“I can’t believe,” wrote Tracy, “that this came from you.’
Days ago messages poured in saying the homely, little-used but manly Instagram account under my name had been hacked. Well, sort of. More accurately, my furry face had been stolen, slapped on a fake account, then used to sell stuff.
Some people call it Instafishing. A fake profile is set up assuming the identity of the victim, then followers, DMing friends and others can be phished by the faking dirtbag. For crusty dinos who use social media for idle amusement, this is irritating. For those who take their entire identity from what online strangers think of them, or use it for career-building and networking, it can mean crisis.
Some research revealed this shocking fact: there are 1.3 billion Instagram users. Almost half of all those Insta accounts are fake. Only 55% of profiles on the platform belong to real people. And now that we have AI and Chatboy to worry about, the day may come when humans are in the minority.
Meta (IG’s big daddy) says it will remove fake profiles, but with almost 600 million currently active, it’s not exactly covered in glory. And to even consider that, the platform requires government-issued ID to be submitted, plus personal data. Good luck with that.
So what is the dude who stole my profile doing with it? This:
Yup, that’s the fake me, slinging Bitcoin. Just like a regular Pierre Poilievre, telling people they can beat inflation by sending in their money to be converted into stuff backed by faerie farts. Of course, BTC is one of the most volatile widely-traded assets in existence, essentially unregulated and inevitably on its way to zero.
By the way, who’s doing this?
Beats me, but the contact for the Bitcoin heist is one Mark Roland. His current Insta profile looks just as sleazy as you might imagine, leaning on an exoticar and shooting out come-hither looks at the pulchritudes while flashing his fleshy calves with his lunch in his pocket.
But, alas, he’s probably fake. His profile is fake. His IG addy is fake. The car’s a fake. And if you get a message from Garth Turner telling you to embrace crypto mining, well, he’s fake, too.
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Time for a couple of quick questions. First up is Andy. “Long-time reader of your blog,” he says, “never a commenter… because, well, I don’t want to turn into those people! How you deal with that volume (& calibre) of steerage baffles my mind.” Me, too.
My question is this: it’s time to churn to the old spousal RRSP (my wife with the public sector job is the contributor), to which we last deposited in 2020. Can I withdraw this year (which attributes it as my income) and subsequently contribute to her personal RRSP this same year (giving her the tax break)? Plenty of withdrawal examples out there, but none address whether a deposit can follow a withdrawal in this manner.
Sure you can. Three years after the last contribution to a spousal plan, the money belongs to you and can be removed – taxable in your hands even though it originally came from your partner (who got the tax break). This is a basic strategy for splitting income (and taxes) in a relationship where one person earns a lot more.
But the amount that can be inserted into your squeeze’s own RRSP will be determined by her personal room. And, secondly, people with defined benefit (government) pensions shouldn’t strive for big, fat RRSPs. Once they hit 71 the retirement plan converts to a RRIF and income must be taken annually. This could land them in a higher marginal tax rate since it’s added to the DB payments.
So better to put it in her TFSA. Better still to leave it exactly where it is.
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“Just looking for the best advice with the straight goods like you seem to deliver,” says Kate. “Fan of your blog and looking for the best direction for my daughter.”
First year DAL student with 15 k saved in savings accounts and needs a great start to a money-making future. She works hard in the summer and probably will only contribute to this amount moving forward vs taking it out. What’s the best option? She is currently at CIBC but I have never had the comfort with the big banks.
The bank is fine. Get her to open a TFSA with Investor’s Edge and stick all the money in there. No point using an RRSP since she likely has no taxable income to reduce. Of course, she could also flip over to the weird FHSA when it emerges. Buy a balanced ETF to put in there (there are several good ones, from Fidelity, iShares, BMO or Vanguard). No stocks. No lock-ins.
Tell her to not look at the account every week (or month), not to make a withdrawal until at least graduation, and to shun Mark Roland when he hits on her. Or phish him.
About the picture: “A rather nice shot of our Post Covid rescue dog Skip,” write Kris and Colleen, on the prairies, “looking out the window and patiently waiting for Spring so he can run around outside in the mud… Hopefully the Spring Real Estate rutting season will be as pleasant as the greenery displayed. You are welcome to use the picture in your banner if you see fit.”