Sid Kirchheimer, author of "Scam-Proof Your Life" and more than a dozen other books, covers consumer and health issues for AARP Media.

The Real Fallout From Fake News

When fake news isn’t fueling what some considered tip-the-scales influence on a presidential choice, the primary purpose of shocking headlines and bogus reports is to make money for some while scamming others. Politics aside, most fake news (and fake-news websites) exists to make money from advertising: The more clicks of that page, the higher commission received from views of surrounding display ads. Outrageous claims attract eyeballs, which helps pad pockets. Ways to save, expert investment advice, scam alerts and more! …

New Amazon Phishing Scam: ‘Confirm Your Information’ to Process Order

A convincing new phishing scam threatens Amazon shoppers just as the online behemoth announced it will offer Black Friday–type bargains as often as every five minutes all the way through Dec. 22. These bogus emails (below), purportedly sent by Amazon and already rampant in the United Kingdom and Australia, have the subject line “Your Amazon.com order cannot be shipped.” Claiming there is a problem processing orders, the message says, “You will not be able to access your account or place orders with …

The Sneakiest Online Shopping Scams

Online shoppers will spend a record $91 billion over 61 days this holiday season, according to predictions. On Black Friday alone, there will be some $3 billion in internet buys, and Cyber Monday is expected to be the busiest shopping day of all time, generating about $3.4 billion in sales. That’s great news for retailers … as well as rip-off artists behind these sneakiest online shopping scams: App traps. In the reigning ruse, a surge in bogus apps recently began …

Job Scams: Tip-Offs to Rip-Offs

Looking for a job? Whether full time or seasonal — retailers expect to hire up to 690,000 workers for the holiday shopping season — here are the tip-offs to employment opportunity rip-offs. You have to pay. Along with classic cons such as requiring applicants to pay up front for supposed background or credit checks, drug testing or other due diligence (typically handled by employers), newer job scams include asking for money (again, before you start working) for equipment, certifications, training …

Taking Aim at Veterans’ Nest Eggs

Military veterans are frequently targeted by fraudsters, but perhaps the most insidious are self-described “veterans advocates” who take aim at retirement nest eggs. Some promise lump-sum cash payouts for veterans’ pensions and future benefits. But officials warn that those advances typically pay only pennies on the dollar of the pension’s actual worth and can carry loan shark-like interest rates (reports range up to 106 percent). Some charge hefty fees for services like filing pension or other claims or getting military …

Campaign Calls: Many From Candidates, More From Con Artists

With only a few days left until the presidential election, your phone may be ringing with political robocalls that 3 in 4 voters say they wouldn’t answer, knowing they were on behalf of a candidate, according to a recent Harris Poll survey. Better incentive not to pick up: More common than the hundreds of thousands of legitimate campaign calls made each month are those from political-poser con artists angling for your personal information and money. During this election season political …