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December 20, 2012 | By Megan Crepeau, @crepeau and RedEye
Dear credit card avoiders, off-the-gridders and people who somehow managed to avoid the scourge of student loans: Congratulations. And I'm sorry. Congratulations because living debt-free is a noble goal. And I'm sorry, because living debt-free also means you're invisible to the shadowy forces that control your financial future. If you want to qualify for a car loan or a mortgage one day, you're going to have to show lenders that you're responsible with your money. (I know, I can hear you saying "but doesn't living without debt make me the most responsible of all?"
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 22, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
Eight hundred dollars would buy a lot of bourbon and barbecue. That's how much money a Chicago man was accused of spending with a fake card Saturday to purchase gift cards from the River North restaurant Bub City, county prosecutors said. Michael Spencer, 25, of the 7300 block of South California Avenue, was arrested Saturday just after 8:30 p.m. and charged with possession of a counterfeit credit card after he allegedly tried to buy eight $100 gift cards to the restaurant with a fake card.
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NEWS
September 4, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
An Accent Chicago employee was arrested Monday afternoon after he allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase clothes from Victoria's Secret and other Water Tower stores, county prosecutors said. Kenyon Hoskins, 23, who also goes by the nickname "Lost One," was charged with identity theft after police found he was using a credit card that belong to a 21 year-old man whose wallet had gone missing earlier in the day, according to prosecutors. Hoskins, of the 600 block of East 51st Street in Kenwood, admitted that he had taken possession of the man's wallet, removed his...
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
There might be hope yet for restoring an Andersonville icon.  Groupon has launched a fundraiser to fully restore the Andersonville Swedish-American Museum water tower that was removed Thursday after being damaged during the winter. According to a press release, $10, $25 and $50 donations are being accepted in hopes to raise enough funds to fully restore the iconic blue and yellow tower atop the museum.  The campaign runs through April 2, with all proceeds going to the grass roots effort by Groupon to restore the tower, which could cost around $200,000.
NEWS
October 10, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A South Roseland teen was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with stealing a backpack from Soldier Field after he presented police officers with a stolen ID. Khaleeq Muse, 19, of the 1100 block of South Emerald Avenue, was charged with identity theft and unlawful possession of a credit card after police stopped him for a field interview near 103rd Street and South Morgan Avenue. When officers, who thought Muse matched the identity of a man wanted for an unrelated offense, asked Muse to show them an ID, he first reached for the backpack owner's ID card, which he had...
NEWS
January 21, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A Chicago man checked out of a Loop hotel Monday morning, and checked into police custody, after he was accused of using a fake credit card to pay for his stay. Bryant Larkin, 25, was arrested Monday morning on charges of aggravated identity theft after he allegedly used a fake card with stolen information to pay for two separate nights at the Hyatt Regency hotel on East Wacker Drive on Jan. 13 and 19. Larkin, of the 9700 block of South Yates Boulevard in Jeffrey Manor, was also charged with three counts...
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
There might be hope yet for restoring an Andersonville icon.  Groupon has launched a fundraiser to fully restore the Andersonville Swedish-American Museum water tower that was removed Thursday after being damaged during the winter. According to a press release, $10, $25 and $50 donations are being accepted in hopes to raise enough funds to fully restore the iconic blue and yellow tower atop the museum.  The campaign runs through April 2, with all proceeds going to the grass roots effort by Groupon to restore the...
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2012 | By Lisa Arnett and RedEye
Thanks to the popularity of cupcake shops, you can buy a hand-held sweet treat in any number of neighborhoods. But now, you'll be able to grab one at any hour of the day, thanks to a 24-hour cupcake ATM from Gold Coast bakery Sprinkles (50 E. Walton St.). The machine resembles a bank ATM, with a touch screen and credit card reader, only it's bright pink. In between transactions, it plays a catchy jingle ("I love Sprinkles. Yes, I do. Yes, I do. The best cupcake in the world!")
NEWS
February 7, 2013 | By Megan Crepeau, @crepeau and RedEye
Add “identity theft” to the list of things that are fun to watch in movies, but probably are a nightmare in real life. (This list also includes jumping down waterfalls, hacking someone's head off and kissing Johnny Depp. He just kinda looks to me like he doesn't floss, is all.) Unlike “Identity Thief,” nobody's going to make a blockbuster movie starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman about checking your credit report. But you should do it anyway. Here's how to avoid getting your identity stolen out here in real, non-Hollywood life.
