I first noticed the coin shortage signs that were ubiquitous last summer had returned a couple of weeks ago at Kroger
“Due to a national coin shortage, all self-serve checkouts are Card Only & No Cash Back.”
Then this week I saw another in a restaurant: “We can no longer give back change for cash transactions due to change shortage.”
According to the Federal Reserve, the U.S. doesn’t have a coin shortage. It’s a circulation issue.
And yes, you can blame it on COVID-19 if you want.
According to a May announcement by the U.S. Coin Task Force, created in July 2020, “There is approximately $48.5 billion in coin already in circulation, much of which is sitting dormant inside America’s 128 million households. Returning coins into circulation by spending them, or depositing or exchanging them at banks or kiosks, will make a meaningful difference for the millions of American people and businesses that rely on coins to support cash transactions.”
Last summer some banks in Northeast Indiana were asking account holders to bring in their coins. The Federal Reserve said in June 2020 that a lack of consumer spending and COVID-19 adjustments that reduced the amount made by the U.S. Mint had created a shortage.
So I better quit wrapping up those coins and get them to the bank.
And the Fed said it’s perfectly legal for a business not to accept cash and coins. “There is no federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services.”
Attorney general offers tips vs. hospital data breaches
With the Eskenazi Health data breach in August, Attorney General Todd Rokita warned Hoosiers, specifically any current or former patients or employees, to watch out for suspicious activity with their accounts and personal information.
“As with any major breach, Hoosiers should protect and monitor their personal information closely,” Rokita said in the announcement. “Our Office’s Data Privacy and Identify Theft Unit is prepared to direct consumers to data theft resources to combat further damage and prevent additional harm if they become victims of scammers and fraud.”
Rokita’s advice comes just a day after President Joe Biden announced the creation of 500,000 cybersecurity jobs. And less than a week after T-Mobile determined there was “unauthorized access” to my information as one of millions of our customers, former customers, and prospective customers affected.
“Some SSN, name, address, date of birth and driver’s license/ID information was compromised,” according to an Aug. 27 blog post from Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. It’s offering two years of free identity protection services and get T-Mobile’s free scam-blocking protection through Scam Shield.
This comes long after that hospital data breach that I stupidly may have caused myself in a phishing scam. And the university breach that my husband got a notice about. And my Twitter account…
And I’m sure all the other “unauthorized access” incidents I don’t know about.
Rokita and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offer the following tips as best practices:
• Be wary of and on the lookout for any suspicious activity in your bank account, credit cards, and investment and retirement accounts.
• Change the passwords on all your existing accounts. A password of at least 12 letters, numbers and symbols, with at least two capital letters, two numbers and two special characters is best.
• Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords and use 2 factor authentication whenever it’s available.
• You should also request copies of your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies from https://annualcreditreport.com. At the current time, the credit reporting agencies are permitting consumers to request a free credit report each week.
• You should also consider freezing your credit information. The credit freezes are free, and they will help prevent new accounts from being opened in your name.
Hoosiers are encouraged to contact the Office of the Indiana Attorney General about any suspected fraud, identity theft, scams or scam attempts. Consumers can file a complaint by visiting indianaconsumer.com or calling 1-800-382-5516.
Baden named Best of Best Firms in Nation
Baden Gage & Schroeder, LLC has been honored by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) as one of the 2021 “Best of the Best” accounting firms in the nation for the fifth consecutive year.
Fort Wayne-based Baden is one of 10 firms given this award in the under $10 million in revenue category. As a Best of the Best firm, Baden is ranked on more than 50 metrics, making our firm a top performer within the profession.
“With all of the challenges faced in 2020, we were able to overcome those obstacles and uncertainties to receive this national recognition,” Christine Hootman, managing director, said in a news release. “Thank you to all of our employees for making this Best of the Best achievement possible and for sustaining this level of excellence five years in a row.”
Baden Gage & Schroeder, LLC was established in 1980, has seven directors and over 50 employees serving businesses in the construction, manufacturing/distribution, health care, financial institution, and service/wholesale/retail industries.