Vicious New Malware Steals Files Forever

It’s always a good idea to back up your computer files. But now, it’s a great idea. An especially nasty form of “ransomware” – known as CryptoLocker – was recently discovered that puts computer users at risk of losing their files forever. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter In most forms of ransomware, infected computers freeze up and are essentially held hostage until a ransom is paid. One common scheme: False messages claiming to be from the FBI, accusing you …

Government Shutdown Scams – the Latest Gotcha

The federal government shutdown has created new opportunities for scammers to revise some tried-and-true schemes — they pose as employees of Uncle Sam at a time when the real ones are on furlough. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Some examples: 1. Scammers call warning that because of the shutdown, you need to immediately re-enroll in Medicare or risk losing benefits. You may be asked for personal information that needs “verification” or you may be directed to a website …

Be Aware of “Breast Cancer Awareness” Scams

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – time to think pink. But also take a clue from those theme-hued ribbons and other merchandise. Your desire to support the search for a cure for the second-biggest cause of cancer death among women can be the perfect opening for charity scammers. The same thing can happen when natural disasters and other in-the-news events prompt the opening of hearts and wallets. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter There are lots of legitimate …

Do Not Fall for “Do Not Call” Scam

Perhaps the last nuisance phone call you might expect is from the very government agency that’s trying to halt them… especially if your phone number is among the 209 million already listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter It’s scammers -once again – who are posing as representatives of the Federal Trade Commission or the registry with an offer to enroll a phone number or “confirm” or “renew” an existing listing. …

An End to Robocalls?

The latest weapon in the battle against illegal robocalls is now ready to halt those illegal automated telemarking phone calls at your home… provided your service provider is compatible with the technology it uses. It’s called Nomorobo  – for “no more robo” and it’s free. Launching this week, it’s the brainchild of a software programmer from Long Island who won a contest earlier this year sponsored by Federal Trade Commission and offering $50,000 to the best solution against these annoying automated …

When Danger Lurks in ‘Lily Collins’

Move over, Emma Watson. The new Malware Maven is fellow actress Lily Collins. The star of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Mirror, Mirror (and daughter of ’80s music icon Phil Collins) tops McAfee’s 2013 list of “Most Dangerous Celebrities”  to search for on the Web. Roughly one in seven online searches of her name – along with words such as “free downloads,” “nude pictures” and “apps” – landed computer users on websites that the security vendor says “tested positive” …