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— A law passed in 2015 requires Medicare to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Beneficiaries will begin to receive their new cards in May, and the rollout will continue into 2019. This is a good move, since Social Security numbers are the key to identity theft, and having them displayed on Medicare cards has long presented a risk. Unfortunately, scammers have come up with ways to take advantage of this change. HOW IT WORKS:  Scammers claiming to be from …

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— What’s the best way to protect yourself from con artists’ latest tricks? Learn how a scam works. What’s the best way to do that? Go to the source. AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale, known for his bestselling book-turned-blockbuster movie, Catch Me If You Can, has worked on fraud prevention for more than four decades with law enforcement, financial institutions and corporations. Now he is co-hosting AARP’s new podcast series, “The Perfect ScamSM.” Will Johnson, former Discovery Channel podcast host …

— Join our series of online Q&A sessions to learn how to avoid them. Stay Safe from Common Scams Part 1: IRS Imposter Scam — Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 6 – 6:30 p.m. CT Part 2: Medicare Card Scam — Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6– 6:30 p.m. CT Ads & Scams — Trends, Tips and Tools from the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 12 – 1:00 p.m. CT Fraud and scams seem to be everywhere these days. Take steps …

4 States

— Every two seconds in the US, someone’s identity is stolen, resulting in tens of billions of dollars landing in the pockets of con artists and other unsavory criminals. AARP South Dakota is warning our members to be extra vigilant as tax season comes to a close. South Dakotans filed more than 3,200 consumer complaints of fraud and identity theft last year, 33% of which were employment or tax-related.   The AARP Fraud Watch Network is helping you take steps to protect yourself and …

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— A surge in television, radio and internet ads from law firms and lawsuit marketing companies is causing some patients to take serious risks. While “opt-in” notices are required for law firms bringing class action complaints, the rhetoric of these ads have frightened some patients into stopping critical life-saving medications without consulting a healthcare practitioner. WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR:  These ads use terms like “medical alert”, “consumer alert”, “FDA warning” or “recall” and warn about the risk of death and …

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— Scammers are now going to the Social Security Administration website and setting up “my Social Security” accounts for workers that are of retirement age in an attempt to steal their retirement benefits. People age 62 and older face the highest risk from this scam! HOW IT WORKS:  Scammers get ahold of personal information, like Social Security numbers, and head to www.ssa.gov to open a “my Social Security” account in their victim’s name. They apply for benefits – requesting a lump …

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— Lately, it seems that you can’t go one day without hearing about the tremendous gains (and losses) of Bitcoin and other popular “virtual currencies.” While high returns make them intriguing as an investment, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) wants you to be aware of the possible risks associated with investing or speculating in virtual currencies. The following information is straight from the CFTC. What You Should Know:  Virtual currency is a type of unregulated digital money that is used and …

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— As we enter tax-filing season, it pays to be aware of the signs that point to possible tax identity theft. HOW IT WORKS Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your Social Security number to file a fraudulent tax refund or to get a job. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW  If the IRS receives a duplicate tax return filing using your Social Security number, you will receive a written notice through the mail. Likewise, the IRS will send a notice if …

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— Massive data breaches, a major Medicare card scam, new forms of phishing: there were lots of big scam stories from this past year, but also, hope for some scam victims. Take a look back with us: The Equifax data breach. A staggering 143 million Americans had their information compromised. This doesn’t mean you are automatically a victim of identity theft, however, vigilance is key. The best way to protect your identity is to monitor your credit reports. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get …

4 States

— December is a critical month for charities to raise money. In fact, nearly one third of annual giving occurs in December. Scammers are well aware of this and are out in full force looking to line their own pockets as the year draws to an end. South Dakota Attorney General, Marty Jackley “encourages South Dakotans to continue to give to those less fortunate, but to follow these precautions to ensure [the] donation is going to the cause for which it is …