FTC: Impostor Scams Surpass ID Theft (but Debt Collection Remains Top Complaint)

More Americans last year complained about scammers playing an identity — most often, that of an IRS or other government official — than stealing theirs. In its 2016 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, released last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said impostor scams surpassed identity theft for the first time, becoming the second most common category of consumer complaints. Debt collection remained the top consumer gripe, generating 859,090 complaints (28 percent of the total) — more than the combined …

‘Dementia Friends’ Initiative Creates Respectful Communities for People of All Ages

In 2016, an estimated 5.4 million Americans had Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. And while people of all ages can have dementia, 8.8 percent of adults age 65 and over have the disease. With greater longevity and rapidly increasing numbers of individuals with dementia, we are all likely to encounter a person living with dementia as we go about our lives. We may witness a person living with the disease facing any number of challenges in navigating …

A Message of Love, Hope and Acceptance

Caregiving is not only a choice but a responsibility to those you cherish and who have showed you love throughout your life. Providing care for someone is simply a selfless act of compassion for someone who can no longer manage for themselves. During this season of love we applaud you for the giving of yourself to someone you care about. Caregiving can be a big job. For many it often requires juggling not only the care of the person you …

How Scammers Try to Steal Your Tax Refund

Tax season starts Monday, the first day the IRS is accepting electronic tax returns for 2016 — and opening day for the latest round of tax refund scams. That’s when crooks file fraudulent returns to collect tax refunds under the identities of legitimate taxpayers — living or dead. All they need is your name, Social Security number, birth date and a computer. No W-2s or other tax documents are required to e-file; information such as claimed income, taxes paid and …

Why Tax-Aide Needs Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as Volunteers

Vivi Luangkhot has volunteered for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program for four years. An accountant who works for AARP by day, she first found she enjoyed helping others fill out their returns when she was in college. “I always enjoyed doing tax returns,” she says. “I do it for myself and I do it for my family.” After college, Vivi was referred to a Virginia program to help people with their taxes. And now she’s happy that AARP offers her …

Are You Ready for Your Next Gig?

If you’re like me, you like to kick off the new year by reflecting on the goals you set last year and begin to set new ones for the coming year. For a lot of people, their No. 1 New Year’s goal is to get new job or launch a new business. Last month I offered tips to help you get a jump-start of your job search for 2017. So, hopefully, you have updated your résumé and LinkedIn profile, reached out to your network(s), and …