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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

Top Summer Travel Scams

Posted on 05/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & Savings | TravelAs you look forward to a summer getaway, watch out for these common scams: Tricky tickets: Received a letter promising free or steeply discounted airline or cruise tickets? Read the small print — and between the lines — for words such as “eligible” and “guaranteed to win.” These mailers are often sent by vacation clubs as a lure to attend a high-pressure sales presentation where you’re promised huge travel discounts. The hook: You join by paying upfront fees that could approach five figures …

6 Places Never to Use a Debit Card

Posted on 05/23/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsCredit or debit? Although both cards look the same, they offer different protections. Under federal law, if your credit card is used to make unauthorized charges after it is lost or stolen, you’re liable for only $50 — no matter the amount and with no time restrictions to report the fraud. And many issuers won’t even charge the $50 for valued customers. But with a debit card, you have just two business days to report an unauthorized loss or money transfer, or …

Why Your College Student Is Ideal for ID Theft

Posted on 05/16/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIf you have children or grandkids attending college, or about to graduate, it’s time to school them on the dangers of identity theft. Last year the Better Business Bureau deemed college students the “most at-risk” group for identity theft, and those in their 20s represented 1 in 5 of all victims (higher than any other age group), according to reports filed with the Federal Trade Commission. College students and recent graduates are often targeted because they’re ideal victims. Reasons: Many …

ID Theft in the Afterlife

Posted on 05/9/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsTo protect against identity theft, you should never share too much about yourself on social media. But once you die, those accounts can pose new problems – beyond the heartbreaking reminders that come with “friend” requests made from the deceased, often through automated programs or a hacker’s ingenuity. Each year, the identities of some 2.5 million deceased Americans are used to fraudulently open credit card accounts, apply for loans, or get cellphone or other services. Each day roughly 2,200 dead people …

Why Fake Check Scams Keep on Working

Posted on 05/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsEven in this age of high-tech trickery, one classic con continues strong: The gotcha that results from any number of scams that involves a fake check or money order. Last year, fake checks once again ranked as number one on the “Top Scams” list by the National Consumers League and recently, they’ve been on the increase in some parts of the U.S. But no matter where you live, they remain the route to rip-off in some of the most prevalent schemes …

Inside the Grandparents Scam: A Con Artist Reveals All

Posted on 04/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsDonald and Ola Mae got scammed doing what any grandparent would do. Peter got them because he knew that love, indeed, conquers all. The secret to Peter’s success, like that of any scammer, was to get Donald and Ola Mae to think with their hearts instead of their heads — to get them “under the ether,” as it is called. Think with your emotions and you don’t think rationally, and that’s what turns targets into victims. That’s why the Grandparents Scam …