Let the (Home) Buyer Beware

Looking to buy or sell a home in the coming weeks (a period that’s expected to be the busiest real estate season in eight years)? If so, beware of a new impersonation scam that targets real estate agents and others involved in house closings — specifically, their clients. It starts with an email to real estate agents (supposedly sent by an interested buyer) that includes an attached link. When the recipient opens the link, malware secretly infects the individual’s computer, …

Customer Survey Scams: From Reward to Rip-Off

Giving your two cents in some telephone, text-message or online “customer satisfaction” surveys can come at a steep cost: an endless barrage of more phone calls, pop-up messages and spam; malware to compromise your smartphone or computer or to steal sensitive files; or even identity theft. According to the Better Business Bureau, the latest survey scam making the rounds involves emails supposedly from leading retailers including Macy’s and Walgreens. In the scheme, you’re told you’ve been selected to complete a survey about a recent shopping …

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 at 50-Plus: Good News and Bad

You think you’re tech-savvy but you’re still doing risky things online? You’re not alone. So concludes the first-ever survey by software security firm McAfee that offers insights into the online habits of computer users aged 50-75. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Key findings after interviews (done online, of course) with 1,258 folks past the half-century mark: *Nearly nine in 10 consider themselves to be equally or more tech-savvy compared to others their age. “Despite this proclaimed comfort level …

Who Supports NSA Surveillance and Who Doesn’t

Americans of different ages don’t agree about government surveillance of their telephone and online communications, two new polls show. When it comes to the National Security Agency’s collecting and analyzing Americans’ phone records, 56 percent of adults of all ages support the idea. Those 50 to 64 are right in line with their younger counterparts, but those 65 and older are slightly more likely (61 percent) to support the idea. That’s according to a poll from the Pew Research Center …