Top Summer Travel Scams

As you look forward to a summer getaway, watch out for these common scams: Tricky tickets: Received a letter promising free or steeply discounted airline or cruise tickets? Read the small print – and between the lines – for words such as “eligible” and “guaranteed to win.” These mailers are often sent by vacation clubs as a lure to attend a high-pressure sales presentation where you’re promised huge travel discounts. The hook: You join by paying upfront fees that could approach five figures …

Regulators Fine Bank for Overzealous Credit-Protection Sales

Bank of America is the latest major financial institution ordered to refund millions of dollars to consumers who were billed for credit card-related products they never ordered – and likely didn’t even need. Indeed, the credit and identity-theft protections sold by the North Carolina-based bank are things that people can do on their own for little or no money, consumer advocates say. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered the bank last week to return $727 million to nearly 3 million …

Fear Is Back! Jury Duty, Other Intimidation Scams Return

As the forecast faithful can verify, March certainly came in like a lion. But out like a lamb? Scammers continue to be anything but sheepish in trying to steal your money and identity. Witness the recent return of the jury duty scam. That’s when fraudsters, posing as courthouse officials or police, telephone with claims you missed jury duty. Because of that, they threaten, you’re going to be arrested unless a fine is immediately paid – sometimes requested by credit card, but usually a …

New Twists on 3 Old Tricks

Once again, scammers have developed new twists on some of the most popular frauds of years past. Although the original versions continue - especially preying on those over age 50 - here’s what you should know about some revised rip-offs currently making the rounds. The hostage scam: An offshoot of the notorious Grandparents Scam, it also feigns that a beloved relative is in trouble … and needs quick cash to remedy the situation. But instead of phone calls from scammers posing as grandkids …

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 …

How Target-Like Breaches Occur (P.S. More Are Expected)

Maybe you are among the 110 million Target shoppers whose payment card or personal information was hacked during the recent holiday shopping season. Perhaps you are one of the 1 million-plus Neiman Marcus customers whose data was exposed in a 2013 breach just recently announced. Been to Michael’s lately? The arts and crafts retailer is the latest well-known company whose customer payment details were reportedly stolen in the same type of data breach. How are con artists doing it - and which …