AARP_FB_Ad_400x400_carAARP is mounting a local campaign to fight identity theft and fraud through its Fraud Watch Network.

Identity theft and other forms of fraud pose a serious threat in Idaho. Frauds and scams cause billions in loses every year.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is designed to give Idahoans access to information to help protect them and their families from theft and fraud. It’s free and open to everyone – members, non-members and people of all ages – and it allows people who sign up access to watchdog alerts about active scams in their area, resources to help them spot and avoid con artists latest tricks, and local events in your area to help protect you and your family.

The Fraud Watch Network contains valuable information about the way scammers think and how they target their victims. Researchers have analyzed hundreds of undercover fraud tapes and conducted many hours of interviews with convicted con artists and victims to determine how this crime happens. This research showed that they all use the same general strategies and tactics to swindle people.

In fact, more than $20 billion was stolen from about 13 million victims in 2012, according to the latest Javelin Strategy and Research reports on identity fraud. Older adults tend to be bilked out of about $3 billion every year.

“Whether it’s over the phone, through the mail, online or even at your door, scam artists are out there and they are looking for new ways to get you and your loved ones to open your wallets,” said AARP State Director Mark Estess. “We’re fighting back and offering Idahoans information, so they can protect themselves.”

What’s more, anyone interested in taking a more active role in fighting identity theft and fraud is encouraged to join the Fraud Watch Network in its effort to spread the word. Volunteers are being sought to work on this issue and conduct informational presentations. Call your state office at 208-855-4004 or the Fraud Watch Network at 877-908-3360 to sign up to volunteer. But you don’t have to volunteer to get access to all the great resources the Fraud Watch Network offers.

People who sign up as part of the Fraud Watch Network will receive timely alerts and notifications about new scams as they emerge, as well as information about what to do if you, or someone you know is victimized. Visit the Fraud Watch Network online here, or call 877-908-3360.

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