sid kirchheimer

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 …

Powerball Scam: ‘Unclaimed’ Prize Claims Casing You for Future Fraud

Posted on 04/2/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsJust as sweepstakes scam season kicks off — these prize lies tend proliferate in spring through summer — fraudsters have conceived a clever new con. In random telephone calls, crooks claim there are “unclaimed” Powerball prizes that you can win by picking random numbers. Do that, officials say, and you may get a follow-up phone call alleging that your numbers won a lower-level prize of a new car and/or a boatload of cash. But know this: “They seem to be ‘casing’ the consumers …

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 …

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; …

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 …