How Identity Thieves Are Exploiting Your Trust

Con artists are finding new and unexpected ways to take your money and personal information. Here's what to do about it.

A woman stares at her credit card and looks worried.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Con artists are disguising themselves as well-known brands to steal your money and personal information. Want to know what to do about it? Kiplinger spoke with Doug Shadel, managing director for Fraud Prevention Strategies, LLC, a Seattle-based consulting firm. He served as strategy director for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network for nearly 20 years.

You’ve been on the front line of fighting fraud for more than 30 years. What has changed in that time? Have we become any better at protecting consumers? There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that over that 30-year period, fraud has gotten precipitously worse. It’s the new crime of the century. The good news is that there are a lot of people focusing on fraud prevention. As recently as 10 years ago, it was hard to get law enforcement interested. Now, stopping hackers, phishing and other scams is all anybody is talking about, and a lot of people are paying attention. 

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.