11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Valentine’s Day is for lovers … and scammers. (Learn more at AARP) 2. Barbie, 55, is #unapologetic about appearing in Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary swimsuit issue. (Learn more at Ad Age) Spotted in NYC: Barbie traded her parka for a one-piece! What are you #unapologetic about today? pic.twitter.com/CqnFl6ZLQP – Barbie (@Barbie) February 10, 2014   3. The FDA has approved a pill camera to replace some colonoscopies. (Learn more at AP) 4. Discussing movies about relationships …

Outsmart Con Artists: Arm Yourself Against Fraud

The following is a guest post by Nancy Mahoney, an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer in Colorado. Each year, millions of Americans lose their hard-earned money to identity theft, investment fraud and other types of scams.  Last year alone, 12.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft – that’s one person victimized every three seconds. They are people just like you and me who told themselves they’re too smart to fall for a scam. Yet, as a volunteer with AARP Foundation …

Cyber Scam Predictions for 2014

As the year closes, leading online security vendors are looking into their crystal balls – or rather, reviewing recent trends of trickery – to predict the top cyber scams of 2014. Some notables worth a mention: TVs watching you. Many traditionally “dumb” devices are getting “smarter” – televisions, gaming systems and even baby monitors are being connected to the Internet and often contain cameras or microphones. So, many cybercops predict them to be a magnet for attack, such as remote spying. …

Bogus Bank Calls Are Back

Don’t “bank” on the authenticity of phone calls or text messages that claim to be from your financial institution, warning that there’s a problem with your account, debit card or credit card. This old scam is back, with a new wave of these bogus bank alerts. In the past week, according to news reports, thousands of people have been targeted in at least five states - Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Missouri. But there could be many more. The scam works …

4 Steps to Smarter Donations

Charities typically receive more than 40 percent of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. Some December donors are motivated by the season’s mantra of giving. Others are eager for an eleventh-hour tax deduction before the year-end deadline. All should take four simple steps to get the most bang from their donation bucks: 1. Do your homework. The major and most useful watchdogs include Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. They rate charities on how they …

‘Overstock’ Name Is Hot Holiday Hoax

Among the most common holiday shopping cons is cybersquatting, when scammers steal or slightly alter the name or website address of a well-known company to engage in rip-offs including identity theft, credit card fraud and sale of counterfeit goods. This holiday season, “Overstock” is certainly not being underutilized by scammers. The Better Business Bureau warns of a “noticeable trend” of phony websites using the word “overstock” somewhere in their domain name, “hoping to fool consumers into thinking they are shopping …