Where to Report Scams (and Why It’s Important)

Silence is golden, at least for scammers. Say nothing and their bilking can continue until you and others are bled dry. Speak up and it can stop. Take, for example, another impressive yet little-publicized bust recently announced by the Federal Trade Commission. It ended a telemarketing scheme believed to have scammed more than $20 million from tens of thousands of older Americans. The agency alleges that for 31 months, a network of scammers in the U.S. and Canada cold-called retirement-age Americans …

Fending Off Online Fraud

Eric Schneidewind, AARP Board Member There is no question about it: Online scams are growing in number and complexity. I’ve seen them in my email account. I’ve read about them in AARP publications. And I’ve heard about them through the work of fraud fighters in my state, Michigan. Some of them are truly disturbing. One in particular struck close to home, though it didn’t happen to me, fortunately. You hear about people being emailed and told that a loved one …

Online Fraud: Are You Next?

The difference between computer users who get scammed and those who don’t often comes down to a simple checklist: In just-released research, AARP identifies 15 particular behaviors, life situations and knowledge attributes that significantly increase vulnerability to online fraud. The kicker: Nearly 1 in 5 American adults - roughly 34 million people - engage in at least seven of them. These eye-opening findings are pooled from detailed surveys of more than 11,000 adults across the U.S., comparing the online actions, behaviors and life experiences …

1-Click Tricks in Valentine’s Day Scams

It’s not just hearts that are stolen come Valentine’s Day. Also at risk: Your money, identity and sensitive computer files and online accounts – thanks to the many opportunities to infect computers with malware this love-filled season. True, most attention – and the biggest financial losses – occurs with “long-con” romance scams. That’s when crooks (often part of overseas organized crime rings) scroll dating websites and chat rooms, inventing fake identities tailored to their victims’ interests. After weeks or months …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Francis is the first pope on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. (Learn more at Rolling Stone) 2. The Grand Canyon could be 6 million years old … and 70 million years old. (Learn more at NPR) 3. Men are more forgetful than women. (Learn more at Medical News Today) 4. Your cellphone carries 10 times more germs than your toilet. (Learn more at AARP) 5. Cyber criminals are using malicious “RAM scraper” software to steal information about you and …

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 …