Sid Kirchhheimer

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 …

Hackers Steal Target Shoppers’ Credit, Debit Card Info

Posted on 12/19/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsHackers have stolen confidential data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards that shoppers used at Target stores from the day before Thanksgiving until December 15. The data breach reportedly extends to nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores nationwide and involves the hacking of machines at checkout lines on which customer swipe their cards when making purchases. So far, there’s no indication that payment data was stolen concerning online purchases from Target, the nation’s second-largest retailer. News of the …

Bogus Bank Calls Are Back

Posted on 12/13/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsDon’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 …

What’s Hot? Cold Weather Scams

Posted on 11/14/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsRecent falling temperatures in parts of the U.S. have prompted a new wave of a time-tested power play – fraudsters posing as utility company workers who threaten to shut off your service because of supposedly unpaid bills. The Shutoff Swindle has prompted warnings in recent weeks from utility companies from Maine to Washington state, including in (usually) warmer-weather states such as Texas. Typically, this scam occurs by telephone. Callers claim to be billing representatives from your utility company. They say you’ve …

Medicare Spam Increases 10-Fold

Posted on 11/6/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsDuring Medicare Open Enrollment,  which started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, there’s usually an uptick in online spam pitching supplemental plans. But this year, it’s gone epidemic — with a 10-fold increase compared to recent months in these always annoying and sometimes risky offers, reports messaging security firm Cloudmark. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter The reason may go beyond just the calendar: It looks like spammers are exploiting confusion over the Affordable Care Act – and how it …

IRS Warns of ‘Sophisticated’ Phone Scam

Posted on 11/4/2013 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsThe Taxman Cometh with a warning about a new telephone scam that the IRS says is more sophisticated than the traditional trickery that aims to collect your personal information. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter This time, crooks posing as IRS agents seem to know some of it already:somehow, they’re able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security number. To suggest further authenticity for their phony phone calls, made to residents in nearly every state, …