As regular readers of this column know, unscrupulous scammers commonly demand payment wired through Western Union. The reason for Western Union’s popularity with scammers is that once the money is transferred, it is impossible for the victim to get it back.

If you have recently applied for any type of credit—a home loan, car loan, mortgage, or even a new credit card—there’s a good chance you were one of the 145.5 million American consumers whose personal information was exposed in the recent data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s major credit reporting services.

How many robocalls do you get in a typical day? Apparently, Americans are getting a lot of them. Unwanted and/or illegal robocalls are the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) number-one complaint category, with more than 1.9 million complaints filed in the first five months of 2017 alone.

Technology has upturned the traditional job interview. More and more, companies are relying on video communications technology such as Skype or FaceTime to interview potential employees. These remote video interviews are a great way to save time and make the experience more convenient for both the interviewer and the interviewee. 

Ever had that great idea you’re certain will make you millions if only you can get it off the ground? Maybe you need some help or mentoring on how to go about executing your business plan. If you’re considering hiring a business coach to help bring your entrepreneurial idea to life, proceed with caution.

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Giveaways are a great way for companies to give consumers a chance to sample their products and, hopefully, generate some good word of mouth to drive sales. 

Owning a pet can be a joy. It can also be expensive, especially if you’re looking for a pure breed instead of a pound puppy. If you’re in the market for a new addition to the family, beware! Pet adoption scams are stealing victims’ money and breaking their hearts.

There are billions of dollars just waiting to be claimed. If that sounds like a scam, it’s not. Uncashed I.R.S. refund checks, money from bank failures or credit union closures, unclaimed life insurance, pension money, and back wages all add up to billions of dollars sitting in government accounts waiting to be claimed.

This past February, Philip Hatch, an 81-year-old from Portland, Maine, traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. He was there to tell the sad story of how he was scammed out of $8,000 by criminals posing as IRS agents. 

Have you ever considered becoming an Uber driver? In many respects, it seems like a great way for retirees to earn some extra money. You make your own schedule, drive your own car, and, according to the company, take home a respectable income.  

Back in 2014, “Scam alert” reported on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) complaint against telecommunications giant AT&T. At issue was the company’s tactic of “mobile cramming,” which describes the practice of including unauthorized charges on customers’ bills. 

All scammers are rotten, but those who target seniors and veterans are particularly vile! The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) temporarily shut down an Arizona telemarketing operation that allegedly bilked thousands of vets and seniors out of $9 million with a phony investment scheme.