T-2 trickery: Seniors, beware deathly scam

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According to the mailer, a form T-2 is supposed to be insurance covering medical bills and funeral expenses when you die. Itís also known as burial or funeral insurance, but beware if you receive a form T-2 in your mailbox because itís a scam.

As you might have guessed, seniors are the target.

Iíve received a few calls about this mailing so Iím not the only one who received the form with a notation on the envelope stating, ďSecond Notice, Time Sensitive.Ē It also looks very much like a government form that states at the top, ď2019 Benefit Information For Idaho Citizens Only.Ē It then says that as a resident of Idaho, Iím entitled to more benefits not provided by government funds. And yes, it asks for personal information.

This is nothing more than a very clever way for scammers to get you to believe that it is coming from the government and that you are entitled to up to $35,000 for final expenses. They ask for your name and age and that of your spouse, along with your address and phone number. If you read the very fine print at the bottom of the form, it does reveal that this is not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

After researching this, it appears that the Better Business Bureau has received dozens of complaints from other states about this scam, too. The crooks arenít asking for any money so it appears what they are after is our personal information.

Do yourself a favor and just throw this document out. Itís yet another phishing scam.

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COLLEGE EXAM SCAM: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has posted a warning about a scam targeting parents of high school students preparing for college. The scammer claims to be from The College Board (the organization responsible for the PSAT and SAT tests). The contact is either by phone or email, asking for a credit card number so they can send the PSAT prep material that the student has supposedly requested.

Often the crook has the studentís name, address and phone number, which lends credibility to the contact. The only problem is this: Your student didnít ask for the materials and the group calling has nothing to do with The College Board.

To avoid this scam you should know that The College Board will never ask you for credit card, bank account or password information over the phone or via email.

Also, itís a good idea to be part of your studentís testing prep so you know if any testing materials have actually been ordered.

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7 STEPS TO SECURITY: When it comes to computer security we canít be too vigilant about protecting ourselves. Our email accounts are particularly susceptible to hackers because thatís where bad guys implant malware that we unwittingly activate by clicking on dangerous links and going to malicious websites.

Here are steps to take to secure your email account.

1. Choose a strong password. Make it at least 8 characters long with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers or symbols. Also, use different passwords for different sites. Once thieves get into your email, they can easily snoop around to find their way to other accounts if you use the same password.

2. Answer the security questions carefully. You might even consider answering them incorrectly. But if you do that, the trick is to remember your answers if you ever need them.

3. Donít open attachments and links unless youíre expecting them. Be careful even with emails from someone you know because their email account could be compromised.

4. Avoid public Wi-Fi. Public networks are extremely easy to break into.

5. Install antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated.

6. Be stingy with your email address and avoid signing up for lists that are left on the counter of a business. Or open a second email account used for online purposes.

7. Set up two-factor authentication. Yes, itís another step but itís also an added layer of security. Youíll be required to not only provide your user name and password but additional information like a code sent to your smartphone that you will be prompted to provide.

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CHICKEN NUGGETS GO HOME: Tyson Foods has recalled 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets because they may contain rubber. The Food Safety and Inspection Service recently issued an alert for Tyson Foodsí 5-pound plastic packages of chicken nuggets that were shipped nationwide and have a use-by date of Nov. 26, 2019. The product, ďTyson White Meat Panko Chicken Nuggets,Ē was produced on Nov. 26, 2018, with a case code ď3308SDL03Ē on the label.

Thereís also an establishment number, ďP-13556,Ē inside the USDA mark of inspection, according to the US Department of Agricultureís Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Check your freezer. If you have any of these products itís best to throw them away or return them to the place you purchased them. Questions? Contact Tyson Consumer Relations at 888-747-7611.

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Remember: Iím on your side.

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If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at terridickersonadvocate@gmail.com or call me at (208) 274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, Iím here to help. Please include your name and a phone number or email. Iím available to speak about consumerism to schools, local and civic groups. Iím a copywriter, columnist and consumer advocate living in Coeur díAlene.

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