Here is a link to an interview I did with Holland Cooke on his show, The Big Picture. We discussed all kinds of scams and what you can do about them. I was honored to be a guest on Holland’s show. He does a great job. He is both informative and entertaining.
Here is link to a story in which I was interviewed by Consumer Reporter Emily Volz on NBC 10 News in Providence, Rhode Island about dangers we all face on our cell phones and what we can do to protect ourselves.
Here is a link to Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today. It contains startling information about how vulnerable we all are to having our bank accounts hacked by rogue employers at the banks we use.
Here is a link to an interesting article written by Steve Weisman for Bottom Line/Personal magazine about home security system scams.
Here is a link to Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today.
The FBI has just issued a warning to people traveling out of the country about malware being secretly installed on the laptop computers of people staying at hotels offering Internet connections in their hotel rooms. The installation of the malware, which has included dangerous keystroke logging programs that can steal all of the information from your computer occurs when in the course of connecting to the hotel Internet system a pop up appears informing you that you need to update a commonly used software product. The software the pop up refers to is legitimate. This pop up is not. It is a phony pop up and when you click on it to install the newest update, instead you are downloading dangerous malware.
Update your software at home or at work on your own Internet service to avoid these problems. If you need to update your service while abroad, go directly to the website of the software vendor and download a safe version.
With more and more people looking for employment including now many college students looking for summer jobs, scammers are focusing more attention to scamming these new job applicants. Just because a company may be one that you are familiar with doesn’t mean that the advertisement to which you may be responding was placed by the actual company. Always check with the actual company by phone to confirm any job openings and advertisements. More and more job seekers are going on line to legitimate and illegitimate online employment agencies. Merely because a company is listed by a legitimate online employment agency does not mean that the company advertising online with them is legitimate. Many of the scammers posing as potential employers or employment services will ask for upfront application fees. They also will ask for your Social Security number and bank account information so that they can directly deposit your salary check into your bank account.
Always independently check out whether the company with which you are dealing is a legitimate company. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start. You can also just Google their name with the word “scam” next to it for further inquiry. Even if the company checks out as legitimate, you should contact them directly to confirm that any job opening being advertised is legitimate and not just a scammer posing as the legitimate company. Also, never pay up front fees to employment companies even if they promise a “guaranteed” refund. Finally and most importantly, never give your Social Security number and bank account number to any company you have only had contact with online. You should also be careful about the personal information that you include on your resume to make sure that it does not contribute to possible identity theft.
Recently a large number of people have been receiving emails purporting to be from Amazon with “Amazon.com Your Cancellation” in the subject line. Even though the email may appear to be legitimate, it is not. It is just an example of phishing. The email will advise you to click on links in the emails to verify your status. Under no circumstances click on any links or open any attachments. Downloading an attachment or clicking on a link inside the phony email can result in malware being installed on your computer that can read all of your computer’s contents including important personal information that can lead to identity theft. Also, do not respond to the email by providing any information asked. That too can lead to you becoming a victim of identity theft.
The real Amazon.com will never send you an unsolicited attachment nor will it ever ask you to reply with personal information. The real Amazon.com will not ask you to verify account information through a link in the email. If you do have a present active order with Amazon or any question whether such an email is legitimate, merely go to www.amazon.com, click into “Your Account” and you can get proper information.
As a part of a massive federal effort to reduce Medicare fraud, federal law enforcement authorities have arrested more than a hundred doctors and other health care professionals involved in Medicare scams that cost taxpayers an estimated 452 million dollars. Medicare fraud which generally occurs when false or unnecessary medical treatments or equipment are billed for may not seem like they affect us individually, but they do. Cooperating even unwittingly with Medicare scammers can lead to your identity theft as well as cost us all more money as taxpayers.
Never give your personal information, particularly your Medicare card number (which coincidentally is your Social Security number) to anyone who contacts you uninvited to sell you Medicare related products. Be particularly wary of people who solicit you for “free” medical equipment. Always check you Medicare and private insurance bills, sometimes called explanation of benefits to make sure that you ar not being charged for services that you did not receive.