5 States

— A Florida AARP member has alerted the association to a new scam, in which a door-to-door sales representative pretending to be from AARP visited a Sunshine State manufactured-home park selling an electronic “medical alert system.” “AARP does not send salespeople to your door to sell electronic medical-alert systems or anything else,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida state director. “If you encounter this scam artist, slam the door in his face. It’s a rip-off.” This week, AARP received an email from …

— Floridians, do you collect Social Security? A new scam is targeting YOU. How It Works: A scammer calls from a 323 area code, posing as a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee. In some instances, the scammer tells the victim he or she is due a cost-of-living adjustment increase in their Social Security benefit. The caller then tries to get the victim to “verify” their Social Security number, name, date of birth, parents’ name and other personal information.If the scammer succeeds, …

— The federal government grant scam has been around for years. But now, scammers are finding targets through social media. How It Works: You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government, and that you could be eligible, too. You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and are told you qualify—all you have to do is send a money order or provide your …

— Fellow Floridians, IRS imposters are at their old game—but with a new twist. The IRS reports that this current scam is being reported across the country. How It Works: Scammers call taxpayers to claim the IRS has already mailed them two certified letters about an outstanding tax bill, but the letters were returned as undeliverable. The scammer threatens immediate arrest unless the tax bill is paid using a prepaid debit card. The scammer falsely contends that the prepaid debit card …

4 States

— Florida strives to be a national trendsetter for many things but not this: The Sunshine State No. 1 in tax identity theft and fraud nationwide. Most targets are older residents who are unaware that they have been swindled. “We are working with the IRS to do everything we can to help retirees and all AARP members in Florida protect their identity from the dangers of theft,” said Victoria Funes, AARP Florida Associate State Director, during a co-sponsored press conference with …

4 States

— The word is out on the IRS scam phone calls (click here here and here.) So the scammers have upped their game to mail, and it’s quite convincing at first. Since the IRS has said they would never call you demanding money for payment, only send mail letters, it was only a short amount of time until these frausters did so too. How do you know it’s phony? Let’s take a look : The processing center in Austin address is incorrect. …

4 States

— TALLAHASSEE – Homeowners beware! Unscrupulous contractors are conning residents into surrendering their home insurance policy claim rights and benefits. In the wake of Hurricane Hermine, these instances are sure to grow. Here’s how it works: 1) You get a contractor to agree to repair your home damage. 2) The dishonest contractor convinces you to transfer an Assignment of Benefit agreement in the contractor’s name. 3) The contractor then uses this to overcharge the insurance company and you lose all control …

4 States

— Floods, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires: natural disasters often bring an influx of con artists ready to take advantage of suffering and confusion. Watch out for these three scams: HOME REPAIR In the midst of a disaster, a homeowner in need of immediate repairs may neglect normal precautions and hire a dubious provider. A common fraud is when an individual posing as a contractor or repairperson says he will help you, but just take the money and run. Things you can …

— ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AARP Florida Acting State Director Dionne Polite urged those wishing to donate to help the victims of the deadly June 12 terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando to avoid unprincipled scams circulating in the aftermath of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting attack. Instead, those wishing to help should consider donating a state-managed disaster fund, which was activated Monday by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Polite said. (Read state press release here.) “Our thoughts and prayers go out …

— By Susannah Nesmith When Joe Griffin, a Boca Raton small-business owner, filed his taxes two years ago, his accountant got a strange response from the Internal Revenue Service. Griffin had already filed a return, the IRS said. But he hadn’t. Griffin was the victim of identity theft. Florida has the highest per capita rate of identity theft complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission. Officials call the state ground zero for crimes such as stolen identity tax-refund fraud and Social …