If you or someone you know has been targeted by a scam artist who is trying to steal money or personal information, you're not alone. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, older Americans lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually to fraud and exploitation, a number that is probably substantially underreported. 1
While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it's in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don't end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme.
Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for.
Shopping online is especially popular during the holiday season, when many people prefer to avoid the crowds and purchase gifts with a few clicks of a mouse. However, with this convenience comes the danger of having your personal and financial information stolen by computer hackers.
Before you click, you might consider the following tips for a safer online shopping experience.
In today's digital world, massive computer hacks and data breaches are common occurrences. And chances are, your personal or financial information is now susceptible to being used for credit fraud or identity theft. If you discover that you are the victim of either of these crimes, you should consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit report to protect yourself.
Imagine that you receive an email with an urgent message asking you to verify your banking information by clicking on a link. Or maybe you get an enticing text message claiming that you've won a free vacation to the destination of your choice — all you have to do is click on the link you were sent.
Q: What does a credit freeze do?
A: A credit freeze limits who can see your credit report information. The goal is to prevent anyone from opening any new accounts. It doesn't damage your credit or stop your credit report from evolving by your own actions.
There's a fine line between keeping financial records for a reasonable period of time and becoming a pack rat. In general, you want to keep physical copies of anything related to state or federal matters, including certifications, licenses or deeds.