— 1/3 IMPORTANT ALERT If you were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union, you may be eligible to get at least some of your money back. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice came to a $586 million settlement with Western Union last year. If you sent money through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer, you may be eligible for a refund. Visit www.ftc.gov/wu or the Maine Attorney …

— In the wake of the Equifax data breach, volunteers trained to help consumers avoid scams are prepared to speak to community groups in Nebraska. Thousands of residents reported fraud and identity theft complaints to the Federal Trade Commission in 2016. These presentations offer a way to fight back. The volunteer Fraud Fighters describe recent scams and explain the techniques that con artists use. To schedule a presentation, email neaarp@aarp.org or call 866-389-5651 toll-free.

— In the wake of the Equifax data breach, volunteers trained to help consumers avoid scams are prepared to speak to community groups in North Dakota. Thousands of residents reported fraud and identity theft complaints to the Federal Trade Commission in 2016. These presentations offer a way to fight back. The volunteer Fraud Fighters describe recent scams and explain the techniques that con artists use. To schedule a presentation, email aarpnd@aarp.org or call 866-554-5383 toll-free.

— Wisdom may come with age, but that doesn’t mean older people don’t fall victim to scams. AARP Arkansas offers Fraud Watch Network presentations to help people learn how to spot and avoid the latest schemes. Topics include identity theft, cybersecurity, medical scams and investment fraud. Arkansans reported 17,818 complaints of fraud and identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in 2016, with debt collection ruses leading the list. Scammers often target older people because they are likely to have a …

— Building on the success of its previous fraud prevention efforts, AARP Minnesota is recruiting volunteers to expand the AARP Fraud Watch Network into rural parts of the state. Volunteers receive training to learn how Minnesotans can protect themselves from the latest scams. They may observe or team up with more experienced speakers as they learn. They also participate in monthly calls to stay up to date. The workshops include recordings from FBI sting operations, so participants can hear con artists …

—   by Kristin Keckeisen of the AARP Fraud Watch Network Massive data breaches, a major Medicare card scam, new forms of phishing: there were lots of big scam stories this past year, but hope for some scam victims. A look back: The Equifax data breach. A staggering 143 million Americans had their information compromised. Though this doesn’t mean you are automatically a victim of identity theft, vigilance is key, and the best way to do that is to monitor your …

— Americans gave over $390 billion to charity in 2016. While government regulators say that most charities are legitimate, there are fundraisers that keep most of the money they raise. As you consider year-end giving, do your research. Check out charities at www.give.org or www.charitynavigator.org to make sure your money is going where it should and not into the pockets of scammers! Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud …

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— Massive data breaches, a major Medicare card scam, new forms of phishing: there were lots of big scam stories from this past year, but also, hope for some scam victims. Take a look back with us: The Equifax data breach. A staggering 143 million Americans had their information compromised. This doesn’t mean you are automatically a victim of identity theft, however, vigilance is key. The best way to protect your identity is to monitor your credit reports. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get …

— 12/27 SCAM ALERT Americans gave over $390 billion to charity in 2016. While government regulators say that most charities are legitimate, there are fundraisers that keep most of the money they raise. As you consider year-end giving, do your research. Check out charities at www.give.org  or www.charitynavigator.org to make sure your money is going where it should and not into the pockets of scammers! Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more …