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Instead of giving cash to door-to-door solicitors or your credit card number to callers, ask for more information about the charity (brochures, websites) so you can investigate the cause first.Also be wary of popular online giving sites such as It's the first step in opening you up to many of the phone-based scams discussed in this article.Your Plan If you haven't already done so, ask your phone company to put caller ID on your landline.In order to protect your data, you are told to immediately call up a certain website and follow its instructions.A dummy screen may appear that shows viruses being detected and eliminated, but in reality malware is being installed that allows the scammer to steal your usernames and passwords, hold your data for ransom or even use the webcam to spy on you. "Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls," says Courtney Gregoire, senior attorney at the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.Also, don't click any links in unsolicited emails from "Microsoft" or in pop-up ads promising to speed up your computer.
The FTC is warning that con artists are impersonating card issuers and sending emails requesting personal and financial information, or asking that you click on a malware-laced link before being issued a new card."Each update is free and has lots of new security built in." Ditto for any other software programs you're running. The phone rings, you pick it up, say "hello," but there's no one on the other line.It's a new type of robocall — an automated computer system making tens of thousands of calls to "build a list of humans to target for theft," according to the Financial Fraud Research Center."Often they'll target older adults, who they perceive as holding the majority of wealth in this country." This just might be the biggest consumer scam in the U. That's one American duped out of an average 4 nearly every 10 seconds.Here's how the scam typically unfolds: You get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft or Windows tech support, who says viruses have been detected on your computer.
En español | According to a survey by True Link Financial, older Americans are criminally defrauded of $12.76 billion annually. Subscribe to the AARP Money Newsletter for more on work, retirement, and finances The next scam victim could be you. Abagnale, a long time FBI consultant whose early life as a con artist was portrayed in the film "Catch Me If You Can," equates it with playing roulette. But AARP Foundation's Amy Nofziger, who has degrees in criminology and sociology, cites three additional reasons. "They'll use the same methods legitimate marketing companies do, but for nefarious purposes." 2. "If you've been a victim of a fraud or scam, you're put on a so-called sucker list," Nofziger says.