I found out awhile ago that a favorite password had been compromised in a data breach. Yes, I'm hanging in my head in shame because I know now that I shouldn't have a favorite password. But I did, and my punishment was a few hours of my time spent changing all of my passwords to reduce the risk of being hacked in the future. (If you're wondering why it's a bad idea to reuse passwords, it's because once a hacker knows a password, they'll use it to try to break into other accounts you own.)
Active duty military and National Guard members take note: effective October 31, the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — will provide you with free electronic credit monitoring services to help you spot and combat identity theft.
You're ecstatic. You've found a vintage handbag in a Facebook Marketplace listing, a bag you've been searching for for years. And it's only $250! The seller asks you to pay her through Venmo, and because you can see she's got a Facebook account with a photo and positive reviews, you figure she's legit and initiate the payment.
Then the package arrives a few days later. Not only is the bag not vintage, it's clearly a cheaply made fake that's damaged and not the bag you saw in the photo. The seller isn't answering your Facebook messages so you go to your financial institution and inquire how to get your $250 back. That's when you learn there's not much you can do about getting a charge reversed once you've paid through a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment service like Venmo. Here's why:
The voice on the other end of the line informs you they're a "security officer" at your credit union, and they want you to confirm some suspicious transactions on your account.
Sounds fishy? It's not just fishy, it's a form of vishing (or sometimes called vhishing, short for voice-based phishing) and we've been informed that fraudsters are using this phone scam to steal money from members and customers of other financial institutions. Here's how the scam plays out, what you should watch out for, and what you should do if one of these scammers gets your personal information.
Earlier this week Equifax settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories, agreeing to pay out up to $425 million to consumers whose personal information was exposed during their data breach. Approximately 147 million people were affected by this breach, so if you were one of them, here's what to do:
Two simple words capture your eyes...and your heart: “Free puppy.’’ Faster than you can say, “Awww,’’ you're imagining the joy a new friend could add to your household. Those soft, sweet eyes. The wagging tail. The furry friend who'll go on walks or rides with you, or curl up next to you on the couch. Animal lovers can find such imaginings impossible to resist. Unfortunately, scammers know this is not just the way to your heart, but the way to your wallet.
Identity theft is something we all have to take precautions against. Approximately 1 in 15 Americans experience some type of identity theft each year.* The most vulnerable of us are the elderly who may not have the knowledge of how to protect against identity theft in an ever-increasing electronic world.
Scams targeting older adults are on the rise. It's a nearly $40 billion industry, and as thieves conjure up new schemes and technology grows at light-speed, the number of scams is likely to increase exponentially. In the face of such growth, how can you protect yourself or older family members from becoming victims to crooks?
You're checking your email and notice that Apple has sent you a receipt for almost $1,000 worth of iTune purchases and downloads. Except there's a problem: you haven't downloaded anything from Apple. In fact, you don't even have an Apple ID that would allow you to download from iTunes. Surely it's just a mistake so you call the number on the receipt, and the Apple support person tells you the only way he'll be able to issue you a credit is if you go out and buy ten $100 iTunes cards at your local grocery store and call them later with the card's code numbers...
Selling items online you no longer need or want through websites and apps is a great way to earn extra cash and clear clutter. Unfortunately, it's also a great way for crooks to victimize or scam you. Knowing that scams exist — and knowing how to spot them — will go a long way toward keeping yourself from becoming another victim. So here are six surefire tips to avoid getting ripped off when you're selling your stuff online: