MONEY MATTERS: Federal prosecutors recently indicted members of an alleged gang of cyber thieves for stealing $45 million from banks in coordinated global attacks, each of which lasted only several hours. Sophisticated hacking techniques were used to remove spending limits on prepaid debit-card accounts at two banks in the Middle East. Organized crime cells then programmed corresponding debit cards to withdraw money from bank ATMs around the world, including $2.8 million from nearly 3,000 ATMs in New York City in two separate attacks that took place in December 2012 and February 2013.
The heist is believed to be the second-largest global bank robbery on record. In New York City, the bank theft was second only to the 1978 Lufthansa robbery depicted in the movie "Goodfellas."
News of such brazen and costly attacks demonstrates how difficult it can be for individuals, businesses and governments to detect the latest cyber threats and protect their interests. Unfortunately, millions of American consumers could become victims of cybercrimes such as debit- or credit-card fraud and identity theft each year.
ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: Summer Owens, a former FedEx marketing specialist advisor, is living proof that there is entrepreneurial life after layoffs, downsizing and retirement.
Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little about yourself.
Summer Owens: I am originally from Jackson, Tenn., but have lived in Memphis since 1997. I moved here to attend the University of Memphis, where I graduated with a BBA in Marketing in 2001 and was also named Miss University of Memphis. Last year I was named the Fogelman College of Business and Economics Young Alumna of the Year. I also earned an MBA from Belhaven College. I am the 34-year-old mother of an 18-year-old son and the author of "Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother." I am also the founder and president of S.O. What! LLC and founder and executive director of The S.O. What! Foundation.
Would you be disappointed if your child or grandchild was not able to attend his or her "dream" college solely for financial reasons? If you aspire to help a student cover rising higher-education costs, it may be wise to start saving as early as possible.
Parents and other family members can contribute to state- and college-sponsored 529 plans that feature tax-deferred accumulation. Withdrawals are tax-free if used to pay qualified higher-education expenses. There are no income restrictions for participation, although each state sets a maximum annual contribution limit.
WASHINGTON– The black unemployment rate rose to 13.7 percent in June, up from 13.5 percent in May as the economy added 195,000 jobs, exceeding most expectations. The unemployment rate for whites barely improved to 6.6 percent in June from 6.7 percent in May.
After falling for four straight months, the unemployment rate for black women 20 years and over rose sharply to 12 percent in June from 11.2 percent in May. The jobless rate for white women also increased to 6 percent in June from 5.8 percent in May.
The jobless rate for black men over 20 years of age fell to 13 percent in June from 13.5 percent in May. The unemployment rate for white men fell to 6.2 percent in June from 6.4 percent mark set in May.
DETROIT –Real Times Media (RTM), the multimedia parent company of The New Tri-State Defender, has hired digital media expert Barry Cooper – the founder of the original BlackVoices.com – to "strategically transition its traditional print properties into a more robust digital platform."
Focused on urban news and entertainment, RTM includes the nation's largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation. The multimedia company is focused on transitioning traditional Black Press properties into digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information and entertainment.
"Barry's extensive experience with, and comprehensive understanding of, digital media is a tremendous addition to Real Times Media and one I'm sure will become a valuable resource to our clients," said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. "It is truly exciting to have one of the founders of the digital black press as a part of our team as we flesh out a digital first strategy which will ensure a strong, vibrant future for our newspaper brands and a successful platform upon which we'll launch new online brands."
ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Across the country, whether in the private sector or government, companies are laying people off, downsizing and/or forcing early retirement. In some circumstances it can be devastating to a household.
Immediately after the initial shock of learning your fate, it is easy to become paralyzed by fear. Next comes the scrambling around for a new job to replace the income that will soon be lost.
Some may wait to look for another job until savings or severance packages have been depleted. Still others will pursue unemployment pay as an alternative. However, this is usually only a portion of the lost wages and will not fill the gap.
The Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) is offering young professionals in Memphis and the Mid-South an opportunity to build their legacy during the Empowerment Conference August 16-18, at the East Memphis Hilton Hotel.
This inaugural conference will offer insights and panel discussions from locally and nationally known business leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as job opportunities and social engagement.
The conference will begin with an event to commemorate MULYP's 10-year anniversary, paying homage to founders and trailblazers. The "Hiring Lounge" will offer real-time opportunities for job seekers to meet business owners, decision makers, and hiring managers. Mixology is the social event of the conference.