In an online romance scam, a fraudster seeks to take advantage of a victim looking for love on a dating or social networking website by pretending to want a romantic relationship. The scammer’s goal is to obtain access to the victim’s financial or personal information and steal their money. While this year has been an especially bountiful one for romance scammers, as COVID has enabled them to prey on people’s loneliness and isolation to con them in greater numbers than in previous years, this scam is typically prevalent this time of year.

Increased isolation brought about by lockdowns, the need to quarantine, and social distancing has resulted in more people using the internet to look for love. Romance scams were way up in 2020 compared

By Gille Ann Rabbin, Esq., CIPP/US, CIPP/E

  I was hoping not to write about scams for the second column in a row, but when a victimized relative came to me for advice last week I thought it might be helpful to revisit the area again. The flavor of the month (actually the past six or so months)? Unemployment insurance fraud.

Unemployment insurance fraud can, like most frauds, take several forms (providing false information on an application, saying you’re not working when you are, working off

Today is Thanksgiving, a day traditionally meant for giving thanks for our blessings. For some of us, pausing to reflect on what we’re grateful for this year might be more challenging than it’s been in the past. But one thing we might want to include on our list is the technology, warts and all, that has allowed us to maintain some normalcy in our lives and has made social distancing tolerable. 

What would we do without Zoom and similar applications? Video conferencing platforms have enabled

A while ago I injured my hip and for years had difficulty walking even short distances. My orthopedist advised that the best course of action to avoid surgery was to strengthen the area by weight training. I found an excellent trainer, and through twice-weekly training in the gym and regular cardiovascular exercise, today my hip is stronger and generally pain-free. However, it only stays that way if I continue to work out. When I take a couple of weeks off, or do solely cardio instead of weight

 Faith. Joy. Peace. Family and friends. Fraudsters.

Holiday time brings with it the blessings of the season. It also brings a proliferation of scams, some of which are described below. The media and government agencies including the FTC are urging consumers to be cautious when sharing information online and to take precautions to avoid common frauds that increase during the holidays.

Fake charities reach out online and by phone this time of year to take advantage of goodwill (and the rush to

The Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” presents the scary undeniable reality about social media and its impact on society and the world. Why is it so hard to put our phones down, to disengage from our favorite social media sites? Because they have been engineered to be addictive, according to the now remorseful technologists who invented these devices and apps and are interviewed in the film.

According to Dr. Anna Lembke, an addiction specialist interviewed in the documentary, human

Last month Twitter reported that it suffered a data security breach at the hands of hackers. While the details of the hack are still unclear, Twitter has stated that through “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted . . . employees with access to internal systems and tools,” hackers duped employees into handing over administrative access privileges. This enabled hackers to take over high-profile accounts; 130 accounts, including those of Barack Obama, Joe

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