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Sid Kirchheimer


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

1-Click Tricks in Valentine’s Day Scams

Posted on 02/7/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt’s not just hearts that are stolen come Valentine’s Day. Also at risk: Your money, identity and sensitive computer files and online accounts – thanks to the many opportunities to infect computers with malware this love-filled season. True, most attention – and the biggest financial losses – occurs with “long-con” romance scams. That’s when crooks (often part of overseas organized crime rings) scroll dating websites and chat rooms, inventing fake identities tailored to their victims’ interests. After weeks or months …

How Target-Like Breaches Occur (P.S. More Are Expected)

Posted on 01/28/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsMaybe you are among the 110 million Target shoppers whose payment card or personal information was hacked during the recent holiday shopping season. Perhaps you are one of the 1 million-plus Neiman Marcus customers whose data was exposed in a 2013 breach just recently announced. Been to Michael’s lately? The arts and crafts retailer is the latest well-known company whose customer payment details were reportedly stolen in the same type of data breach. How are con artists doing it — and which …

Cyber Scam Predictions for 2014

Posted on 12/27/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAs the year closes, leading online security vendors are looking into their crystal balls – or rather, reviewing recent trends of trickery – to predict the top cyber scams of 2014. Some notables worth a mention: TVs watching you. Many traditionally “dumb” devices are getting “smarter” – televisions, gaming systems and even baby monitors are being connected to the Internet and often contain cameras or microphones. So, many cybercops predict them to be a magnet for attack, such as remote spying. …

Hackers Steal Target Shoppers’ Credit, Debit Card Info

Posted on 12/19/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsHackers have stolen confidential data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards that shoppers used at Target stores from the day before Thanksgiving until December 15. The data breach reportedly extends to nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores nationwide and involves the hacking of machines at checkout lines on which customer swipe their cards when making purchases. So far, there’s no indication that payment data was stolen concerning online purchases from Target, the nation’s second-largest retailer. News of the …

Bogus Bank Calls Are Back

Posted on 12/13/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsDon’t “bank” on the authenticity of phone calls or text messages that claim to be from your financial institution, warning that there’s a problem with your account, debit card or credit card. This old scam is back, with a new wave of these bogus bank alerts. In the past week, according to news reports, thousands of people have been targeted in at least five states — Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Missouri. But there could be many more. The scam works …

4 Steps to Smarter Donations

Posted on 12/10/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsCharities typically receive more than 40 percent of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. Some December donors are motivated by the season’s mantra of giving. Others are eager for an eleventh-hour tax deduction before the year-end deadline. All should take four simple steps to get the most bang from their donation bucks: 1. Do your homework. The major and most useful watchdogs include Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. They rate charities on how they …