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AARP AARP States Maine Scams & Fraud

Consumer Sentinel 2020 Report

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The numbers are in. The Federal Trade Commission released its report of fraud complaints from last year, and it was historically high, due in large part to COVID and the economic downturn. Criminals thrive in times of confusion and 2020 was the perfect storm. Staying on top of COVID related scams was a never-ending game of whack-a-mole for consumers, and the problem hasn’t gone away.

Reported losses topped $3.3 billion – an increase of around $1.5 billion over the previous year. The top scams were identity theft, impostor scams and online shopping scams. Most of these same scams are still active in 2021, which is why it’s important to avoid answering calls from unknown phone numbers or clicking on links from texts or emails from suspicious or unknown senders.  And as long as COVID remains a challenge, beware of offers for miracle cure or a shortcut to a vaccine.

 Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. 

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

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