Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds? The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family. Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks. It’s free of charge for everyone: AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is:
- An Educator: Get real-time alerts about the latest scams, tips on how to spot them, and the inside scoop on how con artists think so you can outsmart them before they strike.
- A Watchdog: Our nationwide scam tracking map gives you access to a network of people who’ve spotted scams and the opportunity to pass along your own experiences, so together we can beat con artists at their own game.
- A Resource: Get connected to a real live person trained in how to avoid fraud and advise you if you or a loved one has been scammed by calling our fraud hotline or attending a forum in your community.
- Free for Everyone: Anyone, of any age, can access our resources at no cost.
SCAM ALERT #1:
Every November we celebrate Veterans Day and this year is especially meaningful as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. In a shameful twist, scammers see honoring veterans as a perfect time to call across the country pretending to represent charities benefiting our nation’s heroes. Scammers often use sound-alike names (or invent authentic “organizations”) to solicit funds. Before donating, verify each charity by checking their names and reputations at give.org or www.charitynavigator.org. This Veteran’s Day, we should be honoring our veterans, not lining the pockets of scammers who use their name so disrespectfully.
SCAM ALERT #2:
Medicare Open Enrollment runs through December 7th, and it’s a banner time for Medicare fraud. Beware of ads that promise medical equipment covered 100% by Medicare. You may see one in the newspaper offering a free power chair, or a TV infomercial claiming you can get anything to ease your pain with no money out of pocket. Medicare only covers durable medical equipment that is medically necessary with a doctor’s prescription. If you have any questions about what is or is not covered, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Your local Area Agency on Aging can also review available Medicare plans during Open Enrollment to see what will work best for you and help you sign up.
SCAM ALERT #3:
Even though we are still several weeks away from tax season, scammers are hard at work trying to scare you into paying back taxes and other IRS “penalties” all year round. If you receive a call saying something like “Urgent! We found that fraud was committed on your last tax filing which you are hiding from the Federal Government,” please hang up. Scammers are very good at making you feel you did something wrong, especially when they pretend to be from the IRS! Remember to STOP and VERIFY. Call the IRS yourself at 1-800-829-1040 and you will soon see that the call you received is a scam. To report an IRS impersonations scam, visit this IRS site.
SCAM ALERT #4:
With holiday season upon us, scammers have plenty of inroads to steal our money and event he gifts we send. Here are some ways to protect yourself: When shopping online, use well-known sites and type in the web address yourself, instead of clicking on a link. Buy gift cards online from the retailer or from the cashier, to avoid compromised cards that may be sitting on gift card racks. Require a delivery signature for packages to avoid the possibility of holiday packages being stolen from the recipient’s doorstep. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more tips on enjoying a scam-free holiday season.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.