FTC: $1.7 Billion Lost to Fraudsters in 2014 — ID Theft Top Complaint … Again

Consumers reported losing $1.7 billion to scams and frauds in 2014, according to an annual review released by the Federal Trade Commission. That figure is likely a fraction of actual losses, since many people never report their victimization. For the 15th consecutive year, identity theft was the top complaint in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, accounting for 13 percent of the total 2.5 million filed complaints. That’s the same percentage as in 2013, but with more people reporting …

Lessons to Learn from 2013’s Top Scams

As kids, we were taught to share, be polite and trust authority. Based on 2013’s top scams, as chosen by the Better Business Bureau, doing the opposite seems better advice to protect yourself. Don’t share your personal information – online or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or text messages. Don’t worry about being rude to those who request it: hanging up the phone is better than losing money or identity theft. Don’t trust claims in unsolicited emails and telephone calls that it’s really …

Are Your Parents at Risk for Financial Fraud?

After a lifetime of working and saving, our parents shouldn’t have to fend off fraudsters trying to siphon their funds. But financial exploitation of older adults is happening with increasing alarm, officials say. So to help them detect and avoid all sorts of financial abuse, from identity theft to reverse mortgage fraud, a new online curriculum and guide was launched by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s the latest effort by regulators to curb elder financial fraud, which …

Would Your Bank Help Scammers Rip You Off?

Do you think your bank has your best interests at heart? A new report may have you thinking twice about that. Two banks, Zions Bank of Salt Lake City and First Bank of Delaware, were not only accused of allowing dubious merchants to illegally debit their customers’ accounts with unauthorized charges, according to the New York Times, but they actually profited handsomely from the transactions. Consequently, tens of thousands of bank customers, many of them elderly, lost more than $100 …