t was late May, nearly three weeks after I received a layoff notice from my newspaper reporting job that I held for five years. I had already hawked everything worth anything on eBay and Craigslist. Financial anxiety seized its grip on me after I moved to New York from Los Angeles to pursue greener journalism pastures. That’s how I ended up at 1 a.m. on a hair classified website, where hairwork artists bid on strands to be incorporated into their art—or so they claim.
Here’s one way a repo company makes some money: They drive around in an unmarked car looking for parking for parking lots to go into so they can scan license plates using a license plates scanner mounted on their car. The repo companies are looking for owners of vehicles who have defaulted on their loans, and every time a scan finds a vehicle that’s stolen or in default, the company can make between $200 to $400.
Meanwhile, the shutdown continues to affect families and the poor, who rely on services like Head Start, which “offers educational programs and health care nationally for 967,000 U.S. children from birth to age 5 whose parents live at the poverty line,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
How much is your social media identity worth on the black market, and what are people willing to pay for it? That varies depending on what kind of following you have, but a package with your name, social security number, credit card number, and mother’s maiden name will go for about $5.