— 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 …

— Just a few weeks ago, AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador, Frank Abagnale, spoke to a sell-out crowd at USM in Portland about scam and fraud prevention. Abagnale, who has advised the FBI on how to outsmart con artists for more than four decades, provided his expert knowledge on scams, and identity theft.  He also shared details about his amazing story which was made into a movie called “Catch Me If You Can” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks based on Abagnale’s book …

— AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Help Line has been fielding lots of calls about the “Say yes” scam. News reports have warned that a fraudster will call and ask a question to get the victim to say yes. The scammer records that affirmation to use it to authorize unwanted charges to a phone bill, utility bill, or even a stolen credit card. While many people report that they are getting calls like these followed by a hang up, we have yet …

— Fake checks are featured in many types of scams, from phony prize winnings to fake jobs. And scammers are good at making phony checks look legitimate. The scams typically involve sending victims a check, asking them to deposit it, and then when cleared, asking them to immediately wire the money to a third party. Remember, a check can take weeks to clear.  Wait until you are certain, and the bank can confirm, that your check has cleared before taking further …

— Starting next April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin issuing Medicare cards that do not display Social Security numbers. New beneficiaries will get the modernized cards first, and then new cards will be issued to existing beneficiaries. This change presents an opening to scammers. If you get a call claiming to be from Medicare asking you to confirm your Social Security number for the new card, this is a scam! It is also a scam if you …

— Did you know? This Maine law can help protect your identity – for free! Each of us has a credit report which compiles our credit history – bank loans, credit cards mortgages, etc. – into one place.  This credit report is used by banks and lenders to determine our worthiness as borrowers. Before buying a house or a car, for example, the bank will examine your credit report. Every report contains our credit history and status of any loans. Depending on activity, …

— Scams and frauds are on the rise, but Mainers can take active steps to protect themselves and their families!  AARP Maine is once again collaborating with the Maine Sheriff’s Association to host free shredding events and medicine disposal events.  Please join us and bring your friends and family! In April, we worked with the County Sheriff’s Offices in Augusta, Bangor and Portland and together, we shredded over 50,000 pounds this year! Would you like to volunteer with us for one of …

— Each year, the Federal Trade Commission releases a data book on scams as reported to the agency in the prior year. This year’s report shows that imposter scams are a serious and growing problem. These scams come in many varieties but work the same way. A scammer pretends to be someone trustworthy, like a government official or computer technician, to convince the consumer to send money. For those who lost money to this scam, the widest reported method of payment …

— April 20, 2017 Contact: Jane Margesson AARP Maine Communications Director 229-5628 or jmargesson@aarp.org   AARP Maine Hosts World Fraud Expert, Frank Abagnale, at Portland Scam Awareness Event 500+ residents, members of law enforcement, state agency reps attend PORTLAND:  AARP Maine held their largest scam awareness event to date this evening, designed to raise awareness about scams and fraud.  The featured speaker was Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., an expert on outsmarting con artists whose story was portrayed in the feature film …

— The Federal Trade Commission reports that the virtual child kidnapping scam has resurfaced. The scam begins with a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped a child in your family. The scammer demands money by wire transfer or prepaid card.  These calls are fake and law enforcement organizations, like the FBI, are aware of this type of scam. If you get a call like this, resist the urge to send money immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.  These scammers …