Earlier this month, AARP Pennsylvania headed to the heart of Philadelphia’s Chinatown to promote the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which raises awareness about fraud and offers resources for consumer protection. AARP sponsored the Chinatown Night Market Yé Shí, a lively night consisting of food, arts & crafts, and entertainment. The event, hosted by Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, gave AARP the opportunity to speak to hundreds of visitors about fraud and consumer protection. AARP volunteers drew people to the AARP PA table, as well as ventured out into the crowd, to engage over 500 people in discussion and sign up 200 individuals for the Fraud Watch Network.
Roughly 80 percent of Chinese Americans 50+ indicated a need for consumer fraud protection, according to a 2013 study conducted by AARP.
Mary Bach, pictured left, spoke to guests at the Ocean City Restaurant on October 9, 2015 about fraud protection.
AARP also hosted a bilingual event at the Ocean City Restaurant in Chinatown where guest speaker, Mary Bach, gave a presentation that included consumer tips and what to look for to avoid fraud. Bach, a nationally recognized independent consumer advocate, serves as chair for the AARP PA Consumer Advocates Task Force and has spoken out against fraud on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over 150 individuals signed up for the Fraud Watch Network to learn about resources for protecting yourself and your family from unwanted scams and fraud attempts. The Watchdog Network delivers the latest information on scams right to your inbox, supplies prevention tips, resources from fraud experts and access to people who have gone through scam experiences who can provide a personal prospective on what to watch out for and how to recover.
There are many different types of fraud, such as investment fraud, online fraud, romance scams, identity theft and many more.
Here are a few tips that can help you protect your money and information:
- Always be on the alert for warning signs. If something doesn’t sound right, make sure that you don’t give any information.
- Do your research! If a person or company call you asking for money or information, a quick online search could help you identify if it is a scam or not.
- Shred documents that contain personal information – this includes bank statements, bills and tax forms.
- Close inactive accounts and actively monitor your current accounts – scammers will often target inactive accounts.
- Don’t carry your social security card! Even just exposing the last 4 digits of your social security number can put you at risk for fraud.
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