Stay calm and think when con artists call

By The Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia
Posted on March 25, 2021

Want some advice about scams? Stay calm. Con artists use that feeling of alarm to trick victims into acting before they can think. BBB Scam Tracker is seeing reports of a con that claims your Amazon, PayPal or other account has been compromised. Scammers hope you’ll panic and fall for their scheme. How the scam works You receive an email, call or text message informing you there’s... READ MORE

New device beams music to your ears

By Louise Dixon
Posted on March 19, 2021

Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you and without headphones or ear buds. That’s the possibility presented by “sound beaming,” a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems, an... READ MORE

Tech Shorts

By Beacon Staff
Posted on February 24, 2021

Tech help on call Technology doesn’t come easily to everyone. In a pinch, who can you call for help? Thanks to a new company call Candoo Tech, a technology “concierge” trained to work with older adults can be on call to answer your questions. The company was founded in 2019 by Liz Hamburg, who was inspired by her father’s frustration. (Her father once left her a voice mail... READ MORE

Offered a free year of Netflix? Not so fast

By Better Business Bureau of Virginia
Posted on February 15, 2021

Between the winter weather and COVID-19, most people are spending a lot of time at home. Streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu, are more popular than ever. Watch out for scams cashing in on this opportunity. BBB Scam Tracker has gotten numerous reports of a text messaging con tricking would-be watchers with the offer of “free” Netflix for a year. How the scam works You... READ MORE

Can you trust your mobile payment app?

By Liz Weston
Posted on February 08, 2021

Money transfer apps including Venmo, Cash App and PayPal have surged in popularity during the pandemic as people seek safe, contactless ways to send and receive money. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the limitations of these payment platforms or how they can put someone’s finances at risk. Like over-the-counter medicines, payment apps can be safe when used as directed — ... READ MORE

More will have free access to doctor’s notes

By Carla K. Johnson
Posted on December 07, 2020

More U.S. patients will soon have free, electronic access to the notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency. Many health systems opened up records on November 2, the original deadline. At the last minute, federal health officials gave an extension until April 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Britta Bloomquist of Duluth, Minnesota,... READ MORE

Many ways to track down old friends online

By Jim Miller
Posted on December 04, 2020

Dear Savvy Senior, I’m interested in tracking down some old friends I’ve lost touch with over the years. What websites can you recommend that can help me find them? —Tracking Tom Dear Tom, Thanks to the internet, tracking down long-lost friends from many years ago is relatively easy to do and, in most cases, it won’t cost you a cent. Here are some tips and online tools to... READ MORE

Trying online banking? FAQs answered

By Chanelle Bessette
Posted on November 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic leads banking customers to lean into technology to manage their money, those trying online banking for the first time may find themselves with questions about how to handle things previously done in person or with paper documents. If you’re stuck on how to handle some of the practical aspects of online banking, here are answers to common questions: Should I... READ MORE

Elon Musk dreams of chips in our brains

By Barbara Ortutay
Posted on November 16, 2020

Elon Musk isn’t content with electric cars, shooting people into orbit, populating Mars and building underground tunnels to solve traffic problems. He also wants to get inside your brain. His startup, Neuralink, wants to one day implant computer chips inside the human brain. The goal is to develop implants that can treat neural disorders — and that may one day be powerful enough to... READ MORE

Avoid dirty money with no-touch payment

By Gregory Karp
Posted on November 09, 2020

If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards. Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and a hacking cough? Even in pre-pandemic times,... READ MORE