— Do you want to make a difference for others right where you live? AARP North Dakota is looking for people who are willing to present fraud and scam information to small groups and clubs in communities in your area. We’ll be conducting a training session on the AARP Fraud Watch Network on August 16 in Fargo. You’ll be provided with valuable, up-to-date resources and information to share with folks, helping to keep them from being scammed. Those attending the training …

—     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 …

— 6/13 SCAM ALERT BULLETIN BOARD: Concerts are especially popular during summer months. As a result, scammers have found a way to use this to their advantage. Make sure to always buy your tickets from a reputable source!  Be on the lookout for any ticket sellers that tell a sad story about why they can’t use their tickets, can only accept cash, want you to wire the money or transfer through a prepaid account, or who pressure you to act quickly. …

— 6/6 SCAM ALERT BULLETIN BOARD: Elder Abuse can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s estimated that older adults lose about $3 billion annually due to financial exploitation and abuse. The effects go beyond the checkbook; it can cause emotional distress, deterioration of physical health, and loss of independence. Only about 1 out of 14 cases are actually reported to authorities. If you suspect someone is being abused, please report it. June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Seniors, family members and …

— By Mary Westbrook  Carl Wilkins Jr. had heard of this scam before: A phone rings early in the morning, and a woman picks up. On the line, a young man sounds panicked. “Grandma, I’m in trouble. I need help.” The woman’s pulse quickens. She has three grandsons. She’d do anything to keep them safe. “Who is this?” she asks. “You don’t recognize my voice?” the man pleads. “I can’t believe this. I’m so scared.” She thinks of her youngest grandson’s …

— When a person is victimized by a scam, the victim is often portrayed as “falling for” something. This misses the part of the story of how skilled these criminals are at moving us to an emotional state, where our logical thinking takes a backseat. It also neglects how sophisticated many of these scams are. A fraud-savvy colleague and friend of mine recently became a victim of a credit card scam. Here’s how it played out. How It Works: A scammer …

— Leading Identity Theft Expert Frank W. Abagnale Comes to Virginia Beach in July to Teach Us How to Avoid Scams, Protect Families from Fraud           This free event is open to the public, but registration is required. You can register at  https://aarp.cvent.com/FrankAbagnale072818  or call 1-877-926-8300 VIRGINIA BEACH – For over four decades, Frank W. Abagnale has advised the FBI on how to outsmart con artists, and now he’s coming to Virginia Beach on Saturday, July 28 to …

—  by Kathy Stokes, AARP Fraud Watch Network There are plenty of reputable contests and sweepstakes out there (including some from AARP), and let’s be honest, winning feels great! However, there are questionable characters out there who are trying to hook you on winning to reel in the profits for themselves. How It Works: You’re told you’ve won a prize but: You have to pay a fee to collect your winnings; You have to wire money to a well-known company to …

— 5/16 SCAM ALERT Fake checks are featured in many types of scams, from phony prize winnings to bogus jobs. Scammers are good at making their bad checks look legitimate. The scams typically involve sending victims a check to cover a “processing fee” or similar “service”, asking them to deposit it, and then when cleared, asking them to immediately wire the money to a third party. Remember, a check can take weeks to clear.  Wait until you are certain, and the …

— 5/9 SCAM ALERT   Getting calls from debt collectors? They might be fake if the person is trying to collect on a loan you don’t recognize, asks you for sensitive information, or uses threats to try to scare you into paying. Tell the caller you won’t discuss the debt unless they provide a written notice that includes the debt amount, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Never give out or …