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AARP Montana Takes Aim at ID Theft: One of More than 150 Events Nationwide in AARP’s Annual “Operation: Stop Scams”

Operation: Stop Scams Community Shredding Event Scheduled in Helena on May 5

New Survey finds Most Agree on Importance of Shredding, but Almost Half Don’t Follow Through

OSS 2018

As AARP today launches its second annual “Operation: Stop Scams” -- a five-week-long series of more than 150 free document-shredding events and fraud education activities in communities coast-to-coast – a new AARP survey finds that almost half of consumers ignore experts’ recommendations to regularly shred their sensitive financial records.

In Montana, a community shredding event is scheduled in Helena on Saturday, May 5, 10 am – 1 pm at the Home Depot Parking Lot.

In AARP’s recent poll on tax fraud and identity theft issues, 80 percent of respondents agreed that shredding paperwork that contains Social Security numbers, birth dates and financial account numbers is “very” or “extremely” important. Yet, 34 percent admitted that they shred just “rarely” or “sometimes.” Twelve percent said they have never shredded such documents.

“With Tuesday marking the end of the tax-filing season, we’re reminding our members and others that it’s a great time to discard old financial documents. Our shredding event in Helena provides a convenient and safe way for people to destroy this sensitive paperwork,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “April also brings the personal finance awareness activities of Money Smart Week, so we’re excited to do our part with events to teach consumers to be smart about avoiding fraud and scams.”

More than 1 million pounds of sensitive documents were destroyed during “Operation: Stop Scams” in 2017. This year, consumers can find their closest local event at

Money Smart Week, April 21-28, is a collaboration between thousands of organizations across the United States that offer financial education programs designed to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. The FWN website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, an interactive scam-tracking map, fun educational quizzes, and video presentations featuring Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale. Users may sign up for “Watchdog Alert” emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling.

Abagnale, the renowned fraud expert whose personal story was depicted in the hit movie “Catch Me If You Can,” is also host of a new AARP weekly podcast series, “The Perfect Scam,” that launched this month.

Abagnale is scheduled to give a presentation in Helena on August 30 at 7:30 pm at the Helena Civic Center Auditorium. Watch AARP Montana’s “Upcoming Events” section of the website at for details.

Quick Glance Details:

WHAT: Operation Stop Scams Community Shredding Event

WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 10 am – 1 pm

WHERE: Home Depot Parking Lot
1801 E. Custer Ave, Helena, MT

WHO: Services are free and open to the public.

DETAILS: An on-site shredding truck will securely destroy your documents. Limit: 2 boxes per person please. Questions? Call 1-877-926-8300 or visit

Register here to receive a free copy of AARP's "The Con Artist's Playbook." This booklet has useful information to help you become familiar with the tactics used by scammers so that you can avoid becoming a victim. You'll be able to share the info with your family and friends!


About AARP Montana:
For over 40 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of the 50 plus. AARP Montana advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping Montanans live life to the fullest. Today, over 148,000 strong, AARP Montana is the largest membership organization in the state. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPMontana on social media.


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