From Pop-Up Warnings to $9 Million Payout: Inside the Tech Support Scam

How do scammers reap more than $9.5 million with phony pop-up ads or blinking alerts warning of a crippling computer virus or security problems? Their scareware success usually starts with “malvertisements” (malicious online advertising intended to damage or disable computers), which are designed to trick their prey into believing the bogus bug and calling a designated “support line” for help. It usually ends with a victim-made call lasting 17 minutes and a request for an average $291 to supposedly “repair” …

Beware of These Last-Minute Tax Scams, Even if You Already Filed

As the April 18 filing deadline looms, a new wave of tax scams is heating up. Whether you’ve already filed your 2016 return — and especially if not — here’s how to protect yourself from these last-minute schemes currently making the rounds. Don’t trust “update” requests. One popular phishing ploy this time of year involves emails supposedly from tax software providers such as TurboTax or TaxAct. They request users to “update” their information. “These ruses generally urge taxpayers to give …

Why and How College Students Are Scammed

College students are ideal victims for identity theft, with clean or nonexistent credit histories ripe for exploitation 
 and often clueless about their risks and value to scammers. They are more likely to post birth dates and other personal nuggets on social media that can be pieced together by Facebook-trawling identity thieves, and to use public Wi-Fi for risky online shopping, banking and email. They’re also more apt to open links touting free music and games (that actually hide computer …

Find the Fraudsters: AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Offers New Scam-Tracking Map

Fraud is a growing problem across the U.S., with more than 1.2 million fraud-related complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) in 2015 alone. Among those complaints, a total of $765 million was lost by consumers who fell victim to scams, according to CSN’s February 2016 data book. Of 30 complaint categories, CSN ranked identity theft as the second most common complaint reported to law enforcement, followed by impostor scams. (Debt collection was ranked first.) While the numbers …

Hang It Up: Avoid IRS Phone Scams This Tax Season

Identity theft continues to top the IRS Dirty Dozen List of Tax Scams for 2016, with the IRS impostor scam closely trailing and on the rise. With taxpayers anxious to avoid any potential trouble with the IRS, they are often left susceptible to these tax-related schemes. Since 2013, more than 5,500 victims have lost nearly $29 million from phone scams. Ways to save, expert investment advice, scam alerts and more! — AARP Money Newsletter » The AARP Fraud Watch Network has launched …

Sign Off: Tips to Avoid Holiday Porch Predators

AARP Fraud Watch Network warns holiday shoppers of package delivery theft With the over-congestion of malls during the holiday season, many consumers take their shopping lists to the Web — after a quick search and a few clicks, your family’s and friends’ gifts are en route to your doorstep. While this is an easy way to finish off your Christmas giving list, shoppers should be wary of package thieves. Ways to save, expert investment advice, scam alerts and more! — AARP Money Newsletter » …