— Wisdom may come with age, but that doesn’t mean older people don’t fall victim to scams. AARP Arkansas offers Fraud Watch Network presentations to help people learn how to spot and avoid the latest schemes. Topics include identity theft, cybersecurity, medical scams and investment fraud. Arkansans reported 17,818 complaints of fraud and identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in 2016, with debt collection ruses leading the list. Scammers often target older people because they are likely to have a …

— By Ray Huard Nikki Symington got several phone messages from someone purporting to be an IRS agent, who said she owed back taxes and threatened her with fines or jail if she didn’t pay up. “Even though my husband said it was a scam, you still worry, so I called,” said Symington, 74, of Borrego Springs. “I left my number, and somebody called back and said I owed $4,000.” She hung up, but the fake agent called her several more …

— Even alert consumers can get scammed, especially as the digital age has expanded opportunities for fraud. Frank Abagnale knows the tricks and will be in Little Rock on Tuesday, Nov. 14, to offer tips on how to stay safe. Abagnale was once a con artist whose exploits were later portrayed in the 2002 hit film Catch Me If You Can. For 40 years, he has advised the FBI and major corporations on how to avoid fraud. As AARP Fraud Watch …

— You get a call from someone who says they’re from the IRS, and you owe back taxes. But do you?  A pop-up on your computer warns your machine is infected and you need immediate technical support.  Should you be worried?  You get a call: “Grandma, I need money for bail.” But is it really your grandchild?  “Imposter fraud” occurs when a scammer poses as someone they’re not in order to steal your money. These types of scams have reached epidemic …

— By Andrea Atkins Muriel Norman thought it would never happen to her. But when a caller claiming to be from the Social Security Administration told her that her monthly checks would stop unless she provided key personal information, she complied. “I know Social Security doesn’t call people,” said Norman, 91, of Manhattan. “I said that to the man on the phone. But he said, ‘We mailed you something and you didn’t respond, so we’re following up with a phone call.’ …

— The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported that scammers are creating fake websites that look like known and trusted news sites to sell “brain booster” pills. How it Works:   Scammers use the fake sites to post bogus articles about the pills with endorsements from people like Stephen Hawking and Anderson Cooper (neither has endorsed any such product). The site then links you to the sales page for the “brain booster” pills where you can place an order with a …

— Each year, the Federal Trade Commission releases a data book on scams as reported to the agency in the prior year. This year’s report shows that imposter scams are a serious and growing problem. These scams come in many varieties but work the same way. A scammer pretends to be someone trustworthy, like a government official or computer technician, to convince the consumer to send money. For those who lost money to this scam, the widest reported method of payment …

— By Jill Gambon Dennis Hohengasser’s home computer had a virus and he worried he might lose files. A hasty internet search for Micro­soft tech support turned up a long list of links, so he clicked on the one at the top. But instead of reaching Microsoft, he ended up contacting a business that preyed on people seeking computer help. “I just wanted them to fix it,” said Hohengasser, 67, a retired training and staff development professional from Taunton. He gave …

— By Dana E. Neuts Barbara Torrison got the shocking call last November. It was her granddaughter, the caller said, and she was in jail in the Dominican Republic after a car accident. Torrison quickly wired $3,700, then eagerly awaited a call that her granddaughter was all right. Two days later, she called her granddaughter—who hadn’t left the country. Torrison, 71, realized she had been scammed and filed a police report. “The story was plausible, and I believed what the caller …

— That all-inclusive vacation—is it too good to be true? How about the charmer you met online who professes love and then asks for money? Consumer advocate and AARP volunteer Mary Bach is sharing her expertise through a web-based video series called Outsmarting the Scammers. AARP Pennsylvania produces the videos, and Bach delivers no-nonsense advice on how to avoid classic scams as well as new ones. Pennsylvanians reported more than 80,000 cases of fraud to the Federal Trade Commission in 2015. …