How Students Get Scammed

A new school year means new opportunity for identity thieves to cash in on their prized prey — students. Studies show that children under age 18 are about 50 times more likely than adults to be targeted and victimized for identity theft. Reasons: It’s unlikely that elementary through high school students monitor their credit … or even have it. That clean credit history more easily allows scammers to open fraudulent accounts — credit cards, loans and utility service — with …

How to Avoid Crowdfunding ‘Scampaigns’

On crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo and YouCaring, prayers are answered. Businesses and jobs are created. People get lifesaving medical treatment. Dreams become reality for those seeking help, typically through small donations by many. But fraud is another truth on these websites — part of the unregulated crowdfunding industry that globally raised some $34 billion last year — with post-duped reports on Kickscammed, GoFraudMe and elsewhere that detail broken promises, stolen money and well-meaning donors getting scammed. Ways …

In Spotting Scams, Older Is Wiser

Despite the popular perception — more likely, because of it — those at highest risk of falling for a scam are millennials, not their grandparents or parents. So says the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after polling some 2,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada about perceived personal vulnerability to scams and who they think is most likely to fall victim. (Participants were unaware that the BBB was behind the survey.) The majority of respondents believed that the typical scam victim …

2016’s Surprising Top Robocall Scams

Robocalls aren’t just annoying; increasingly, they are the initial contact that scammers use to get you. With autodialers that can blast millions of prerecorded calls per day, fraudsters simply program sequences of phone numbers — dialing X telephone numbers with Y area codes or prefixes over Z period. Follow the message instructions, or sometimes just say “Hello,” and you’re transferred to a live call center, where the hard sell begins. (Even pushing the keypad to supposedly “opt out of future …

Wi-Fi Safety When Traveling

Any time you use a public Wi-Fi hot spot, you risk having your internet communications intercepted by a hacker. When you’re traveling and your brain is focused on R&R or business meetings, that vulnerability can increase, especially in unfamiliar locales. The two primary Wi-Fi hacks are a “man in the middle,” who positions himself between you and your Wi-Fi connection to track your online movements, and a hacker-developed fake hot spot, known as an “evil twin,” that mimics the name …

Is Your Home Security System a Rip-Off Recruiter?

Statistically, your home is most likely to be burglarized between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. during July or August. The typical intruder is male, about 25 years old, and looking for cash and easy-to-carry (and sell) items such as jewelry, laptops, guns, cameras and small electronics. He’s also watching out for evidence of a home security system. In addition, there are con artists looking for front yard warning signs and other indicators that boast protection. Home security scammers, also now …