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 as …

What You Need to Know About 2014’s Top Scams

When fraudsters cook up a new scam, they typically use the same recipe: Start by establishing a connection with the target, be it through sweet talk or intimidation; mix in feigned credibility or authority; then turn on the heat to trigger emotions for an “Act Now!” response. For icing on the fake, add a dash of modern technology. Alone or collectively, these ingredients proved successful in the past year. Consider the ranking order of the Top Scams of 2014, which the Better Business Bureau …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. At the Washington National Zoo, a newborn panda cub that will weigh more than 200 pounds as an adult tipped the scales at 4.8 ounces. (Learn more at USA Today) 2. The legendary Linda Ronstadt “can’t sing a note” anymore. (Learn more at AARP) 3. A baldness drug could stop 175 jumbo jets full of men each year from getting prostate cancer. (Learn more at AARP) 4. With their brains “linked” via the Internet, a scientist controlled the movements …

Federal Grant for You? It’s Uncle Sham Calling

Uncle Sam may have oodles of agencies, but the “Federal Government Grants Department” isn’t among them. Nor does the “Federal Grant Association” exist, despite claims it is awarding free government money to lucky recipients who are randomly telephoned. So beware of callers using these and other official-sounding names to promise thousands in cash for reasons such as paying your taxes on time, being debt-free, needing debt relief, or just being a good citizen or money-spending consumer. The government grant scam …