Don't Waste Your Money Makeover: New, sneaky scams of 2013


Spend time online?  So do crooks.  Hackers are now bumping illegitimate websites to the top of search engines.

If you click, malware of viruses can invade your computer.

To avoid poison links, look at the web address endings. Experts say .coms and .nets are usually safe.  But if it ends in something you've never heard of, like .cx or .tf, you may want to avoid those.  And if the text under the link looks garbled, don't click on it.


Cyber thieves are also targeting our smartphones.  They're sending text messages or calling from what appears to be a bank.  They urge you to call a phone number or visit a website where you're asked for sensitive information. 

And watch out for fake smartphone apps designed to steal your information or hijack your phone. says to protect yourself, avoid clicking on unsolicited text or email requests, especially of a financial nature. Call your financial institution yourself. Also, download mobile applications offered by your bank rather than third parties.  Avoid Wi-Fi hotspots - go through your data network provider and be sure your phone is password protected.


The Better Business Bureau says watch out for fake Facebook notifications.  Don't click on links that say "One of your Facebook friend added a new photo of you" or you could be opening your computer to thieves.


Victims think they're getting a call from a grandchild who say they're in another country, are in trouble and need money wired to them.

The people on the other end of the line are very tricky.  Many times the scammers call and only ask, "Grandma?" or "Grandpa?" The victim says the name of their grandchild and instantly the scammers have a name.

When in doubt, and before you send any money you can contact the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) at 1-888-407-4747. They can help you find out if the situation is real or a scam.

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