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 …

Put the Bite on Zika Scams

With the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and peak mosquito season in much of the U.S., expect even more news about the Zika virus — ideal timing for frenzy-feeding fraudsters peddling scams such as: • Online offers for supposed miracle, dietary or natural products, or bogus personal-protection kits to prevent or cure Zika; • Emails with alarming messages touting must-read links that unleash computer viruses; • Investment opportunities from companies allegedly developing products to stop the spread …

iTunes Gift Cards the Latest Go-To Tool in Many Gotchas

The song remains the same: You owe back taxes and now face arrest or a lawsuit. Your grandkids are in trouble. Your computer has a dangerous virus. You owe a debt, missed mandatory jury duty or didn’t pay your utility bill. But there’s a new chorus in these and other scams: “Now pay me…with an iTunes gift card.” Why? Like other swindler-preferred payment methods (wire transfers and prepaid debit cards),  iTunes gift cards are a fast, easy and virtually untraceable …