BOSTON (CBS) - This is National Consumers Protection Week. This is a national campaign to help consumers make better-informed decisions and avoid being scammed.
The Affordable Care Act Scam
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
Fake Friend Scam – Did you ever get a Friend Request on Facebook from someone you already thought was your Friend? If you hit Accept, you may have just friended a scammer.
A popular recent scam has been the theft of people's online identities to create fake profiles, which can be used in a variety of ways. A new Friend can learn a lot about you to scam you later, "recommend" sketchy websites that download malware, use your account to gather information on your other Friends, even impersonate a military officer or other trustworthy person to perpetrate a romance scam.
Be careful on social media, keep your privacy settings high, and don't share confidential information. You can't always be sure that your Friends are really your friends.
Scam of the Year: Affordable Care Act Scam - Scammers had a field day with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), using it as a way to fool Americans into sharing their personal information.
Scammers would call claiming to be from the federal government and saying the would-be victim needed a new insurance card or Medicare card. However, before they could mail the card, they needed to collect personal information.
Scammers do a lot to make their requests seem credible. For example, they may have your bank's routing number and ask you to provide your account number. Or, they may ask for your credit card or Social Security number, Medicare ID, or other personal information. But sharing personal information with a scammer puts you at risk for identity theft.
More information for consumers:
- For more information on these and other scams, go to BBB Scamstopper. Sign up for their Scam Alerts and learn about new scams.
- For more information on investment scams, go to BBB Smart Investing, a partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
- To search for a business in the U.S. or to find your local BBB, go to BBB.org.
- For information on charities, go to Give.org.
- For information on U.S. government services, go to: USA.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
for more features.