NEWS
April 22, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
Eight hundred dollars would buy a lot of bourbon and barbecue. That's how much money a Chicago man was accused of spending with a fake card Saturday to purchase gift cards from the River North restaurant Bub City, county prosecutors said. Michael Spencer, 25, of the 7300 block of South California Avenue, was arrested Saturday just after 8:30 p.m. and charged with possession of a counterfeit credit card after he allegedly tried to buy eight $100 gift cards to the restaurant with a fake card.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A Chicago woman was arrested Thursday on charges of burglary and identity theft after she broke into lockers at a Loop gym and stole wallets and credit cards. Tishunda Jordan, 33, of the 8100 block of South Marshfield Avenue, entered a gym in the 0-100 block of East Randolph Street, which has an L.A. Fitness on its block, as though she intended to workout, according to a Chicago Police Department release. Once inside, she allegedly entered a locker room and cut the lock off two lockers with bolt cutters, and then stole several wallets containing various credit cards.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A Chicago man was arrested Wednesday morning after he was accused of trying to pay for two suites at the Four Seasons hotel in River North with a counterfeit credit card. Anthony Manuel, 25, of the 8100 block of South Bennett Avenue, was arrested at the Rush Street hotel, where he allegedly racked up a bill of more than $3,500 on two suites, food and alcohol, according to court records. County prosecutors said Manuel told police officers he was trying to impress his girlfriend, and that he invited her and several...
NEWS
February 10, 2014 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A Niles Arby's employee was arrested Saturday after he was accused of stealing credit card information from the sandwich chain's customers. Angle Cruz, 24, of the 800 block of North Mozart Avenue, was arrested late Saturday night in the South Loop on charges of using stolen credit card account information to spend money at a downtown CVS. The credit card information belonged to a 37-year-old woman from Morton Grove, according to the police report....
NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
Maybe it's a new plot to actually get you to open credit card offers?  A California woman was just a little surprised to get a credit offer addressed to her as "Lisa Is A Slut" McIntire Thursday.  McIntire did what any person insulted by a piece of mail would -- she tweeted Bank of America, the company partially responsible for the credit offer. They responded via twitter and aplogized for the error. Later, McIntire also recieved an apology from the Golden Key International Honors Society, the company responsible for...
NEWS
October 10, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
A South Roseland teen was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with stealing a backpack from Soldier Field after he presented police officers with a stolen ID. Khaleeq Muse, 19, of the 1100 block of South Emerald Avenue, was charged with identity theft and unlawful possession of a credit card after police stopped him for a field interview near 103rd Street and South Morgan Avenue. When officers, who thought Muse matched the identity of a man wanted for an unrelated offense, asked Muse to show them an ID, he first reached for...
NEWS
September 18, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Where is my Ventra card? Chicago Card Plus users who received an email from the CTA and filled out the mailing information should be receiving their cards soon. The CTA said it will finish mailing these cards by the end of the week. About 50,000 registered Chicago Card riders will have their cards mailed out early next week. After mailing, it should take seven to 10 business days to arrive. I've been using disposable magnetic stripe cards. Where can I get a Ventra card?
NEWS
April 12, 2012 | By Megan Crepeau, For RedEye
First off, I am sorry for getting the freecreditreport.com jingle stuck in your head. It's the worst, I know. But the stupid song has a point. Your credit score is hugely important, and -- this is a wild guess -- you're not paying enough attention to it. Big mistake. That little number is a snapshot of your entire credit history, and it will hang over every financial decision you make like a big, depressing, loan-application-denying cloud. The good news: You have some control over it. Here are five ways to improve your credit score, for those of us who don't plan to win the lottery or...
NEWS
September 4, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
An Accent Chicago employee was arrested Monday afternoon after he allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase clothes from Victoria's Secret and other Water Tower stores, county prosecutors said. Kenyon Hoskins, 23, who also goes by the nickname "Lost One," was charged with identity theft after police found he was using a credit card that belong to a 21 year-old man whose wallet had gone missing earlier in the day, according to prosecutors. Hoskins, of the 600 block of East 51st Street in Kenwood, admitted that he had taken possession of the man's wallet, removed his...
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