BOSTON (CBS) – This is National Consumers Protection Week. This is a national campaign to help consumers make better-informed decisions and avoid being scammed.
Answer your phone, open your e-mails and the scams find you. The Better Business Bureau has put together their top list for 2013. These are scams they believe to be the most widespread
Scam Texts – With online and mobile banking skyrocketing, it’s no surprise that scams quickly follow. One major tactic recently is the use of scam texts, known as “smishing,” to steal personal information.
They look like a text alert from your bank, asking you to confirm information or “reactivate your debit card” by following a link on your smart phone. Banks of all sizes have been targeted, and details of the scam vary, but the outcome is the same: scammers get your banking information, maybe even your ATM number and PIN.
You may even inadvertently download malicious software that gives the scammer access to anything on your phone. And more and more of us have the same personal financial information stored on our phone that we have on our personal computers.
Do Not Call Scams – The National Do Not Call Registry offers consumers a free way to reduce telemarketing calls. Scammers call anyway, of course, and they’ve even found a way to scam consumers by pretending to be a government official calling to sign you up or confirming your previous participation on the National Do Not Call list!
In one variation, scammers ask for personal information, such as your name, address and Social Security/Social Insurance number. In another, scammers try to charge a fee to join the registry and ask for your credit card number. Either way, just hang up. These services are free, but sharing personal information with a scammer could cost you a lot.
My advice: do use the National Do Not Call registry for your home phone and cell. But be sure to go through the government website. https://www.donotcall.gov/
One more thing: Attention all veterans, service members and their families:
Military Saves Week
Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office will be co-sponsoring an all-day free seminar for the military.
OPERATION MONEY WISE
A FREE financial empowerment conference open to veterans, service members and their families.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Mass Bay Community College
50 Oakland Street, Wellesley MA
If you are a service member, veteran, or are related to one, join us to sharpen your financial skills and better understand your military benefits at the Operation Money Wise conference! This FREE, first-ever event is geared toward military and their families and will feature dynamic keynote speaker, Dick Power, CFP and retired Army Colonel.
The day will also include over a dozen other expert speakers on a variety of diverse financial topics, as well as an interactive learning lunch with local celebrity radio personality Dee Lee, CFP. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Certified Financial Planner, Credit Counselor and/or Career Counselor.
Breakout sessions provide lessons and materials in:
– Budgeting & Setting Financial Goals
– Dealing with Debt
– Retirement Readiness
– Money & Disability
– Basics of Investing
– Home Ownership 101
– Using Your Education Benefits
– Bridging The Financial Gap to College
Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.
We hope to see you there!
A Joint project of:
Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office
Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve
Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services
Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust Fund
Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee