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Protect Yourself From Scams and Fraud

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AARP Fraud Watch Network

If you or a loved one suspect a scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network helpline at 877-908-3360. Visit aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork for more information and resources on scams and fraud.

AARP New Jersey Fraud Events

Elder Financial Exploitation Webinar: Is this the crime of the 21st century?

Join AARP New Jersey’s FREE webinar with nationally recognized fraud fighting authority, Paul Greenwood, on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. ET. REGISTER HERE.

Greenwood, a recently retired deputy district attorney from San Diego, will draw upon his 22 years of prosecuting elder financial exploitation crimes to provide tips on how we can all reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this growing crime. He will give examples of cases that he personally prosecuted and offer practical advice on how to try to stay safe from in person and online predators looking to steal our hard earned money.

In this hour-long webinar, participants will learn:

  • The definition of elder abuse and financial exploitation
  • Types of financial exploitation
  • Likely victims and perpetrators
  • What you can do to recognize and report it

Once you register, you will be sent a confirmation email with sign in details and a link to join the online Zoom meeting. Registration is required and space is limited, so please register today!

AARP New Jersey Fraud Fridays

Join AARP New Jersey's Fraud Friday conversations on Facebook Live at noon! We'll be discussing the latest fraud and scams in New Jersey and we'll provide tips on how you can protect yourself. You'll have the opportunity to ask questions live for our guests.

Previous Conversations:

  • Friday, June 5: Facebook Live with AARP's Fraud Watch Network's Seth Boffeli. Watch on YouTube here.
  • Friday, June 19: Telephone Town Hall with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Listen to the call recording here.
  • Friday, June 26: Facebook Live with the Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Watch on Facebook here or YouTube here.
  • Friday, July 10: Facebook Live with Karin Price Mueller, fraud expert and columnist for the Star-Ledger. We discussed the latest fraud and scams happening right here in New Jersey - including Labor Department impersonators on Facebook and tax season scams - and how you can protect yourself. Watch on Facebook here or YouTube here.
  • Friday, July 24: Facebook Live with U.S. Postal Inspector, Greg Botti. Inspector Botti has investigated a variety of criminal matters including revenue fraud, mail fraud and identify theft. Watch on Facebook here or YouTube here.
  • Friday, August 14: Federal Trade Commission's Rosario Méndez joins AARP New Jersey for a discussion on seed packets being delivered from China, romance scams and charity scams during the pandemic. Watch on Facebook here or YouTube here.
  • Friday, August 21: Charles Clarkson, Project Director of the Senior Medicare Patrol of New Jersey, discusses the best way to protect, detect and report Medicare fraud. Watch on Facebook here or YouTube here.
  • Friday, September 25: Director of Complaints & Investor Outreach at the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, Arlene Ferris-Waks, discusses investment fraud in NJ and how to protect yourself. Watch on Facebook here and YouTube here.

Inside the Mind of a Master Con-Artist: How to Protect Yourself Online

Brett Johnson built and ran the first organized cybercrime community and has even been coined, the “Original Internet Godfather,” by the United States Secret Service. Now, Johnson speaks across the world as a fraud expert, educating consumers on how to protect themselves and their loved ones from scams.

Brett Johnson was responsible for refining modern financial cybercrime as we know it today. After being placed on the United States Most Wanted List, captured and convicted of 39 felonies, Brett promptly escaped prison. Captured again, Brett served his time, accepted responsibility, and found redemption through his loved ones and the help of the FBI. Today, he is considered a leading authority on internet crime, identity theft, and cybersecurity. Brett speaks and consults across the planet to help protect people and organizations from the type of person he used to be.

On August 6, AARP hosted an event with Johnson where he revealed how he became a con-man, why he changed his ways and how you can protect yourself from cybercriminals. You can watch AARP's Facebook Live with Johnson here.

AARP New Jersey Hosts Telephone Town Hall on Coronavirus Fraud

AARP New Jersey hosted a toll-free Telephone Town Hall on ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from coronavirus scams and identity theft. Listen to the recording here to get the latest information about scams from AARP New Jersey and Karin Price Mueller, fraud expert and columnist for the Star-Ledger.

Protect Yourself From Scams this Tax Season

March is the middle of tax season, which means scammers are turning to tax schemes to target consumers. And with March kicking off with National Consumer Protection Week (March 1 - March 7) – now is an especially good time to review tips on how to protect yourself from fraud.

IRS Internal Revenue Service documents and folder.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides these reminders:

1. Communication Channels: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.

2. Payment: The IRS does not demand that you use a specific payment method, such as prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS will not ask for your debit or credit card numbers over the phone.

3. Threats: The IRS will not threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

4. Social Security Number: Scammers may pretend to be from the Social Security Administration and mention overdue taxes. The Social Security Administration will never call and ask for your Social Security number, and they won’t ask you to pay anything. Hang up if you receive a call threatening to suspend your Social Security number for an unpaid tax bill.

To learn more about tax scams and how to report a scam, visit the IRS page here.

For even more information on tax fraud, listen here to a recording from our Telephone Townhall discussion with the IRS. You’ll hear from two IRS experts who discuss how to avoid becoming a victim of tax fraud.

And remember: you’re not done once your taxes are filed and your return is received. It’s important that you protect your personal data and shred unneeded bank statements and information. This Kiplinger article details what you should shred, and what you should hold onto.

For more information on fraud, visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. Through the Fraud Watch Network, you can sign up to receive free biweekly Fraud Watch Alerts delivered right to your email inbox.

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