If you are one of America’s 55 million Medicare beneficiaries (or, if someone in your life is), you need to know about a big, POSITIVE change coming. Starting this month, the U.S. government is mailing out new Medicare cards that have been redesigned to help prevent identity theft. New enrollees will be among the first to get the cards. Current enrollees will get theirs over the next year.
The Christmas rush may be over, but don’t expect crooks to slow down. What to know about post-holiday hoaxes and ways to protect yourself well into 2018 and beyond:
Your credit score is the one constant used to determine whether you’re approved for a loan – and to set interest and premium rates for credit cards, homeowners and auto insurance, even deposits for new utility service. But that three-digit score itself may frequently change.
Notice all those recent TV commercials touting a “December to Remember,” “Employee Pricing,” “Year-End Sales Event” and other proclaimed deals on a new set of wheels?
Rerun rip-offs are nothing new; what’s previously worked for scammers will likely be successful again. And that holds especially true for these three longtime (and historically prosperous) ploys that have resurfaced with a vengeance:
Simple steps can go a long way in protecting your privacy from prying eyes, including those belonging to on-the-lookout scammers. Here are some of the easiest and (usually) free safeguards to reduce your risk of scams, hacking and other dastardly deeds.
If “smart toys” are on the holiday wish list of the children in your life, know this: The FBI warns that such interactive, internet-connected gifts could be compromised by cyber hackers, and it advises that security precautions be taken before playtime begins.
Year-round, all kinds of phishing attempts lurk in your inbox — from promises of massive wealth from self-described Nigerian princes (or their representatives) to threats of arrest or loss of benefits from supposed employees of government agencies that, in reality, never correspond via email.
“Call from 877-382-4357? Hang up,” warns the Federal Trade Commission. Seems that phone number — better known as 877-FTC-HELP, the agency’s go-to hotline to report scams — is another example in the never-ending plague of spoofing, the practice of deliberately displaying a false number (and sometimes name) on the recipient’s caller ID.
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