Fear Is Back! Jury Duty, Other Intimidation Scams Return

As the forecast faithful can verify, March certainly came in like a lion. But out like a lamb? Scammers continue to be anything but sheepish in trying to steal your money and identity. Witness the recent return of the jury duty scam. That’s when fraudsters, posing as courthouse officials or police, telephone with claims you missed jury duty. Because of that, they threaten, you’re going to be arrested unless a fine is immediately paid – sometimes requested by credit card, but usually a …

Are Those Fun Online Quizzes Invading Your Privacy?

What city should you live in? Which Love Boat character are you? What superpower should you have? Fun quizzes are all the rage online these days. Buzzfeed (which says I should live in Portland, Ore.) is leading the charge, but even the scholarly Pew Research Center (“How Millennial Are You?”) and the New York Times (“How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk”) have a hand in the fad. The exercises are addictive, shareable, entertaining. So what’s not to like? Here’s …

Fending Off Online Fraud

Eric Schneidewind, AARP Board Member There is no question about it: Online scams are growing in number and complexity. I’ve seen them in my email account. I’ve read about them in AARP publications. And I’ve heard about them through the work of fraud fighters in my state, Michigan. Some of them are truly disturbing. One in particular struck close to home, though it didn’t happen to me, fortunately. You hear about people being emailed and told that a loved one …

Online Fraud: Are You Next?

The difference between computer users who get scammed and those who don’t often comes down to a simple checklist: In just-released research, AARP identifies 15 particular behaviors, life situations and knowledge attributes that significantly increase vulnerability to online fraud. The kicker: Nearly 1 in 5 American adults - roughly 34 million people - engage in at least seven of them. These eye-opening findings are pooled from detailed surveys of more than 11,000 adults across the U.S., comparing the online actions, behaviors and life experiences …

1-Click Tricks in Valentine’s Day Scams

It’s not just hearts that are stolen come Valentine’s Day. Also at risk: Your money, identity and sensitive computer files and online accounts – thanks to the many opportunities to infect computers with malware this love-filled season. True, most attention – and the biggest financial losses – occurs with “long-con” romance scams. That’s when crooks (often part of overseas organized crime rings) scroll dating websites and chat rooms, inventing fake identities tailored to their victims’ interests. After weeks or months …