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Sid Kirchheimer

Biography:

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

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Sid Kirchheimer'sPosts

How to Spot Scam Emails

Posted on 03/11/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt used to be easy to spot scam emails. They were littered with grammatical and spelling errors, and their so-called Scammer Grammar was anything but what you’d expect from well-educated “barristers,” Nigerian kings or executives from respected American corporations. Well, the typos may remain — and not only because foreign-based fraudsters with weak command of English are often behind emails that hide malware-laden links or phish for sensitive information that could lead to identity theft. Now, tech-savvy tricksters are purposely misspelling certain words …

Online Fraud: Are You Next?

Posted on 03/5/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsThe difference between computer users who get scammed and those who don’t often comes down to a simple checklist: In just-released research, AARP identifies 15 particular behaviors, life situations and knowledge attributes that significantly increase vulnerability to online fraud. The kicker: Nearly 1 in 5 American adults — roughly 34 million people — engage in at least seven of them. These eye-opening findings are pooled from detailed surveys of more than 11,000 adults across the U.S., comparing the online actions, behaviors and life experiences …

$25: What Scammers Pay for Your Identity

Posted on 02/27/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsConsider it the law of Evil Economics: With the identity theft business booming, prices for stolen personal information sold on the black market have reached record low prices. “It’s simple supply and demand,” explains Jon Ramsey, chief technology officer at Dell SecureWorks, a division of the computer behemoth. “The identity theft business is so good that there’s a glut on the market” of everything crooks need to commit financial fraud. The result: It costs them less to obtain your stolen identity …

New Twists on 3 Old Tricks

Posted on 02/21/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsOnce again, scammers have developed new twists on some of the most popular frauds of years past. Although the original versions continue — especially preying on those over age 50 — here’s what you should know about some revised rip-offs currently making the rounds. The hostage scam: An offshoot of the notorious Grandparents Scam, it also feigns that a beloved relative is in trouble … and needs quick cash to remedy the situation. But instead of phone calls from scammers posing as grandkids …

Beware of Fake Funeral Notices

Posted on 02/13/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsWith the latest malware campaign aimed at hijacking sensitive computer files and online accounts, scammers have sunk to a new low — specifically, six feet under. Cybercrooks are emailing fake funeral notifications. Stealing the names and logos of legitimate funeral homes, they appear to be an e-invite to a funeral or remembrance service for an unnamed friend or acquaintance. The gotcha is a link, alleged to provide details about the “upcoming celebration of your friend’s life service.” Click it and “instead …

Lessons to Learn from 2013’s Top Scams

Posted on 02/12/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAs kids, we were taught to share, be polite and trust authority. Based on 2013’s top scams, as chosen by the Better Business Bureau, doing the opposite seems better advice to protect yourself. Don’t share your personal information – online or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or text messages. Don’t worry about being rude to those who request it: hanging up the phone is better than losing money or identity theft. Don’t trust claims in unsolicited emails and telephone calls that it’s really …