5 States

— The Equifax breach exposed names, addresses, birthdates and social security numbers of 145 million Americans. This is exactly the information a scammer would need to take advantage of a social security recipient – who hasn’t yet set up their own “My Social Security Account”. Any Social Security recipient who has not already set up their own “My Social Security Account” is advised to do so immediately! In case you are not aware, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides an online …

— If you live in the Topeka area, be sure to join AARP Kansas and the Better Business Bureau to learn more about protecting you and your family from frauds and scams — especially during the holiday season.  Topeka is one of the nation’s largest metro areas for fraud complaints. Find out about current scams and how to spot them from Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Special Agent. Lanza has dedicated his life to keeping people safe from fraud. With more than 25 years with …

— Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs through December 15 in Kansas and many other states. That makes it prime time for scammers to try taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Be wary of phone or email solicitations selling cheap health insurance that claim to meet all federal requirements. If you bite, you may end up without a plan, and with a tax penalty for not having qualifying coverage. Your best bet is to enroll or re-enroll by visiting healthcare.gov, …

4 States

— New frauds and scams seem to crop up weekly.  Identity theft, investment fraud and scams rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money.  Every 2 seconds, a con artist steals someone’s identity.  In the last year alone, Americans lost $18 billion of their hard-earned dollars to fraud, identity theft and scams. That is why AARP New Hampshire has organized a volunteer corps of Fraud Fighters – in most regions of the state – dedicated to educating Granite Staters on the …

— 11/22 SCAM ALERT Don’t give out your Social Security number over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call. You have no way of knowing who is on the other end of the line. For instance, some cons may call posing as officials from the Social Security Administration, asking you to confirm your number.  Likewise, beware of providing your number to anyone who asks for it by email. Scammers will send an email that appears to be from your bank …

— AARP Iowa announced on Nov. 10 that it is joining forces with the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for Operation Protect Veterans — a campaign to warn those who have served in the military about scams and fraud schemes that target veterans. The major educational campaign will reach out to veterans in communities across Iowa and nationwide. With a new AARP survey showing that veterans are frequently targeted by scam artists and victimized twice as …

— We’re all too familiar with how pervasive scams are in today’s marketplace.  Whether it’s the IRS Imposter Scam, the Tech Support Scam, or that winning lottery check waiting for you – just pay shipping and handling… But according to a new survey, con artists may be saving the worst of their pitches for a special group of Americans – those who have served our country. The new nationwide survey by AARP shows that military veterans are falling prey to scams …

—   An 84-year-old widow called the AARP Fraud Watch Network after accepting a free trial offer for skin cream she had seen a famous personality touting on television. She had no idea she needed to cancel after receiving the free trial. She was sent more product at a cost of $200 and is fighting to return the product and get her money back. Here’s information from the AARP Fraud Watch Network to help you spot and avoid this type of …

— By Alan Marx, AARP Tennessee Consumer Watchdog How many times each year do you receive mail, email or telephone calls offering you free goods or services? The word “free” is used in advertising because it is highly likely to get your attention. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) knows this, and it has filed two recent cases focusing on the tactics used with the promise of free goods to promote sales. Unfortunately, the promise of something “free” can be used to …

— Frank W. Abagnale, the world’s leading expert on outsmarting con artists, in a Nov. 14 AARP Arkansas Fraud Watch Network event  in Little Rock shared expertise and a variety of tips on how to spot and avoid scams. Get Frank’s Top 10 Tips to help prevent identity theft (scroll down to page 2 of the attachment). Speaking to nearly 300 Little Rock-area residents at the Embassy Suites, Abagnale, an AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador, also shared his life story. Between the ages of 16 and 21, …