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— The US Postal Service and Department of Justice are warning people about mass mailing scams. These mailings appear to be personalized but they are actually mass-produced form letters promising wealth or good fortune. They inform you, for example, that you’ve won a big prize but you have to pay processing fees or taxes to claim it. Never send money to receive sweepstakes or lottery winnings – consumers are never required to pay money to receive these kinds of awards. If …

Man on phone_holding credit card_computer open_cmp

— 10/12 SCAM ALERT It pays to look closely at your credit card statement. You may see a “test charge” – a small charge, like $1. It may seem insignificant but it could be a sign that a scammer has stolen your credit card and is testing it with a small amount to see if it works. Some merchants legitimately place a test charge on your account – like gas stations and hotels; these charges eventually drop off. But if you …

WEEKLY SCAM ALERT GRAPHIC

— Planning an interstate move? Beware of rogue movers who may take your goods hostage and overcharge you. The bad players typically give you a low estimate over the phone or online without ever seeing the items you want moved. Once your belongings are on their truck, they demand more money. They then force you to pay more if you want your goods back. Research movers before hiring anyone, and always get a written estimate. The federal government and legitimate moving …

white moving and storage truck with an open door for loading household items. Image shot in a residential neighborhood on a sunny day. The open door has an extended ramp for loading. Utilize the blank side of the truck for your copy.

— 8/31 SCAM ALERT Planning an interstate move? Beware of rogue movers who may take your goods hostage and overcharge you. The bad players typically give you a low estimate over the phone or online without ever seeing the items you want moved. Once your belongings are on their truck, they demand more money. They force you to pay more if you want your goods back. Research movers before hiring anyone, and always get a written estimate. The federal government and …

Holiday report - Free WiFi

— 8/17 SCAM ALERT Connecting to the Internet in a public space like a coffee shop, the library or an airport is a wonderful modern convenience, but it comes with significant risk.  Fraudsters have come up with a number of ways to steal information from you or attack your computer while you are on public Wi-Fi. It is never safe to assume any privacy on public Wi-Fi, even when prompted for a password. Keep your surfing safe when on public Wi-Fi …

Arming a home or business security system

— 8/3 SCAM ALERT Do you have a sign for a home security system in your yard? Then be wary of this summer scam. Fraudsters will hire college students to troll through neighborhoods looking for houses with security system signs in their yards. 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. …

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 …