scam

IRS Watchdog: Impostor Phone Scam Largest Ever

Posted on 03/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsFrom 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 …

Ponzi Victims Can Sue, Supreme Court Says

Posted on 03/11/2014 by |Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayIn 2012, Robert Allen Stanford was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors to the tune of $7 billion. While that might be only a fraction of the $65 billion that Bernard Madoff got away with, it’s still about 10 percent of New York City’s budget for 2013. Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison, but his victims demanded more than just jail time. While they couldn’t sue Stanford directly, they could, they argued, sue the firms …

New Twists on 3 Old Tricks

Posted on 02/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsOnce again, scammers have developed new twists on some of the most popular frauds of years past. Although the original versions continue — especially preying on those over age 50 — here’s what you should know about some revised rip-offs currently making the rounds. The hostage scam: An offshoot of the notorious Grandparents Scam, it also feigns that a beloved relative is in trouble … and needs quick cash to remedy the situation. But instead of phone calls from scammers posing as grandkids …

1-Click Tricks in Valentine’s Day Scams

Posted on 02/7/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt’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 …

How Target-Like Breaches Occur (P.S. More Are Expected)

Posted on 01/28/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsMaybe you are among the 110 million Target shoppers whose payment card or personal information was hacked during the recent holiday shopping season. Perhaps you are one of the 1 million-plus Neiman Marcus customers whose data was exposed in a 2013 breach just recently announced. Been to Michael’s lately? The arts and crafts retailer is the latest well-known company whose customer payment details were reportedly stolen in the same type of data breach. How are con artists doing it — and which …

Fighting Health Care Fraud: The Power of One

Posted on 01/17/2014 by |Legal Grounds | Comments

Bulletin TodayCan a single federal prosecutor make much of a difference in the war against health care fraud? Yes, a new analysis of Justice Department statistics suggests. And the stakes are enormous: Fraud is thought to cost the Medicare program alone up to $90 billion each year. The analysis — from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit group based at Syracuse University — shows that federal prosecutors filed a record number of new health care fraud cases in fiscal …