scams

Where to Report Scams (and Why It’s Important)

Posted on 04/18/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsSilence is golden, at least for scammers. Say nothing and their bilking can continue until you and others are bled dry. Speak up and it can stop. Take, for example, another impressive yet little-publicized bust recently announced by the Federal Trade Commission. It ended a telemarketing scheme believed to have scammed more than $20 million from tens of thousands of older Americans. The agency alleges that for 31 months, a network of scammers in the U.S. and Canada cold-called retirement-age Americans …

Fear Is Back! Jury Duty, Other Intimidation Scams Return

Posted on 04/11/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAs 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 …

Spring Cleanout? Beware of Seasonal Scams

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

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAfter a polar-vortexing bear of a winter, spring has sprung (finally!) — at least according to the calendar. So now’s the time to prepare for scammers who spring into action, trying these perennial ploys: Home Repair Scams They may promise deals on asphalt paving, roof work or other “needed repairs” they happen to spot from their pickups or by going door to door. But beware of any “con”-tractors who then request upfront payment under the guise of having to buy materials; …

Fending Off Online Fraud

Posted on 03/19/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Savings | TechnologyEric 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 …

How to Spot Scam Emails

Posted on 03/11/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt used to be easy to spot scam emails. They were littered with grammatical and spelling errors, and their so-called Scammer Grammar was anything but what you’d expect from well-educated “barristers,” Nigerian kings or executives from respected American corporations. Well, the typos may remain — and not only because foreign-based fraudsters with weak command of English are often behind emails that hide malware-laden links or phish for sensitive information that could lead to identity theft. Now, tech-savvy tricksters are purposely misspelling certain words …

Online Fraud: Are You Next?

Posted on 03/5/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsThe 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 …