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Daily Archives: September 24th, 2020


AARP Fraud Alert
Two things have been certain during this pandemic: People have been home more than ever, and they’ve been using technology more than ever to stay connected to the outside world. Scammers are keyed into these facts and are taking advantage. It’s the classic tech-support scam, and it is running rampant right now.
  
How It Works•You receive a phone call from what appears to be Microsoft or another big tech company, claiming they detected a virus on your device that requires your immediate attention.•Or you sit down to your device to find a pop-up message warning that your device is infected and you need to call the number in the message or click a link right away.•A “technician” explains the severity of the issue, requests remote access to your device and then shows you “the problem.”•The “technician” can fix your problem for a fee, and then may offer you a monthly subscription to keep your device safe.•The “technician” often calls back months later, offers you a refund and asks for your bank account information to deposit the money.
 
What You Should Know•Big tech companies say they don’t call customers to warn of problems on their devices.•The supposedly problematic files the “technician” shows you on your device are completely benign.•The scammer may ask you to pay by credit card or may direct you to purchase a gift or reloadable card and provide the account number and PIN (this is always a red flag).•The “technician” may install malware on your device while they have access to harvest usernames and passwords to exploit your accounts.
 
What You Should Do•Screen phone calls with an answering machine or voicemail, and once you listen to the message, decide if it warrants a callback.•If the caller claims you have a problem with your device, don’t believe it.•If you think your device is infected, get it checked out by a reputable source; most big-box electronics retailers offer tech-support services.•If you get a pop-up that freezes your screen, shut down your computer and restart it to make it go away.•If you realize you’ve fallen victim to this scam and paid by credit card, contact your financial institution to dispute the charge and cancel any monthly fees you may have agreed to.
 
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family and visit the Fraud Watch Network.Sincerely,Kathy StokesAARP Fraud Watch Network
P.S.
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Is it possible that we as people have lost the ability to understand when we are being conned? Look back 3 years with the advent of TOTUS. The economy was approaching a normalcy after the big hit. TOTUS took on the mantle of making the economy great and promptly ran it down with a touted ” tax reform”. This tax reform benefitted the top 1 or 2 % of Americans and corporations while pushing the middle class and lower income into an even lower income status. With the onset of a what would have been a “manageable” health situation if our “leader” had made the necessary moves required. What we got was an inept ego driven child who was concerned about his image. What ensued is a national pandemic that could have been constrained with the Federal government taking the lead (how much of an ego boost that would have been) but TOTUS chose the low road and placed the burden on the States and down played the deaths related with the disease while blaming the Governors and offering no real help beyond voodoo cures which were unproven. Then TOTUS brought medical experts before the public who when telling the truth were sidelined with TOTUS voicing his own voodoo cures. Currently on top of all 3 plus years of this administration is now pushing the idea that voting by mail is not secure and demanding that the election will be rife with fraudulent voting, this after he put a long time political backer and campaign contributor in the postmaster general position where he (the Postmaster) began to dismantle machinery required to sort mail and cutting overtime for postal employees (the post office is grossly under staffed). This tampering with the Postal System would serve to bolster the false claims presented by TOTUS regarding the post office and so called “mail fraud”. It is incumbent on ALL of us to vote and ignore the line of misinformation emanating from the current administration. We must look at the facts that our Congress and the administration are both ignoring the ongoing probes by outside actors into our election electronically. This fact alone makes our mail service more secure. Our power is to elect someone competent to lead in the White House and the Congress for the sake of our country. Remember the party’s are not as important as the people we select to represent us, a criminal or miscreant remains a criminal or miscreant once elected.

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Khristopher J. Brooks  9 hrs ago

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes. 

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans. 

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated. 

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement. “What this report underscores is that this tariff is levied on us all.”

Federal Reserve data show that White households’ net worth grew 43%, to $61,200, between 1995 and 2016, while it remained flat at $35,400 for Black families. Moody’s Investor Service found that 44% of Black households owned their homes in 2019, compared with 74% of white households.

The study also highlights the “real costs of long-standing discrimination against minority groups, especially against Black people and particularly in the U.S.,” Citigroup economist Catherine Mann said in a statement. 

A McKinsey study released last year explored how these and other inequities have reduced the nation’s wealth. The nation’s GDP — the total value of goods and services — could be up to 6% higher by 2028 if the racial wealth gap is closed, the consulting firm concluded. Lawmakers must pass targeted policies that boost household income for Black Americans in order to address the issue, McKinsey said.

illion dollagain from the effort,” the McKinsey study concluded. 

Incarceration rates among Black Americans, voter suppression efforts and conscious bias in hiring all play a role in hindering the U.S. from making strides in closing this gap, Citigroup said. 

Separately, the financial giant on Wednesday said it would direct $1 billion toward helping close the racial wealth gap, including investing $550 million over the next three years in encouraging homeownership for people of color. Another $50 million will go toward capital investments for Black entrepreneurs. 

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