Mature female florist watering flowers

5/4 Scam Alert Bulletin Board: Mother’s day is almost here! If you are thinking about scheduling last minute flower deliveries beware! With thousands of online flowers being ordered, crooks have hit a new low of setting up fake online flower shops, and then promoting then all over the internet. They attract buyers by claiming to have cheap prices, but in reality are just taking your credit card info and, you guessed it, not delivering flowers. Make sure to research the …

business man performing shell game scam with cups

4/13: SCAM ALERT BULLETIN BOARD: Can’t go wrong with a free coupon, right? Think again. Scam artists are now trying to cheat you even through coupons! This usually occurs online through social media sites where typically you are asked to click on a link and share it with your friends to receive a free coupon. You are then asked to fill out a survey and enter personal information.  Once this process is done you have signed up for a fake …

Outsmarting Con Artists Graphic

  AARP and host of experts conduct “how-to” workshops on keeping sharp, spotting scams, avoiding fraud; Montana Attorney General Tim Fox slated to speak at first event in Bozeman Free and Open to the Public – Free Lunch Served! Helena, Mont., March 30, 2016 — In its ongoing efforts to fight fraud, AARP Montana is partnering with a coalition of crime prevention agencies to sponsor “how-to” workshops entitled “Outsmarting Con Artists” with a special focus on keeping sharp. The 2016 …

Support the CARE Act for Missouri family caregivers.

Scammers are experts at pushing our emotional buttons and putting us, as they say, “under the ether.” When we are in a heightened emotional state, we tend to be more vulnerable to scams and fraud.  At no time are we more vulnerable than after the loss of a loved one.  Con artists have been known to scan obituaries looking for potential victims.  They may call pretending to be from the bank, Social Security, or any entity that sounds official.  If …

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2/3: SCAM ALERT BULLETIN BOARD: It’s tax season again and this means a surge in fake IRS calls across the country. Here is how it works: Someone claiming to be from the IRS either phones or leaves a voice message saying you owe back taxes.  They will threaten that unless you wire funds immediately, you will be arrested or even jailed.  Scammers will make this sound convincing and through “spoofing,” your caller ID may say “IRS” or something similar.  Do …

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Job websites can be a great way to find the perfect next position, but these websites are also a popular destination for scammers.  Posing as legitimate employers, scammers post ads for positions that don’t even exist.  They will demand upfront fees to run a background or even a credit check. You shouldn’t have to pay for such services.  They may even ask for sensitive information such as your Social Security number. Do your homework.  Conduct an investigation of your own …

Credit Card Security

It’s cold out there!  Let’s turn on the freeze!  A security freeze safeguards a person’s credit report and it is one of the most effective ways to protect you from identity theft. Without access to your credit report, an identity thief is unable to obtain credit in your name, thereby greatly minimizing the potential damage from the theft.  In Maine, turning the freeze on and off is absolutely free.  This is a great proactive step you can take in the …

lottery-balls

Did you win the lottery? Congratulations!  Are you being asked to pay a “processing fee” or a tax to claim your prize?  If so, this is a scam.  If you legitimately won the lottery, you wouldn’t owe even a postage stamp to collect your winnings.  Is the lottery based in Jamaica, Canada or Europe?  Remember, foreign lotteries are illegal in the United States and you cannot win a lottery you never entered.  Don’t wire money to anyone you don’t know …

Utility Rates

What we call “imposter” scams are on the rise and fraudsters will often use a commonly known agency name to try to take your hard-earned money.  With winter upon us, be prepared for bogus threats that Central Maine Power (CMP) or another utility company is about to shut off your service due to unpaid bills. In this longtime ruse, scammers use special software to falsely display the name and phone number of your utility company on your caller ID. Don’t …

security

Did you know? A new law can help protect your identity. A credit freeze safeguards a person’s credit report and it is the most effective way to protect consumers from identity theft. Without access to this sensitive information, an identity thief is unable to obtain credit in that person’s name, thereby greatly minimizing the potential damage from the theft. Once the freeze is in place, the consumer has control over who can receive their credit report. As of October 15th, Maine …