Prep for Safe Tax Filing … and for Scammers

There’s good reason — several, actually — why Monday kicks off Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. As the tax-filing season gets under way for 2014 returns, the Internal Revenue Service faces massive budget cuts while two widespread tax scams continue. In addition to the epidemic IRS impostor scam, in which scammers pose as agents of that agency or the U.S. Treasury Department to extort supposedly “owed taxes,” there is another threat in the coming weeks: early filing of bogus tax returns to …

Customers Still Baffled by Overdraft Fees

Customers who say they don’t recall authorizing their bank to provide overdraft protection on their checking accounts are getting hit with overdraft fees totaling $90 or more, according to a new report. It’s been four years since federal rules took effect that required banks to ask customers to opt in if they wanted overdraft protection on the debit cards tied to their checking accounts. The rules were supposed to make it easier for customers to understand when banks could charge them fees …

Half of U.S. Adults Hacked: Are You Among Them?

In the past 12 months your personal information has likely been stolen, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft. About 432 million online accounts belonging to 110 million Americans – roughly half of all adults – were hacked in cyberattacks during the past year, according to new findings by the Ponemon Institute, a data-collection research firm. Meanwhile, Consumer Reports estimates that some 11 million Americans fell victim to email scams in 2013. And in the first four months of this year, at least 260 …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Google’s latest self-driving car doesn’t have a steering wheel or brake pedal. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Some astronomers insist that the likelihood of life beyond earth is “close to 100 percent,” scientists testified recently. (Learn more at The Independent) 3. Traveling the globe, Biddy the hedgehog is an Instagram sensation. (Learn more at Daily Dot)   >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter 4. If you think that home is the place to recuperate from work, …