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AARP AARP States Massachusetts Scams & Fraud

AARP Massachusetts Fraud Watch Network update: August 2021

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.  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 for more information on fraud prevention.

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If you’re trying to squeeze in a summer trip before Labor Day, it’s buyer beware when hunting for that last-minute deal. Great travel deals can be found online but you can also find scammers looking to put your travel dollars into their pockets.

Crooks set up look-alike travel websites in hopes you will book with them rather than your intended company. And just because the link showed up when you searched “travel deals” doesn’t mean it can automatically be trusted. Scammers often buy paid promotions for their bogus travel sites so they appear high up in search rankings.

Before hitting ‘confirm’ on that deal, make sure you really know whom you are doing business with. Be skeptical of any cut-rate hotel or airline offer that seems too good to be true. And, always pay with a credit card, which offers more protection than other forms of payment.

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Raise your hand if robocalls have finally stopped ringing your phone day and night. None of you? No surprise there. Despite industry and regulatory efforts to rid our phone lines of unwanted calls, they nevertheless persist – and many are outright scams. One of the more common scam calls involves car warranties.  

These scam calls typically start as a pre-recorded robocall (just like this one we pulled from the Federal Communications Commission’s website), and the message directs you to press a key to speak to a specialist or stay on the line.  Thanks to social media and data breaches, scammers may even have information on your car’s make and model to make it seem legitimate.

While extended warranties might be a sensible investment for some, it’s a product that you should research rather than react to, and only with verified and trustworthy sources.

Mixed race mother and daughter using laptop together


Social media is an all-too-popular avenue for spreading scams among “friends.” Criminals hijack someone’s social media account and share a “great offer” to everyone on the target’s contact list.

The hot ‘offer’ these days involves government grants – whether it’s free money for college tuition or loan repayment, to pay household bills, or some other made up story. But here’s the thing (actually, two things). First, the government grants billions of dollars a year – but to institutions, not to individuals. Second, you’ll learn there’s a “processing fee” that you have to pay upfront. When you hear that, all signs point to a likely scam.

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Did you know that if you are aware of a specific scam, you are 80% less likely to engage with it, and if you do engage, you’re 40% less likely to lose money or sensitive information? A great way to share what you know to protect others, and to learn more to better protect yourself, is to visit the AARP Scam-Tracking Map ( You can explore scams being reported in your geography and submit scams you’ve heard about or encountered. We’re all in this together – let’s share what we know so the next target doesn’t become the next victim.

Mature businesswoman working remotely and having video call with colleagues


The COVID pandemic brought countless things into our lives that we were just fine without. However, a few things - like working from home - actually made life a little easier for many. However, with more businesses returning to in-person activities, some workers are looking for new jobs with work-from-home options. That’s something scammers are looking to take advantage of with fake job offers. 

Work-from-home scams can promise jobs with medical billing, data entry or starting an online business, but they all require paying something up front.  Once you start paying, the requests for more money for training or supplies never stop and in return you get a lot of useless information or requests to recruit more people into the scheme.

There are genuine work-from-home jobs out there. The trick is knowing how to spot the real opportunities in a sea of empty — and costly — promises.

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

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit Click here or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.

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