The Mystery Shopper Scam in 3 Easy Steps

The mystery shopper scam is back. And if history holds true, expect this longtime scheme (and perennial top seasonal job scam) to only snowball through the holiday shopping season. It’s no mystery: Checks that new recruits receive for being a “mystery shopper” are as fake as the promise behind them. Make easy money — and plenty of it — by stealthily reviewing local restaurants and retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot, for $200 or more per assignment. Ways …

Courting Trouble: Jury Duty Scam Is Back

Having continued for more than a decade, the jury duty scam remains one of the most successful multipurpose intimidation impostor schemes. Fraudsters can not only get a quick payoff but also enough personal details for future identity theft. Usually, the deception is about failing to appear for mandated jury duty, although some targets are told they skipped a court-summoned order to appear as a defendant, are in contempt or have a federal warrant out for their arrest. Ways to save, …

In Spotting Scams, Older Is Wiser

Despite the popular perception — more likely, because of it — those at highest risk of falling for a scam are millennials, not their grandparents or parents. So says the Better Business Bureau (BBB) after polling some 2,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada about perceived personal vulnerability to scams and who they think is most likely to fall victim. (Participants were unaware that the BBB was behind the survey.) The majority of respondents believed that the typical scam victim …

The Common Typo That Can Steal Your Computer

The latest ploy cybercrooks are using to spread ransomware and other types of computer malware to provide them with remote access to PCs and Macs or to steal log-in credentials: After buying domain names with a missing or misplaced letter in website addresses belonging to well-known companies, they simply wait for you to make a typo. The biggest threat results in the most common typos — either a misplaced or missing “c” (such as typing amazonc.om or amazon.om) so a …

What to Shred and When

April showers? With spring cleaning and the end of tax-filing season, what really “reigns” this month are free shredding events held across the country — including dozens hosted by our Fraud Watch Network and AARP Foundation — to safely destroy unneeded paperwork that could help crooks steal your identity. Granted, shredding shouldn’t be your sole defense. ID theft is more likely to result from data breaches, computer malware, a lost or stolen wallet and other devious methods, including thieves buying sensitive …