Phishing is a widely known scam in which messages “fishing” for your personal information are sent to you via email. Generally, the message is not personalized, although phishing can be targeted to an individual or entire company. (This is called “spear” phishing.) The messages appear to be from a reputable organization like a financial services provider (your bank), but they are fraudulent. The scammer’s goal is identity theft: to obtain your personal info or credentials to steal your money, get you to download malware or send money or, with spear-phishing, to obtain business secrets or other institutional information.

“Smishing” is a type of phishing that uses text instead of email. The text requests your personal info (Social Security

Last month,  NYC’s new biometric data protection law became effective. The law applies to many local commercial establishments including stores, entertainment venues, and restaurants. The law requires the posting of a sign giving notice of biometric data collection and prohibits transacting in biometric data.

Covered establishments are required to post notices if they collect, retain or share “biometric identifier information” — “physiological or biological characteristic[s] … used by or on

Checking your credit report, an important personal finance management tool, has taken on new significance in the wake of COVID.

Your credit report contains your credit history: how much debt you’ve incurred and what type, your debt payment history, loan balances, repossessions or foreclosures, liens, judgments, and bankruptcies. It contains a list of every credit account you’ve opened.

Credit history is used to formulate your credit score which determines eligibility for all types of credit

The 2020 federal income tax filing due date for individuals has been extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021. It’s a good time to remind taxpayers to be vigilant of common IRS impersonation scams frequently targeting the elderly, students, and immigrants that escalate during tax season. 

In IRS agent phone scams, fraudsters provide false names and IDs and spoof Caller ID so their calls appear to come from the IRS. Victims are threatened that they owe the IRS money and must pay up

The tragic events in Miami surrounding the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building have spurred many people to donate funds to those struck by the disaster.  Unfortunately, reports have surfaced of donors being scammed through fraudulent sites. 

If you want to donate, be mindful of the following to avoid being victimized: Fake charities can look real, with scammers choosing a name similar to a legit charity’s name, complete with an authentic-looking logo. Make sure you give by check or

After you have your COVID-19 vaccine, you get a CDC vaccination card that tells you what vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where or from which healthcare professional you received it. It will also contain your full name, date of birth, vaccine lot and location, and your patient number -- your medical record or IIS (Immunization Identification Systems) number. The card is updated when you get a second vaccination.

While you should keep your vaccination card safe and secure for

An elderly relative phoned me the other day, concerned that she had been the target of an attempted scam. Somebody claiming to be her grandson had called to report that he had had a car accident while driving and was in the hospital, and she needed to send money immediately for his care. My relative told the caller to call his mother, hung up, and immediately made a call herself to the grandson’s mother. She discovered that he was safe at home watching TV (and didn’t drive in any event).

The

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