko wanted to help her daughter pay the bill for the trip, so she gave her $ 1,200 Airbnb gift cards to rent a house.

“It was just for her to get away and go to the family for the first time with her baby,” said Peko.

When you book an Airbnb rental, you have two payment options: prepayment, full; or leave a deposit and pay the balance later, which is the option Peko chose. She used the gift cards to pay the deposit, but when she later tried to use the gift cards to pay the balance, Airbnb refused her.

“The person said to me, ‘Oh, you can only pay for everything in full with gift cards,'” said Peko.

It’s correct. Airbnb doesn’t allow you to use gift cards to offset funds – you can only use them for deposits or prepay everything. The gift cards Peko bought still contained hundreds of dollars, and with no future travel plans, she says the family threw that money away.

“I just cried,” said Peko. “It was heartbreaking and the people at Airbnb were just so heartless. ‘Sorry, this is our policy, read it, you should have read it.’ ”If you browse the Airbnb website, you will find the gift card policy. The I-Team asked Airbnb the reason for the policy, but we got no response.

“It’s really against the consumer, it seems to be kind of a gotcha,” said Mark Ostermann, who called Airbnb for an unfriendly consumer policy on his travel blog. In his opinion, the company should issue a clear warning when consumers use a gift card.

“There should be a pop-up that says, ‘Hey, you’re paying with a gift card and if you make a second payment you can’t use a gift card,'” Ostermann said. “Kind of a warning.” But until that happens, Peko gives other Airbnb travelers some advice.

“Don’t buy gift cards, don’t do it,” she said.

It finally worked for Peko’s family. The host eventually canceled his reservation so he booked a new rental home and this time they knew they had to use their gift cards to prepay everything.

Millennial Cash: Don’t overlook credit score union bank cards | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

If you’re frequently bombarded with ads for credit cards at major banks, it’s easy to overlook credit cards at a local credit union. These nonprofits typically require membership based on location or affiliation with an employer, family member, or organization. Large credit card issuers typically do not have these requirements.

But while the rewards and perks are often more noticeable on bank-issued credit cards, credit unions can offer generous incentives of their own or different values. Also, a credit union offers many of the same services as banks, but profits are returned to members in the form of reduced fees, lower interest rates, and more.

Here are some ways that credit union cards can dwarf dazzling offers from banks.

Lower fees

It is not uncommon to find credit cards with lower annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, late fees, etc. at a credit union. In fact, the average late fee for a credit union is about $ 10 cheaper than a bank, according to a Credit Union National Association membership benefits report. The types of fees vary depending on the credit union.

For example, the Navy Federal Credit Union in Virginia has a military focus and fees that match the lifestyle of its members.

“We know that many of our military personnel are based overseas, so we think it’s a really fantastic way to serve our community if we don’t have overseas transaction fees on our credit cards.” says Justin Zeidman, director of credit card products at the credit union.

Fees are an important factor to consider when choosing a credit card with any institution.

Lower interest rates

If you have an extended period of credit on a credit card, a credit union credit card may save you more money in interest than one from a bank. Because unlike banks, the interest rates at federal credit unions are capped. Federal law limits the interest rate on loans and credit cards to 15%. However, the National Credit Union Administration Board temporarily increased it to 18% and recently voted to hold that rate through March 10, 2023.

In March 2021, the nationwide average interest rate on a credit union credit card is 10.97% versus 12.55% for banks, according to the NCUA.

Possibly

healthy rewards

Some credit union credit cards compete with the sign-up bonuses or ongoing premium rates of large banks. This is one of the ways these nonprofits are bringing value back to their members.

For Keenan Kimbrough, a 27-year-old Pennsylvania resident, the rewards and low interest rates were worth switching from a bank-issued credit card to a credit union card. Its credit union card receives a lower interest rate of 12% compared to the 22% on the old card and the credit union card brings in higher premiums in common expense categories.

