4 Scams That Prey on Your Patriotism

Happy birthday, America! Time for fireworks, barbecues and flag-waving. But know that fraudsters also have their own reason to celebrate: On July 4 (and every other day), your patriotism helps them in some of the nation’s biggest scams – especially but not exclusively when targeting those of retirement age. “Despite the stereotype, there is not a lot of data to indicate that seniors are any more trusting than anyone else,” says Stacey Wood, a neuropsychologist at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., …

Why We Brag About Our Children

My mother was so proud of her adult children that even an offhanded “How’s the family?” launched her into a detailed accounting. My little sister repeatedly listened to this litany and threatened to print a brochure on the family. “Mom could just hand them out and save time,” she joked. The “brochure” of the 21st century is Facebook and email, where many parents share – okay, brag – about their children’s achievements. Not that bragging in cyberspace stops us in …

7 Telltale Signs of a Job Scam

The good news for job seekers: The government’s most recent employment report finally puts total employment at pre-recession levels, with nearly 9 million more jobs than at its low point. The bad news: Scammers are even better poised to steal the money and identities of hopeful applicants, by posing (usually online) as legitimate employers with “We’re hiring!” claims. Here are some tip-offs to an impending employment rip-off: 1. Your cash for your (background) check. The most common ruse is getting job applicants …

Half of U.S. Adults Hacked: Are You Among Them?

In the past 12 months your personal information has likely been stolen, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft. About 432 million online accounts belonging to 110 million Americans - roughly half of all adults - were hacked in cyberattacks during the past year, according to new findings by the Ponemon Institute, a data-collection research firm. Meanwhile, Consumer Reports estimates that some 11 million Americans fell victim to email scams in 2013. And in the first four months of this year, at least 260 …

Top Summer Travel Scams

As you look forward to a summer getaway, watch out for these common scams: Tricky tickets: Received a letter promising free or steeply discounted airline or cruise tickets? Read the small print – and between the lines – for words such as “eligible” and “guaranteed to win.” These mailers are often sent by vacation clubs as a lure to attend a high-pressure sales presentation where you’re promised huge travel discounts. The hook: You join by paying upfront fees that could approach five figures …

5 Key Lessons for Engaging Volunteers Online

Does your organization struggle to recruit volunteers for your cause? If so, you are not alone. There are countless groups competing for “share of heart” from folks who are willing to lend their time and energy for the social good. Many nonprofits dream of expanding their volunteer ranks with individuals who bring decades of life and work experience – as well as commitment and passion. What those organizations may not realize is that these ideal candidates are out there… en …