— 2/21 SCAM ALERT It’s tax season which means that scammers want your refund! When you file your taxes, keep your Social Security number safe. Don’t put sensitive documents in your mailbox or leave them unattended in your car. If you file online, use a secure site and don’t transmit sensitive info via wifi, particularly in a public place.  Have all your tax documents? File early to beat the cons.   For more tips on staying safe during and after tax …

— AARP Maine is proud to sponsor the Maine Jewish Film Festival’s presentation of the documentary Big Sonia on Sunday, March 11 at the Nickelodeon Cinemas in downtown Portland. The 93-minute film will be introduced by AARP Maine and will be followed by a discussion with Leah Warshawski, who co-directed the film with Todd Soliday. Ms. Warshawski is also the granddaughter of the film’s subject. Described in a Hollywood Reporter review as “engaging and thoughtful,” Big Sonia proves that good things …

— Taxpayers Should Protect Data All Year Round Guest Blog by Christine Footit, Senior Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service Eight Steps to Keep Online Data Safe Anyone with an online presence can do a few simple things to protect their identity and personal information. Following these eight steps can also help taxpayers protect their tax return and refund in 2018: Shop at familiar online retailers. Avoid unprotected Wi-Fi. Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails that pose as a trusted source. Keep a secure …

— Did you know? This Maine law can help protect your identity – for free! Even with a data breach such as the reported by Equifax in 2017, turning on a credit freeze can minimize damage from the data theft. Each of us has a credit report (or credit “file”) which compiles our credit history – bank loans, credit cards mortgages, etc. – into one place.  This credit report is used by banks and lenders to determine our worthiness as borrowers. Before buying a …

— 2/14 SCAM ALERT It’s Valentine’s Day, and time to watch out for the “Sweetheart Scam” targeting people on dating websites.  Be careful about what information you reveal on social networks. On dating sites, take extra care.  If someone asks for money – particularly money that must be wired or provided by a credit card – it is probably a scam.  Beware what you share.  This Valentine’s Day, we want Cupid’s arrow to strike your heart, not your wallet. Be a …

— 2/7 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 …

— Join our online Q&A sessions for tools for keeping your 2018 healthy resolutions all year What are your healthy goals for 2018? Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want a new fitness plan? Do you want to focus on better sleep? No matter what your healthy goals are—or whether you’ve even set them yet—you can learn about how to get on track and stay on track. Join our live, two-part Q&A sessions: Staying Healthy in 2018: How to …

— In January of each year, over 200 dedicated AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers in Maine train and pass tests to become IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Then, from February 1 through April 15, these same volunteers staff over 70 Maine locations where they prepare and electronically file both federal and state income tax returns. This free, no-strings-attached service is available to all low- to moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those 50 and over. Find a site nearest you by entering your …

— 1/31 SCAM ALERT As tax filing season gears up, be on the lookout for the IRS imposter scam. You get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, saying you owe a specific amount in taxes, and may threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay immediately. Know the IRS will never call and demand immediate payment without first sending a notice through the mail. Nor will the IRS ever ask for credit or debit cards over the …

— 1/24 SCAM ALERT Tech support scams happen over the phone and online. Typically, the goal of the scammer is to take control of your computer remotely, tell you that you have viruses that can be fixed for a fee, then get you to fork over your credit card number. If you get a tech support call out of the blue, hang up. Also, avoid clicking on pop-up notices that say you have a problem with your computer. If you are …