When redeeming rewards, “I can get $ 40 or $ 50” in cashback, says Kimbrough. “It was a good move.”

More flexible options

to access credit

If your credit rating is not optimal and you do not have enough money to deposit on a secured credit card, a credit union can offer alternatives for building credit. For example, USAlliance Financial, a New York-based credit union, is one of many credit unions offering a home loan as an alternative to members who cannot make a minimum deposit to qualify for a secured credit card.

“Over half, about 53%, of the members are with credit unions that offer loans that help people build credit.” says Jordan van Rijn, senior economist for the Credit Union National Association.

With this type of loan, the amount borrowed is held in a bank account while you make small additional payments over the life of the loan. At USAlliance Financial, the lowest payment on a home loan can be around $ 42 per month, compared to the minimum upfront cost of $ 250 for a secured credit card. At the end of the loan, the money will be returned to you and can be used with a secured credit card deposit to continue borrowing.

Access to resources

Credit unions typically provide their members with access to resources when it comes to credit card management or spending.

“Financial education and training programs are very common with credit unions, that’s a big part of their job.” van Rijn says. “We have data that shows that 83% of credit union members are with credit unions that offer financial education courses.”

Resources are available in the form of online educational tools, seminars, or partnerships with organizations that provide credit counseling or financial planning services. The offers vary depending on the credit union.

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North Texas Girl Warns of Scams After Calls Requesting Cash on Present Playing cards – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Price

A North Texas woman sends a warning to others after saying she was defrauded of $ 170,000.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, tells NBC 5 that she retired last year, and in April she says scammers called her and told her that someone opened 18 accounts on her behalf and was sending money to Colombia.

“There is no way I said I am not sending any money to Colombia and I have no 18 accounts, no bank accounts. If you have any more money from your accounts, you have to speak to someone,” said the woman.

She says they convinced her to send their money in the form of gift cards for safekeeping.

She says she finally found out about the scam when she tried to mail a box of $ 16,000, but the box was lost in the mail.

She called the police, hoping her story can serve as a warning to others.

“I hope it helps people. I really do.”

The woman says she got some money back, but not all of it.

MILLENNIAL MONEY: How factors and miles bank cards can ease return to journey | Enterprise

With COVID-19 vaccination season making travel safer, many people who stayed at home during the pandemic shutdowns are back on vacation. According to the Transportation Security Administration, the number of checkpoints at airports increased by around 20% from January to mid-June 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

Rewards such as points and miles that you earn with a travel credit card can help you achieve a long-awaited dream destination, especially as a new cardholder. There is currently no shortage of generous sign-up offers for those with good credit (a FICO score of 690 or higher), but before you accept one, consider whether a travel credit card will match your spending.

Even for globetrotters, a travel credit card may not be compatible with habits or financial circumstances. Weigh these factors to determine what is right for you.

WHEN A TRAVEL CREDIT CARD makes sense

Travel credit card options are plentiful. There are general travel credit cards that allow flexible redemption and co-branded travel credit cards allow travel redemption with specific hotel brands, airlines or third party travel websites.

These types of credit cards can be useful if you travel regularly, have no debt, and pay the bill in full each month to avoid interest charges. Otherwise, the value of the rewards will be skimmed off by the high interest rate on these cards. Checking these boxes will allow you to consider a travel credit card.

Combining a travel card with a travel savings fund can also prevent unwanted budget surprises such as expenses that are not covered by credit card rewards. If you want to go somewhere in six to twelve months, put money aside from every paycheck to avoid debt, says Kelly Luethje, certified financial planner and founder of the Willow Planning Group in New Hampshire.

“You may not have accumulated the points you need for an entire trip, so I like a travel fund to supplement what you didn’t accumulate on the credit card,” she says.

MUST-HAVES FOR A TRAVEL CREDIT CARD

A travel credit card should make traveling easier and cheaper. Depending on where and how often you travel, the desirable features may vary.

For Christine Lozada, a California-based creator of Where In The World is CL, a YouTube channel, a travel credit card and its benefits were essential to her jet setting lifestyle.

She says the access her travel credit card gives in airport lounges is “huge for me”.

Your priorities may vary, but here are a few factors to consider:

– annual fees. Only consider high annual fee travel credit cards if the benefits of the card can offset costs. Less frequent travelers can get more value from a credit card with no annual fee.

– Introductory offers. A sign up bonus can cover the cost of a vacation, but spending too much money to qualify to earn one will miss the point. Instead, plan to apply for a travel credit card in a month or a high-spending season to meet bonus requirements on purchases within budget.

– reward. Look for a premium rate of 1.5% or 2% of your expenses. Depending on the terms and conditions of a card, the value of the rewards can go up or down with different redemption options. Travel redemptions usually get the best value. In some cases, you can maximize your rewards by transferring points to loyalty programs. Lozada transferred points from her credit card to her hotel loyalty program to get even more value for her points. She used them for a stay in Carlsbad, California.

– A broad network of dealers. With a travel credit card, which is one of the globally accepted Visa or Mastercard networks, you are likely to have fewer problems abroad.

– No foreign transaction fees. For international travelers, a travel credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees saves money. These fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the amount of any purchase made abroad.

– Money-saving perks. Valuable discounts are usually offered on travel cards with annual fees. Airline credit cards may include free checked baggage or priority boarding. Hotel brand credit cards could include a free night and automatic elite status. Some general travel credit cards provide credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees, travel or restaurant credit, or access to airport lounges. The card with the benefits you are most likely to use gives you the best value.

– Travel services or protection. Travel credit cards can provide trip cancellation or interruption insurance, lost baggage reimbursement, rental car insurance, and more. Protection is often secondary to existing insurance.

Read the terms carefully to get the most out of your benefits.

Do Courtney and Travis Playing cards Have a Extra “Everlasting Future”? | Leisure Information

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker could “probably” “build a more lasting future together” at some point.

Poosh’s founder, 42, and Blink-182’s Locker, 45, began dating in December after many years of friendship. Someday”.

“Courtney and Travis are more special than ever, and they can hang out with friends and family even when they’re alone,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. I know i’m lucky

“You can also be sure that one day they’ll end up together, which makes Courtney really happy.

“It is likely that together we will shape the future from a more sustainable perspective.”

Best of all, the couple pride themselves on their families being “integrated” so seamlessly.

Courtney has Mason, 11, Penelope, 8 and 6 years old, and ex-partner Scott Disick, and Travis has Landon, 17, Alabama, and 15-year-old ex-wife Shana Mokeler.

“In my opinion, the greatest achievement so far is the seamless integration of the family,” he continued.

“It is always important to us and we are all proud to support our happiness.

“All of their children get very close, and both of them think Travis and Courtney are great.

“Courtney is very close to Travis’ children. The same goes for Travis and Courtney’s children. They have all known each other for a long time, and the rest of Courtney’s family loves Travis. You and his family first. “

Insiders recently reported that the two had discussed “the possibility of engagement and marriage.”

Do Courtney and Travis cards have a “more permanent future”? | Entertainment news

Source link Do Courtney and Travis cards have a “more permanent future”? | Entertainment news

Pretend DEA agent tries to steal your cash utilizing reward playing cards in newest cellphone rip-off

Authorities are working to tackle a phone scam where the caller pretends to be a DEA agent and then tries to steal the victim’s money – often by buying gift cards.

Phone fraud in general is on the rise, with the number of reported fraud cases nearly doubling between 2019 and 2020 according to the latest figures from the Federal Trade Commission. In the last year alone, half a million reports were filed, with losses totaling over $ 1 billion.

ABC News has been tracking new scam notifications sent by the FBI, IRS, and DEA in cities across the country including Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and Spokane, Washington itself as officials claim the target has been linked to a crime, and then demand that they pay for it or bring charges.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently warned of a “widespread fraud program” in which the caller pretends to be a DEA agent in order to extort money.

