—     Is Your Identity up for Grabs? Hardly a month goes by without hearing of another data breach exposing our personal information to hackers and potential identity thieves. These breaches affect millions of individuals: Equifax – 145 million, Target – 110 million, Uber – 57 million, Home Depot – 53 million, and the list goes on and on.  In fact, experts say very few of us haven’t been affected. Worse still, identity thieves may be sharing and selling your …

— Just after filing taxes is a good time to shred old documents to keep them from falling into the hands of identity thieves. More than 3,600 Alabamians filed complaints of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in 2017. As part of Operation: Stop Scams, a nationwide series of events in April, the AARP state office is sponsoring free shredding events. Cities, dates and locations include Montgomery, on Friday, April 13, 7 a.m.-noon, at Garrett Coliseum; and Florence, Saturday, April …

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— The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is experiencing a big uptick in complaints that scammers pretending to be the FTC are calling, emailing, texting and faxing. The scammers are claiming that either the targets have won a big prize or that they are in trouble and have to pay delinquent accounts. In fact, the Department of Justice recently announced that two scammers impersonating the FTC were found guilty of bilking victims out of more than $10 million. Know that the FTC …

— The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is experiencing a big uptick in complaints that scammers pretending to be the FTC are calling, emailing, texting and faxing, and are either claiming the targets have won a big prize or that they are in trouble and have to pay delinquent accounts. In fact, the Department of Justice recently announced that two scammers impersonating the FTC were found guilty of bilking victims out of more than $10 million. Know that the FTC does not …

— 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 …