— Each year, the Federal Trade Commission releases a data book on scams as reported to the agency in the prior year. This year’s report shows that imposter scams are a serious and growing problem. These scams come in many varieties but work the same way. A scammer pretends to be someone trustworthy, like a government official or computer technician, to convince the consumer to send money. For those who lost money to this scam, the widest reported method of payment …

— AARP volunteer speakers are fanning out across Oahu and Hawaii island this week to talk about financial issues ranging from fraud to social security and preparing for retirement. It’s part of the Hawaii Public Library’s Money Smart Week, an annual event promoting financial literacy. Every year the public libraries work with AARP’s Speakers Bureau to find speakers for community meetings at the library. AARP speakers are available to talk on a variety of topics from fraud prevention and retirement strategy …

— Join AARP Colorado for its free Financial Resilience seminar in Fort Lupton on May 15 to discuss how to get the most out of your retirement savings. Whether you are still working, or getting ready to collect Social Security, we introduce you to the tools to help you calculate what you have and what you’ll need. We also help you find real advice about collecting your benefits, how to save more money and how to cut down on unnecessary costs, so you may experience …

— According to the Census Bureau, there are nearly 57 million people living with disabilities in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults help provide care for a sick or disabled family member. Caregivers provide physical and emotional support for the people in their care. It’s a demanding job with its stresses and rewards, but it can also be a labor of love. Social Security is committed to you throughout life’s journey, helping secure today and tomorrow for every American. This …

— The Federal Trade Commission reports that the virtual child kidnapping scam has resurfaced. The scam begins with a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped a child in your family. The scammer demands money by wire transfer or prepaid card.  These calls are fake and law enforcement organizations, like the FBI, are aware of this type of scam. If you get a call like this, resist the urge to send money immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.  These scammers …

— The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) Hotline phone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam. Scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline, 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The scammer will try to get personal information that can be used to steal money from the victim’s bank …

— Netflix customers beware! Scammers are conducting a campaign to obtain personal and financial information from Netflix users across the country. Netflix users are receiving an email claiming to be from the company asking them to update their Netflix login information. After providing this, a second screen appears which asks users to validate their payment information. After providing their information on the fraudulent website, the Netflix customers are re-directed to the actual Netflix homepage. The phishing email looks surprisingly realistic and …

piggy banks

— Saving for retirement in a state with a high cost of living is stressful, especially for those employed by small businesses. AARP Hawaii is urging state lawmakers to create a work group to devise strategies that could help people save. About half of the state’s private-sector workers have jobs that do not offer an opportunity to save for retirement through payroll deductions. And in a survey of Hawaii voters ages 35-64, nearly 6 in 10 of those in the workforce …

— You’d think it would be simple, but choosing a light bulb can be challenging because there are so many options at the store. This week, Efficiency Maine is providing information on how to choose a bulb and calculate lighting savings if you upgrade to a high-efficiency product. The most common types of bulbs include incandescent, halogen, compact fluorescents (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Here’s how the most common types of bulbs compare: Choosing the right color or bulb color temperature is …

— that take your money and never send you the product, or worse, send you a product that could cause you harm. Also, be sure to read the fine print on prescription drug coupons you find online. You might discover your purchase won’t count toward your deductible, or that the coupon expires after a certain number of refills. Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the …