Flood Scams That Can Really Soak You

In August it was Louisiana that was devastated. In September, Iowa got soaked. And since last week, flooding triggered by Hurricane Matthew has affected portions of East Coast states from Florida to Virginia. Accompanying these and other natural disasters: flood-themed scams. As the most two common cons continue — disaster-related charity scams and shady contractors called storm chasers, who travel to ravaged areas seeking up-front payment for home repairs done poorly or not at all — here are other popular …

How to Get a Free Credit Score, Without Getting Conned

“Free credit scores” are effective bait. Just ask any of the 200,000 consumers who complained to the Federal Trade Commission about one recent online scheme that lured them with “free” access to their credit scores … then snagged them with a common switch: billing $30 a month for credit monitoring services they never ordered. The good news: Some 145,000 of those victims are getting refunds. Within 60 days, the FTC will mail checks — $20 million worth — in varying …

Fake Tax Bill Offers Clues to Avoid Future IRS Scams

IRS impostors have a new scam: fake emails that claim to contain a tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. This latest scheme, which triggered a warning from the Internal Revenue Service late last week, contains a “payment link” in the email itself and an attachment for a fake CP2000 notice for tax year 2015. CP2000 notices are intended to inform tax filers that the IRS has received information from a third party that doesn’t match the income numbers …

Election Protection: 5 Voter Scams to Avoid

In this homestretch to the Nov. 8 elections, expect a hard push from scammers posing as pollsters, political party staffers or PAC officials in tongue-twisting ploys to pilfer your money and identity. Getting cash or sensitive information through election scams is more conceivable than with other schemes. Phones can ring legitimately, since Do Not Call Registry rules allow pollsters, politicians and charities to contact you. And, of course, caller ID can be easily spoofed. Campaign workers are going door to door, …

6 Big Scams on Small Businesses

Some food for thought at that Labor Day barbecue: Scammers are increasing their focus on small and midsize businesses. Among the top ploys that burn employers and their labor force: Phishing emails. Business email compromise (BEC) is a fast-growing scheme in which cybercrooks glean names and titles of executives from LinkedIn or corporate websites to spoof internal messages, usually alleged to come from top executives. In the most common ruse — netting scammers over $2 billion in recent years, according …

How Students Get Scammed

A new school year means new opportunity for identity thieves to cash in on their prized prey — students. Studies show that children under age 18 are about 50 times more likely than adults to be targeted and victimized for identity theft. Reasons: It’s unlikely that elementary through high school students monitor their credit … or even have it. That clean credit history more easily allows scammers to open fraudulent accounts — credit cards, loans and utility service — with …