— By AARP Pennsylvania State President Joanne Grossi As AARP Pennsylvania’s state president, I have the privilege of helping shape strategic priorities, building community partnerships with key decision makers and serving as AARP’s spokesperson in Pennsylvania. That means I’m fighting for you and your family on issues that matter most. I’m very proud to be part of a team of talented AARP staff and dedicated volunteers working at the state capitol and in communities statewide.  I wanted you to know our …

— 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 …

4 States

— 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 …

— 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 …

— 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 …

— 1/10 SCAM ALERT Phishing is when scammers try to trick you into sharing sensitive information. They typically send legitimate-looking e-mail messages from what appears to be a bank, federal agency or service provider requesting that you “verify” personal information. Now that people are catching onto email phishing, scammers have branched out to texting – banking on our tendency to respond immediately to a text message. Whether it’s through your smartphone or instant messaging on a social media site, be wary …

— AARP North Carolina joined Attorney General Josh Stein and State Representative Jason Saine (R) Lincolnton, when they introduced a proposal to strengthen North Carolina’s laws to prevent data breaches and to protect affected victims. The Attorney General and other state law enforcement officials have been part of AARP’s efforts to protect North Carolinians from fraud and scams that target older adults. “Last year, more than 5.3 million North Carolinians were estimated to have been affected by a data breach,” said …

—   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 …

— Thanks to the Internet, researching your family tree is easier than ever. But since these sites are a goldmine of personal information, scammers are trying to trick people with lookalike pages or legitimate-looking free sites. Be wary of sponsored ads that appear to feature well-known genealogy websites – even if the advertised link looks legitimate. It is very easy to change the name of links to appear that they are coming from a reputable source.   Before signing up to …

— 12/13 SCAM ALERT Are you buying gift cards this holiday season? Consider this. Thieves hit store gift card racks, secretly write down or scan the numbers off the cards, then check online or call the toll-free number to see if someone has bought the cards and activated them. As soon as a card is active, the scammers drain the funds. By the time your gift recipient tries to use the card, the money is long gone. Advice from fraud expert …