Top Online Scams
Of the Better Business Bureau’s 2013 Top Ten Scams, at least eight have an online component. Here are a few to watch out for.
1. A scammer builds a romantic relationship with you online. After gaining your trust, your love interest asks for money for travel or a family emergency.
2. Spam e-mails, texts, social media or web forum contacts, or internet advertisements direct you to a malicious web site that collects your personal information.
3. A fake BBB e-mail instructs you to click on a link to learn details of a complaint against your business. The link, in fact, unleashes malware that can steal banking information, passwords and other critical pieces of information needed for cyber-theft.
And some tips:
- Romantic scammers claim to fall in love quickly and prefer messaging and e-mailing to dating forums.
- Beware supposed ex-pats working overseas with no family or friends. They plan to visit but never come.
- Always be careful with your personal information.
- Never rush into an investment without extensive independent research.
- Don’t trust “insider information.”
- Don’t trust offers of free prizes, such as a major retailer’s gift card.
- Never click on a link in an unsolicited e-mail without checking its authenticity.
Working After Retirement
Are you 50 plus? Not ready to retire? This may be a good time to explore a second career, or turn your experience into consulting or contract work. Some seniors opt for jobs with less responsibility to keep socially and mentally active. An usher at a sports arena enjoys free concerts and games. Temporary work leaves you free to golf. And the income doesn’t hurt either.
The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) has plenty of advice for “recareering.”
Closing a Window of Opportunity
Are your windows secure? Take a good look and ask yourself
Consider adding grillwork or security bars, which can be installed with one-way screws, pins and padlocks. Keep all basement bedroom windows operable and all fire exits clear for safety reasons.
- What is the access from the ground, porch, roof, tree, fire escape, ledge?
- Are the sash and frame sturdy and in good condition?
- Do the locks work and are they engaged?
- Is the surrounding area well lit at night?
Replace the keyless latches in any casement or awning windows with a keyed latch or slide bolt. Secure sliding windows with a nail, metal pin or specially designed lock. And add shatter-resistant film or Lucite (high-impact acrylic sheeting).
For more home security tips visit the Vancouver Police Department’s web site.
What's On In
PHOTO: Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
CelticFest Vancouver/St. Patrick’s Day Parade
– see web site for venues
March 9 to 17
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
– see web site for events and venues
April 4 to 30
Vancouver Sun Run
Great Canadian Craft Spring Fling
Vancouver Convention Centre
May 11 to 12
Cloverdale Rodeo and County Fair
Cloverdale Fair Grounds
May 17 to 20
Vancouver International Children’s Festival
May 27 to June 2
Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival
Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park
June 21 to 23
Spring Tune Up for Cyclists
SAFETY FOR SEASONAL RIDERS
You’ve tuned up your bike—but are your safety skills rusty?
- Be predictable: Signal and stop when you’re supposed to. Don’t weave. Respect drivers and other cyclists when passing.
- Be visible: Use proper lights and wear reflective clothing.
- Be watchful: Watch drivers’ and passengers’ body language to avoid being hit by a door.
- Wear a helmet.
- . Take a safety course. See local Can-Bike schedules.
Quick Safety Tip
BEWARE DOOR-TO-DOOR CONTRACTORS
Rogue door-to-door contractors use high-pressure sales tactics and promises of one-time deals to frighten you into making expensive and unnecessary repairs. Roofers, pavers, furnace repairers don’t “just happen” to be in your neighbourhood with excess materials.