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November 25, 2013:
Identity theft is a price we are paying for putting so much information on the Internet. There are credit bureau services to protect you from theft. Crooks are trying to steal the identities of young children. You can freeze your (or your child’s) credit information.
The three big credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You may request they not give information to any company that you are not already doing business with.
But there is another way to rob consumers. Go after their children. Children do not have credit cards or outstanding loans. So what do thieves do?
When they are able to get the social security number of a baby, thieves can add a date of birth and a name. This creates a false identity with a clean credit report. Thieves can then open credit cards and borrow money. The parents do not know. The identify theft might not be discovered for years.
When the child becomes a young adult and applies for credit or a student loan, he or she may be rejected because of “his” or “her” poor credit history.
Some states are doing something about this. They tell parents to have a credit report created for the child and then freeze it.
In Oregon, parents can contact a credit bureau. They will ask for a “protected” record in their child’s name. This creates an empty credit file, which is then frozen (cannot be changed). Other states, such as Utah, use a different system. Companies seeking credit information from a frozen credit report will get a warning that the application is likely fraudulent.
In Oregon, the credit companies charge $10 to freeze records. Call a credit bureau in your state, or one of the three listed above, to find out if there is a program like this.
What is the topic of the text above?
(A) identity theft in Oregon
(B) identity theft
(C) child identity theft
(D) parent’s role in identity theft
(E) Toddlers’ debt
How does a criminal rob children?
(A) by giving loans to children
(B) by giving children credit cards
(C) by getting loans with the children’s identity
(D) by rejecting student loans
(E) by contacting credit bureaus
What is the solution for this type of fraud?
(A) create a child credit file and freeze the account
(B) borrow from credit bureaus
(C) pay $10
(D) make a new credit file
(E) get a $10-loan from credit bureau
November 26, 2012:
In the last ten years kidnapping has become common in Haiti. Usually, young children of richer people are taken and held for ransom. It has made Haiti a dangerous place to live, work and visit.
Now, the nation is addressing the problem. A wealthy businessman has been charged with kidnapping the adult children of a business rival. His arrest changed things.
First, it showed that the Haitian National Police were able to investigate and charge a rich person with a crime. Before, the police were thought to be incompetent and corrupt.
Second, the investigation found many present and former police officers engaged in criminal activities, including kidnapping.
Third, the arrests showed that light-skinned Haitians could be violent criminals. The common belief was that Haitians with darker skins were more prone to violent crime.
The businessman, from the wealthy family, is Clifford Brandt. He had the children of a rival auto dealer kidnapped for a $2.5 million ransom. The children were rescued. Investigation showed that Brandt headed a large criminal enterprise in kidnapping, illegal arms trafficking, and laundering money.
Haitians saw the arrests along class and racial lines. A cab driver said, “They are always blaming us for kidnapping, but I have always known some wealthy and powerful people were involved all along.”
A businessman said, “You always assumed that kidnapping did not have a face,” said a businessman who negotiated his kidnapped son’s release after eight days in the summer of 2008. “Now it has a face.”
The big question in Haiti is whether this is the start of the stabilization of the country.
The underline word “headed” in paragraph 6 most nearly means ...
(A) gave a title
(E) go to
Apart from kidnapping, Brant played a role in …
(A) human body trafficking
(B) fake money production
(C) weapon trafficking
(D) illegal-drug sales
(E) automobile production
The sources or comments in the text above are stated in paragraph …
January 6, 2014:
A low-cost and free telephone program is available from the federal government. It is called the Lifeline program.
More than 15 million families are using the program. Cell phones were included in the program in 2005.
Low-income families get discounts on their phone bills. The first 250 minutes and 250 text messages are free. This makes it possible for many to have phone service.
Georgia and other states say there is widespread abuse by some participants in the Lifeline program. State officials charge many homes are getting more than one Lifeline phone. Some poor people are no different than some non-poor. If the system is not regulated, why not get two or three phones?
The program does not do much checking of participants. Georgia wants to impose a $5 a month charge for the basic service. This can cause a problem for poor people. They need phones but may not be able to afford them.
