Flood Scams That Can Really Soak You

In August it was Louisiana that was devastated. In September, Iowa got soaked. And since last week, flooding triggered by Hurricane Matthew has affected portions of East Coast states from Florida to Virginia. Accompanying these and other natural disasters: flood-themed scams. As the most two common cons continue — disaster-related charity scams and shady contractors called storm chasers, who travel to ravaged areas seeking up-front payment for home repairs done poorly or not at all — here are other popular …

6 Big Scams on Small Businesses

Some food for thought at that Labor Day barbecue: Scammers are increasing their focus on small and midsize businesses. Among the top ploys that burn employers and their labor force: Phishing emails. Business email compromise (BEC) is a fast-growing scheme in which cybercrooks glean names and titles of executives from LinkedIn or corporate websites to spoof internal messages, usually alleged to come from top executives. In the most common ruse — netting scammers over $2 billion in recent years, according …

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 …

The Cost of Health Freebies

Many freebies come at a cost. And with unsolicited offers for supposedly free medical supplies and services, it’s often identity theft. As your phone likely continues to ring with robocalls touting “free” medical alert systems — a scam that’s been going strong for more than a year (with some calls still lying about phony AARP ties and bogus coupons) — expect other equally dubious deals. Some offer “no-cost” medications and supplies for diabetes or other conditions. Others are even bolder, claiming that “doctor-ordered” …

My Husband, the Scam Victim

By Sally Hurme From schemes and scams to frauds and cons, when it comes to the latest tricks used to steal money and information, you name it and I’ve probably touched it or talked about it. For the past two decades, I’ve helped do consumer and financial education at AARP – covering everything from telemarketing fraud to identity theft. That’s why I was so surprised the day I came home to discover that my own husband, Art, had been a victim …

IRS Watchdog: Impostor Phone Scam Largest Ever

From its infancy several months ago, this was no typical telephone scam “phishing” for personal information. These crooks, posing as IRS agents, already had some of it – including the last four digits of the Social Security number of those whom they called. And perhaps that explains, at least in part, why it’s since grown to become the “the largest scam of its kind we have ever seen,” the IRS inspector general said Thursday. At least 20,000 taxpayers have been contacted …