Watch Your Wi-Fi! Most Devout Users Are Clueless About Risks, AARP Finds

Although some 84 percent of American adults who use the Internet access it on a daily basis, new AARP research finds that many continue to engage in risky online behaviors — especially at free Wi-Fi hot spots that are potential hotbeds for computer hacking. While a quarter of the 800 adults surveyed for the new report said they use free public Wi-Fi at least weekly, most are clueless about the potential risks. And nearly half of the respondents flunked a …

Airline Ticket Scams Take Flight on Facebook

Airline ticket scams are flying high once again. In recent weeks scammer-run campaigns on Facebook have spoofed several airlines – including JetBlue, Virgin, United and Delta – in promising free flights (and with Delta, merchandise and cash prizes, too). Don’t be fooled. The airline “names” change frequently; Southwest and Australian-based Qantas were imitated four months ago in similar schemes, and most of the current victims have been falsely implicated in past “free ticket” scams. In other words, by next week …

Why You Need to Check Your Credit Report

Revised July 22, 2015. Some 44 percent of people age 65 and up have never checked any of their credit reports, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com. That percentage shocks me, especially considering how important the information is and how easy it is now to get it for free. Here’s why you need it and how to get it. It’s important “Monitoring your credit goes well beyond scanning a three-digit [credit score] number,” said Jeanine Skowronski, credit card analyst …

Free Government Money? Uncle Sham Is Back!

Lucky me. Turns out I’m entitled to receive $3,200 in “free” government money. The reason, the caller explained: “Because you always file your IRS taxes on time.” Problem is, the named benefactor of that “specially selected federal grant” doesn’t pay his taxes because he doesn’t exist. Yes, the scammer dialed my actual phone number, but it’s listed under a fake name in public directories specifically to spot telephoning tricksters and Do-Not-Call no-goodniks. And like my phone directory pseudonym, unsolicited “free government money” is just …

Frank Sinatra: 100 Very Good Years on Record

Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 on Dec. 12 of this year, but even if you played three of his recordings every day from now till then, you wouldn’t come close to exhausting his songbook: The best estimates suggest the Chairman of the Board recorded about 1,000 different songs in the studio. Those of us who still love to “put on Sinatra and start to cry” (in the words of Steven Bishop) are laughing through our tears at the prospect …

Cheap Travel Fixes for Winter Doldrums

Groundhog Day has come and gone. Winter’s still here. You’re paying holiday bills. Here are a few inexpensive ideas to keep you going until spring. Host a travel movie night The best way to save money is to stay home. How do you indulge your wanderlust from your living room? Rent a movie that transports you somewhere else. Invite a few friends and enjoy dinner and wine inspired by the movie’s locale. Here are some of my favorites. Research your …