— 7/19 SCAM ALERT We are in prime time for home repair scams. A common tactic is a “contractor” will come to your door and offer to do work on your home at a steep discount. He or she will likely demand payment upfront and then disappear. Or they will do the work but it will be shoddy, or they will demand more money to finish the job. Avoid working with contractors who contact you. Before you start any work, ask …

— 7/12 SCAM ALERT Caller ID spoofing is making its way to phones near you. Scammers have mastered calling people using a fake name and number that will pop up on your phone. The call will seem urgent; for example, it could concern something like an account that is about to be cancelled unless you immediately give your bank information or credit card number for payment. Never give out personal information via an incoming phone call.  You never know who is …

— 7/5 SCAM ALERT If you have a sign for a home security system in your yard, be wary of this summer scam. Fraudsters will hire college students to walk through neighborhoods looking for houses with security system signs. The student will tell the homeowner the security company is going out of business, and the student’s “company” is taking over the account. The homeowner is told she has to buy new equipment and sign a new contract. Only the equipment is …

— 6/28 SCAM ALERT Scammers are creating fake websites that look like known and trusted news sites to sell “brain booster” pills. They post bogus articles about the pills with endorsements from people like Stephen Hawking and Anderson Cooper (neither has endorsed any such product). The site then links you to the sales page for the pills where you can place an order with a credit or debit card. The scammers claim the pills will lead to an increase in concentration …

— Did you know?  AARP Maine is in the news every week talking about issues of concern to Mainers 50+, upcoming events and much more!  We talk about health care, caregiving in Maine, fun, social events, scam and fraud awareness, age-friendly communities and ways we can work together to bring positive initiatives to our state.   Tune in and let your friends know, too! RADIO: WLOB with Ray Richardson – First and Third Mondays at 8:30AM.  Broadcasts out of Portland. WZON with …

— 6/21 SCAM ALERT Getting calls from debt collectors? They might be fake if the person is trying to collect on a loan you don’t recognize, asks you for sensitive information, or uses threats to try to scare you into paying. Tell the caller you won’t discuss the debt unless they provide a written notice that includes the debt amount, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Never give out or confirm …

— 6/14 SCAM ALERT Don’t let scammers ruin your summer vacation. One way thieves prey on travelers is through front-desk fraud. Hotel guests receive a call in the middle of the night, supposedly from the front desk. There’s a problem with your payment, the caller says, asking you to confirm your credit card number. Only it’s not hotel staff calling (they’d wait until morning); it’s a scammer using a lobby phone. Never give your account numbers in unsolicited calls; contact the …

— 6/7 SCAM ALERT Buying a gift card for a graduate in your life? Choose wisely. In the store, thieves can remove gift cards from racks, copy the codes, and then dial the number on the back of the card to learn when they were activated and their value for online spending or to clone cards for in-store use. Purchase gift cards directly from a store cashier, customer service counter or the company’s website. The cashier should scan and activate the …

— If you were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union, you may be eligible to get at least some of your money back. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice (DOJ) came to a $586 million settlement with Western Union earlier this year. If you sent money through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer, you may be eligible for a refund. Once DOJ collects the money from …

— The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now working with private debt collectors to recover unpaid tax debts. Scammers could attempt to capitalize on potential confusion created by this new development.  If you have a long overdue tax account, the IRS will first send you a letter to inform you that it is turning your account over to a debt collector. Then you will receive a letter from the debt collector before they contact you by phone. The only way to …