According to DEA Special Agent James Pokryfke, the scam begins with the potential thief informing the target that their name and social security number were used to rent a vehicle that was later found on the southern US-Mexico border Drugs and money laundering.

“The fake DEA agent will convince people to transfer money in a number of ways. One is to avoid prosecution,” Pokryfke said. That option often involves paying a fine, he said.

The other option is to offer the target a way to secure their money using the risk of a frozen bank account.

When Terri Tuson’s phone rang last July, she was told that her Social Security number had been used to rent a car that was found with drugs in the car in Texas along the border. The scammers told her they would freeze her bank accounts unless she withdrew her money and transferred it to gift cards.

“I was scared because I didn’t know if it was actually going to happen or not,” said Tuson, who works as a housekeeper at an Illinois hospital.

At the time, she had $ 2,800 in her one account. She says she pulled everything back by following the scammer’s instructions and went to a drug store and grocery store where she bought eBay and Best Buy gift cards.

“They told me they would open another account that I could put my money into, send a sheriff to my house and give me all this information so I could get my money back. It never happened,” Tuson said.

ABC News spoke to several other victims of the same scam, whose losses ranged from $ 200 to over $ 450,000.

The DEA raised questions about a possible investigation into this specific fraud to the FBI, which refused to comment on the status of an investigation.

In an audio recording provided by the DEA to ABC News, a scammer is heard doing his best to convince a target that he is a legitimate DEA agent – and even texting a photo of a fake federal badge .

The scammer was unaware that his target had hit a real DEA agent, Pokryfke, who reported the scammer that what he was doing was criminal and the subject of an investigation.

“The DEA will never call you and threaten you with arrest unless you make a payment,” Pokryfke told ABC News. “And they will never ask you to give them money to keep it safe.”

The YouTube star “Pierogi”, a pseudonym used to protect his true identity, gained fame through “scamming the fraudsters”. Videos of his conversations with phone scammers show Pierogi – who has a background in cybersecurity and IT – plays a range of characters, from a widowed grandmother to a college student.

“I talk to scammers on the phone every day and I hear victims receiving gift cards in the background and giving these people their money,” Pierogi told ABC News. He said the helpless feeling of being unable to help the victims brought him to tears.

Pierogi, whose videos have been viewed more than 60 million times since his channel launched in 2019, said the scammers aren’t just targeting the elderly.

“It could be 18 to 85 – they don’t care. If they think they can cheat on you, they will,” he said.

Pierogi said scammers use gift cards as their preferred method of payment because of their very fast processing. “The scammers have Facebook groups where people either tie gift cards or use them as currency,” he said.

FTC deputy director Monica Vaca told ABC News that scammers have financial systems in place to monetize the cards.

“Sometimes they sell them on a secondary market or use them for themselves,” said Vaca. “Once you read these numbers on the gift card [to the scammer]You will be able to access these resources, “she said.

Gift cards were the number one payment method for those who said they had been a victim of DEA scams in the past year, with an average loss of $ 850 per victim, according to the FTC. The FTC said the most popular gift cards requested by scammers are eBay, Google Play, and iTunes cards.

FTC officials said they worked with retailers to post visible signage on gift card sections of stores as part of a public awareness campaign entitled “Hang Up on Gift Card Scams,” warning gift card buyers of possible phone scams should be.

“We hear from consumers that in many cases it is these sellers who step in and prevent them from sending money,” said Vaca when the targets of the fraud are to buy the cards.

Among those taking part in the awareness campaign is Walmart, the world’s largest retailer.

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that warning signs had been posted in Walmart stores in the United States. The company also confirmed that the store’s staff had received training on how to best identify red flags related to potential fraud cases.

ABC News’ Dylan Goetz and Katie Conway contributed to this report.

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