Don’t Pay for Your ‘Missing’ Money

You may be entitled to a portion of the billions of dollars in “unclaimed property” that sit in state treasuries — money from forgotten bank accounts, insurance policies and safe deposit boxes; uncashed paychecks and stock dividends; never-returned security deposits paid to utility companies and the like. But you certainly don’t have to pay to claim it. It costs nothing, and takes only minutes, to check for yourself if any money is owed to you. Just visit www.MissingMoney.com or www.Unclaimed.org, …

10 Tips to Avoid Rental Scams

Counting the days until summer vacation, downsizing, or are the kids heading off to college? Count on attempted rental rip-offs, which have earned perennial placement on many Top Scam lists throughout this decade. In the classic ruse, fraudsters simply steal photos and descriptions of properties from real estate, hotel or vacation rental websites and clone those ads — but with a bargain rental price. These phony ads are usually found on Craigslist, but also on newspaper websites, online chat boards …

Tax Day Isn’t Relax Day: New Post-Filing Ploys Emerge

The end of tax season doesn’t mean an end to tax scams; rather, a new wave starts with the deadline for filing tax returns (typically April 15 but this year extended three days so Emancipation Day can be celebrated today). Now come the emails, phone calls and text messages supposedly from the IRS or other tax collectors that usually tout refunds, warn of audits or incomplete filings, or seek to verify personal information. Most phish for identity theft intel, but …

What Creeps Us Out? Study Has Surprising Answers

What makes someone creepy? Unbelievably, science has never asked this question — until now. “I was absolutely amazed that there had never been a single study about this,” considering how often people refer to being “creeped out” or “creepiness” in everyday conversation, said Frank McAndrew, a professor of psychology at Illinois’ Knox College. So he decided to find out. The result: The first “empirical study of creepiness,” published last month in the journal New Ideas in Psychology. His study used …

Strawberries Top ‘Dirty Dozen’ List for Pesticides

And the winner — or maybe we should say, loser — this year is … strawberries. For the first time in five years, the popular berry has ousted apples from the number one spot on the Environmental Working Group’s annual report of the produce with the most pesticide residue — aka “The Dirty Dozen.” The nonprofit group also included a “Clean 15” list of produce lowest in pesticides. After strawberries, apples are number two, followed by nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, …

Panel Adds Colon Cancer Protection to Benefits of Low-Dose Aspirin

Many Americans take a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against heart disease and stroke, but for the first time a federal advisory panel says taking it can also protect adults in their 50s and 60s against colon cancer. The new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — first proposed last September — find that the benefits of taking a low-dose aspirin (81 mg) to prevent a first heart attack are strongest for those ages 50 to 59 who …