scams

Reporting Senior Scams Trumps Privacy Laws

Posted on 09/30/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsHoping to curb an epidemic of financial abuse against seniors, federal regulators are telling banks and other money managers that they can – and should – report questionable transactions without fear of violating privacy laws. Working with seven other agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued new “guidance” to  financial institutions. It assures them that telling authorities about signs that older customers are falling victim to scams and fraud doesn’t violate federal restrictions on sharing personal information – a long-time concern …

Want Returns of 50% or More? Don’t We All.

Posted on 09/23/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsEven in this rock-bottom interest-rate climate, three of four Americans over the age of 65 rely on investments to help maintain their fixed income. So the appeal by hucksters who promise higher-than-average returns (think Bernie Madoff) may even be more enticing. Financial fraudsters know this. They also know that older adults have a lifetime of earnings to pluck from. That’s why they’re more likely to target adults 65 and older than younger people, using direct mail solicitations and the old-fashioned …

Pet Scam: The Animal Control Officer Who Wants Cash

Posted on 08/6/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsOn the heels of pet-flipping comes the latest ruse facing dog owners: Scammers posing as animal control officers. It’s occurred sporadically but not extensively in the past.  Now it seems on the rebound — at least in retiree-rich South Florida. TV station WPTV reports a case in which a couple living in an over-55 community lost $550 to an imposter claiming there had been complaints about the couple’s dog.  He threatened to impound the pooch unless they immediately paid. They obliged. …

Steer Clear of These Common Parking Scams

Posted on 07/25/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIt can be a tough road maneuvering around scams. And it doesn’t get any easier when you’re just parking. Consider these six ploys: Movie violations. Crooks wait in movie theater parking lots and after you go inside, they break into your car — specifically to glean your address from the vehicle registration and then go burglarize your home with a two-hour window of opportunity. Keep your vehicle registration, as well as your GPS and other valuables, in a locked glove …

‘Microsoft’ Calling? Don’t Believe It

Posted on 07/18/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsSome people deal with pesky (and usually illegal) telemarketing calls by simply not answering the phone when their Caller ID displays an unrecognized or “private” number. I answer and even engage, so I learn more about telephone scams de jour. But these calls usually end the same way: After I hear their claims, obviously conning callers get their own earful: A blast of a portable air horn into the handset. You know, the kind favored by sea-stranded sailors because it …

To Avoid Shelter Skelter, Beware of Property Tax Reassessment Offers

Posted on 07/11/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsFor many homeowners, property tax bills are mailed in July or August. So now’s the time to watch out for an annual come-on that can ding your bank account: offers to help you pay less in property taxes by getting a property reassessment. Before you bite, know how you can get bitten. First, realize how these offers work: Private companies simply charge $200 or more for what you can do yourself, often for free — filing paperwork at the local …