—   by Kristin Keckeisen of the AARP Fraud Watch Network Massive data breaches, a major Medicare card scam, new forms of phishing: there were lots of big scam stories this past year, but hope for some scam victims. A look back: The Equifax data breach. A staggering 143 million Americans had their information compromised. Though this doesn’t mean you are automatically a victim of identity theft, vigilance is key, and the best way to do that is to monitor your …

— As we enter the holiday season, it pays to be vigilant to avoid scams or slip-ups that could put a damper on your celebrations. Here are some ways to keep your holidays happy. Beware of deals. Be wary of those too-good-to-be-true deals, especially those that show up as links on your social media feeds. Check out reviews, search the retailer’s name with “scam” to see what comes up, and if it’s a retailer you already know and frequent online, go …

—   An 84-year-old widow called the AARP Fraud Watch Network after accepting a free trial offer for skin cream she had seen a famous personality touting on television. She had no idea she needed to cancel after receiving the free trial. She was sent more product at a cost of $200 and is fighting to return the product and get her money back. Here’s information from the AARP Fraud Watch Network to help you spot and avoid this type of …

—   Free public Wi-Fi, available at places like airports and coffee shops, are convenient, but can be risky. How It Works: Scammers monitor commonly used Wi-Fi network names, and set up their own “evil twin” access points in hopes your computer or device will automatically connect to it without your consent. Or they launch a “man in the middle” attack, by hacking in between you and your Wi-Fi connection. Their goal? To grab your emails, credit card numbers, and passwords. …

— Learn simple steps to increase your online security Are you an easy target for online hackers or scammers? By learning some simple steps to secure your phone, increase your online safety and recognize scams, you reduce your risk of becoming the next victim. That’s why it’s a smart move to attend AARP’s Online Safety Workshop. In this live, one-hour online event, you’ll be guided by your workshop host as you learn the latest in online safety. You’ll also learn about …

— At AARP, we’re serious about wanting to help consumers fight identity theft!  That’s why we’re teaming up once again with Fox 13 News and Shred-It to offer free shredding events, this time in both Midvale and Ogden on Saturday, July 15 from 8:00am–11:00am. This event is open to the public, regardless of age or AARP membership.  Shredding sensitive financial documents and other materials that contain personal information will prevent thieves from using these data to open false accounts or lines …

— The AARP Fraud Watch Network brings fraud-fighting efforts to consumers nationwide in “Operation: Stop Scams” — a month-long series of events in communities coast-to-coast, as AARP state organizations sponsor more than 150 free local events in nearly every state and the District of Columbia from Friday, April 14, through Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Utah’s event will be in Orem on Saturday, May 6 at Mountain View High School from 9:00am—Noon in the East Parking Lot.  Consumers can bring up to …

— Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a doctor, and cashed millions of dollars in fraudulent checks.  In case you didn’t read the bestselling book–spoiler alert–he got caught, and his exploits were depicted in the blockbuster movie Catch Me if You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. For over 40 years, Frank W. Abagnale has advised the FBI on how to outsmart con artists.  He is one of the world’s most respected …

—   From Kristin Keckeisen of the AARP Fraud Watch Network Our Fraud Watch Network Help Line has been fielding lots of calls about the “Say Yes” scam. News reports have warned that a fraudster will call and ask a question to get the victim to say yes. The scammer records that affirmation to use it to authorize unwanted charges to a phone bill, utility bill, or even a stolen credit card. While many people report that they are getting calls …

— by Kristin Keckeisen AARP Fraud Watch Network As part of National Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide are joining forces with federal agencies to highlight the dangers of tax identity theft and recovery steps for victims. To register for the free webinar on February 2 at 2 pm EST, click here. How it Works: Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information for a fraudulent refund or to earn wages. It can …