WASHINGTON—For years, one man has been using his hacking skills to do what few suspected could be done (and what most law enforcers are not allowed to do): infiltrating the computers of scam callers. A technology consultant by day, Jim Browning (an alias) has devoted his nights and weekends since 2014 to sneaking into illegal boiler rooms via his computer, recording what is going on, blocking frauds from occurring, posting videos of the bad guys on YouTube (where he has over 3 million followers), notifying law enforcement of his findings, and uncovering the strategies to outsmart tech support fraudsters. Now, he shares what he’s learned with AARP Bulletin reporters. In this month’s issue, we follow Browning into the world of international fraud and learn his strategies for how to stay one step ahead of the scammers.
Discover his fascinating personal journey into becoming a worldwide hero to countless fraud targets; watch as he gives AARP a real-time tour of scammers in action; and read his personally written note on how to stop phone and computer frauds once and for all. As he notes, fraudsters will “say whatever they need to get as much money out of you as possible.”
Also in this Bulletin special investigative report, you’ll learn about:
- The new scams of 2021 and how crooks keep up with the news to deliver fresh cons;
- The new wave of crime-fighting tools now available to protect yourself; and
- The surprising hierarchy of how scammers want to be paid in the fraud world.
Other stories in the April Bulletin:
- How to Survive the Emergency Room: What starts out as a relatively minor trip to the ER can end up stressing an older patient to the point that their health is deeply compromised. The phenomenon attributed to ER trauma is called post-hospital syndrome. But if you can prepare the right way, you may just be able to minimize the risk of further damage. In this month’s issue, learn about what to expect when bringing an older loved one home from the hospital.
- DIY Home Security: Interest in do-it-yourself home security has boomed. The makers of these electronic systems have made it easier than ever for people to install their own cameras. But does that mean that they’re effective at preventing burglary? And do they make people any safer? Read about the ins and outs of home security in this month’s issue.
- Psych Yourself Into Saving: Creating a savings habit has been difficult for many this past year, given economic pressures and the constant availability of products online. Read veteran finance reporter Linda Stern’s mind tricks for building out both emergency savings and a retirement nest egg in this month’s Financially Speaking.
- Buy It Right!: They say buying cheap often leads to buying twice. But that doesn’t mean that the most expensive item is the right one to purchase, either. Before you consider your options for home appliance shopping, read this month’s issue to get the expert opinion on how to reduce prices at checkout for several big-ticket items we all buy on occasion.
- Getting Social Security While Working: The pandemic has pushed some to consider applying for Social Security benefits even though they’re still working. But depending on factors like age and income, many receive reduced payments as a result. How exactly does Social Security carry this out? And how does the test affect how much one earns later in life? Our experts answer all these questions and more.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.