Opponents of the $5 fee say if a family can only afford the free phone, they will be hurt by the $5 monthly charge.
The telephone industry is a strong supporter of the Lifeline program. They think today’s poor people are the working people of tomorrow. They think it a good idea to get them as customers now.
The companies are supposed to decide who is eligible. To be in the program, people must have incomes below 135 percent of the poverty level. Or be eligible for another federal program such as food stamps.
A woman in Oklahoma wanted to see how easy it would be to get a phone. She waited in line at a tent to see if the vendor would give her a free phone even though she does not qualify she did.
“Anybody can get them. They say it’s a Lifeline ... they’re for needy people. I’m not needy and I went up and I got one with no ID no proof of income, nothing,” She said.
Policy makers know that some people will try to take advantage of programs. Their challenge is to discourage abuse. At the same time they do not want to penalize honest people.
The states and federal governments are proposing new ways to collect information on Lifeline telephone use.
Which one is NOT TRUE according to the text?
(A) the Lifeline program is provided by the government
(B) more than 15 million people use the Lifeline program
(C) mobile phones are included in the Lifeline program
(D) Georgia is one of the states that provides the Lifeline program
(E) the Lifeline program is a low-cost and free telephone program
What is the problem of the Lifeline program?
(A) there is widespread abuse by some government officials in the Lifeline program
(B) the Lifeline program does not check its participants
(C) many homes get more than one Lifeline phone
(D) many families refuse to pay $5 a month
(E) the telephone industry pays for the Lifeline program
The underline word “eligible” in paragraph 8 mostly means …
Why would the author mention the woman in Oklahoma (paragraph 9)?
(A) to exemplify the use of the Lifeline program
(B) to emphasize how people love the Lifeline program
(C) to show that the selection to become a Lifeline recipient has a loophole
(D) to show the readers that Oklahoma has the highest number of customers
(E) to refuse the argument about the widespread abuse of the Lifeline program
According to the text, who is the proponent of Lifeline program?
(A) federal government
(B) honest people
(C) telephone industry
(D) policy makers
(E) the woman in Oklahoma
November 3 2013:
Herbal supplements are sold in health food stores and drug stores. They promise relief for colds, allergies, fighting colds, hot flashes and memory loss. The ingredients are often exotic and include St. John’s wort, gingko biloba, turmeric, saw palmetto extract, echinacea and dozens more.
There are about 29,000 herbal products and substances.
A new study from Canada makes some dramatic charges. About 44 herbal supplements were tested.
Using DNA testing it found that many of the supplements contained little or none of the ingredients on the label. One-third showed no trace of some of the plants advertised on the bottle.
Instead, many contained powdered rice and weeds. Many were soybean or wheat. One bottle contained only Alexandrian senna. This is an Egyptian yellow shrub that is a powerful laxative.
Many were mixed with ingredients not listed on the label. Fillers can be a health concern for people with allergies or those seeking gluten-free products.
In other words some herbal supplements may be totally fake or Include fake ingredients.
A scientist said, “This suggests that the problems are widespread. It is hard to recommend any herbal supplements to consumers.”
Even an industry spokesman said, “Quality control is an issue in the herbal industry.” He added, “I do not think it is as bad as it looks according to this study.”
The F.D.A. audits only a small number of companies. The F.D.A. says companies must test the products they sell to make sure that they are safe. The system relies on an honor code. The industry says more oversight needed.
Supplements are thought to be safe until shown otherwise. They are sold with little oversight. They are pulled from shelves only after complaints of serious injury.
Reading the labels on supplements may not be enough!
Which one is TRUE according to the text?
(A) herbal supplements are not safe
(B) there are 29,000 herbal products and substances
(C) many supplements contained powdered rice and weeds
(D) herbal supplements contained Alexandrian senna
(E) the herbal industry has good quality control
Below are the problems of herbal supplements, EXCEPT ...
(A) many supplements may include fake ingredients
(B) many supplements do not contain the ingredients listed on the labels
(C) some herbal supplements may be totally fake
(D) the supplements are sold with little supervision
(E) herbal supplements are very effective for treating colds