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Beware Scams Tied to 9/11

Security experts say crooks may use 10th anniversary for ID theft

And in January, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) took aim at 10th-anniversary coins being sold for $29.95 apiece by National Collector's Mint, a private company.

"Profiteering off of a national tragedy will not be tolerated," the two lawmakers said in a statement. The company, which has said it contributes part of the proceeds to charity, no longer offers the coins on its website.

Your defense for a safer 9/11 remembrance:

  • For online videos related to the anniversary, rely on websites run by TV networks and other reputable news organizations.
  • Don't click on links in emails or advertisements related to 9/11 — even if the emails appear to come from friends. These messages might actually be spam sent by cybercrooks who've hijacked your friends' online address books and turned their computers into remotely directed "botnets."
  • Suspect a hacker attack if your computer prompts you to download a plug-in or other software to view a photo or video. If your computer is less than 10 years old, odds are that you already have everything you need to see multimedia content, says Krehel.
  • Make sure your computer is up-to-date with the latest security patches. With Windows, run a Windows Update. With a Mac, run a Software Update. As always, run scans with your antivirus software several times a week.

Also of interest: Ways to volunteer, make a difference. >>

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.

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