— Since April, new Medicare cards have been hitting mailboxes to combat fraud. The new cards replace the Social Security numbers with a Medicare number unique to each member. Though removing Social Security numbers is a step in the right direction to fight identity theft, con artists have been using this change as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting Medicare members. Con artists may try to coerce you into providing information through the phone. There have been several instances of …

— This week, AARP Texas is putting a spotlight on consumer protection. Unfortunately the issue of fraud hits close to home for many Texans. A recent federal government report says reports of fraud and other consumer problems were more common in Texas than in most other states in 2017. The Federal Trade Commission said in a March report that its Consumer Sentinel Network last year collected roughly 206,000 reports from Texas residents of fraud and other consumer protection problems, the latter of …

— As tax time approaches, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Texas are joining in efforts to help Texan taxpayers avoid criminal imposters who aim to defraud them.  The problem is serious, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting that tax fraud ranked second in 2017 in types of identity theft reported, as over 82,000 reports were made last year.  But a new poll from AARP, which surveyed 1,005 Americans by phone, reveals that people may have a false sense of security, …

4 States

— AARP Texas has joined forces with the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for Operation Protect Veterans — a campaign to warn those who have served in the military about scams and fraud schemes that target veterans. The major educational campaign will reach out to veterans in communities across Texas and nationwide. The goal of Operation Protect Veterans is to educate and protect veterans from losing money to con artists. A new AARP survey reveals that …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) has been presented a Texas Legislative Leadership Award from AARP Texas, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization for older Texans. Hancock, who chairs the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, sponsored major legislation during the regular session to help combat elder financial abuse and surprise medical bills. The bills, backed by AARP, have been signed into law by the governor. A bill Hancock …

4 States

— Hurricane Harvey had barely stopped howling and Houston was still flooded when officials began hearing complaints of fraud targeting victims of the monster storm’s fury. Dismaying reports of $99 cases of water and $20 gallons of gasoline are among the 684 complaints of scams, including ones involving fraudulent charities, to reach the Texas attorney general’s office within four days of Harvey’s landfall. Gov. Greg Abbott condemned the crimes as “reprehensible” and “unTexan,” and he said the long road of storm …

4 States

— The threat posed by Hurricane Harvey remains extreme, and Texans should continue to heed the warnings of local officials and emergency personnel. The safety and security of everyone is a top priority for AARP. Harvey’s effects on Houston, the Texas coast, and many Texas communities are likely to be long lasting and varied. There are ways to help the victims of the massive storm. These local government sites have updated information: Houston: http://www.houstonemergency.org/ Corpus Christi:  http://www.cctexas.com/ San Antonio:  http://www.sanantonio.gov/ Austin: …

— The following is a statement by AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson applauding the passage of HB 3921 by the Texas Senate today, a measure which would improve the reporting of financial exploitation targeting older Texans and would give new tools to banks and securities firms to place a temporary hold on suspicious transactions. Jackson said: “The Senate today has joined the House in taking an important step to protect vulnerable adults from becoming victims of financial fraud and abuse. We …

— Retirement should be a time of peace and relaxation, not one of struggle and financial worry. And when retirees seek advice regarding retirement investments, they should expect their professional advisors to give prudent guidance that keeps their best interests in mind. But low- and middle-income Texans currently lack adequate protections with their retirement savings. The previous administration updated and strengthened a Department of Labor fiduciary rule to require financial advisors to act in clients’ best interest rather than their own. …

— Texas Appleseed and AARP today released five “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides, a toolkit for financial caregivers in Texas who manage money or property for those unable to do so for themselves. This interactive series of guides, in English and Spanish, is available in print and online at www.ProtectTheirMoneyTx.org. Nearly 3.5 million unpaid family caregivers in Texas provide a great labor of love by helping their parents, spouses and others manage their financial affairs – but they often lack the …