aarp scam alert

stealing xmas gifts
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:  
Woman using smartphone and login internet banking for shopping online.
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.
Please sign the contract
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?
senior man grandfather holding piggy bank looking suspicious trying to protect his savings from being stolen
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:
Handsome man enjoying games and vr
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.
Credit card phishing
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.
Businessman covering the phone
“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.
Entering the room
Although not new, hotel “resort fees” and surcharges are higher than ever — predicted to generate a record $2.7 billion this year — and now include previous freebies: parking, holding luggage, early cancellation or checkout, “restocking” of those already overpriced minibar snacks and beverages, and even the privilege of having (but not necessarily opening) a hotel room safe. Other charges include so-called resort fees for services and amenities offered by hotels, even when not used by individual guests: gyms, swimming pools, Wi-Fi, fax services, automatic gratuities for staff, and “complimentary” newspapers and coffee.
"Privacy settings" on laptop screen.
For more than a decade, we’ve been told to use “strong” passwords that combine upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. Not only must passwords be long and complex, the mantra went, but a different password was needed for each online account – changed to another unique (and mind-numbing) letters/numbers/symbols combination every 90 days or so.
Computer hacker silhouette of hooded man
A new scam feigning the Make-A-Wish Foundation goes beyond just being despicable for exploiting the respected name of a national charity helping children with life-threatening medical conditions.
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