— Every day hundreds of local residents lose their hard-earned money to a variety of fraud schemes. In fact, every 2 seconds, a con artist steals someone’s identity! To strike back against scammers, AARP Vermont and AARP New Hampshire are bringing together top experts and law enforcement officials from both states to present at a free informational Scam Jam in Fairlee, Vermont, at the Lake Morey Resort. Slated for September 19, the Vermont and New Hampshire Attorneys General will kick off …

— Learn simple steps to increase your online security Are you an easy target for online hackers or scammers? By learning some simple steps to secure your phone, increase your online safety and recognize scams, you reduce your risk of becoming the next victim. That’s why it’s a smart move to attend AARP’s Online Safety Workshop. In this live, one-hour online event, you’ll be guided by your workshop host as you learn the latest in online safety. You’ll also learn about …

— Using public Wi-Fi puts you at risk of sharing personal information with criminals. If you’re on free public Wi-Fi at the gym, a hotel or a coffee shop, anyone else on that same network can tap into the information you’re transferring over the network. This means any bad guy can see what you’re doing, leaving passwords, usernames, and account numbers vulnerable. Stick to browsing the web and checking news when on public Wi-Fi. Avoid online banking, checking email, making credit …

— 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 for references and …

— 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.  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 actually on the line. Be …

— 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 fake and the …

— 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 and memory recall, …

— 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 personal financial or …

— 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 front desk yourself. …

— Welcome to 30 Days and 30 Ways!  Throughout the month of June, we’re surprising you with at least one way each day to connect with us, either in the community or from the comfort of your own home! Here’s Week 3 of the festivities!  Check out our blog at the start of each week to learn more!   June 18 – Good happens right here with AARP’s Create the Good.  Whether you have five minutes or five hours, find good that fits you and …