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

Posted on 01/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsMaybe 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 …

Hackers Steal Target Shoppers’ Credit, Debit Card Info

Posted on 12/19/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsHackers have stolen confidential data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards that shoppers used at Target stores from the day before Thanksgiving until December 15. The data breach reportedly extends to nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores nationwide and involves the hacking of machines at checkout lines on which customer swipe their cards when making purchases. So far, there’s no indication that payment data was stolen concerning online purchases from Target, the nation’s second-largest retailer. News of the …

Medical Credit Card Issuer Ordered to Make Refunds

Posted on 12/12/2013 by |Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsA dentist tells an older patient during an exam that she needs expensive treatment. She can’t pay the fee outright, so the dentist immediately arranges financing through a medical credit card plan. A month later, the patient opens her first bill and discovers that the card is not interest-free, as she’d thought. In fact, it carried an annual interest rate as high as 27 percent if she didn’t pay it off within a certain period. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer …

Cyber (Crook) Monday: 8 Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Posted on 11/26/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsWhether your online holiday shopping begins Bird Day, Black Friday or Cyber Monday — or is already history — here’s a refresher course on how to do it more safely. Use a credit card. Payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. With a debit card, you can’t withhold payments — the store is paid directly from your bank account. And …

What’s Hot? Cold Weather Scams

Posted on 11/14/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsRecent falling temperatures in parts of the U.S. have prompted a new wave of a time-tested power play – fraudsters posing as utility company workers who threaten to shut off your service because of supposedly unpaid bills. The Shutoff Swindle has prompted warnings in recent weeks from utility companies from Maine to Washington state, including in (usually) warmer-weather states such as Texas. Typically, this scam occurs by telephone. Callers claim to be billing representatives from your utility company. They say you’ve …

Fraud Watch Network: Fight ID Theft and Scams

Posted on 11/12/2013 by |AARP Executive Vice President | Comments

Money & SavingsThe con gathers an arsenal of information by being personable and being friendly… the logic goes out the window, the emotion kicks in, now I’ve endeared you to me, now I’m no longer the predator on the phone, I’m Jim from New York.” – Jimmy Edwards, The Con Artist’s Playbook The scam is sometimes deceptively simple, as easy as stealing a credit card offer from your trash. Other times it can be far more complex, like the infamous con preying …