— One of the first cons to flourish on the internet, the “Nigerian prince” scam, also known as the “419” scam (named for the section of Nigeria’s criminal code dealing with fraud), has an ignominious history that long predates the digital age. Its roots go back to a notorious 19th-century swindle called the “Spanish Prisoner,” and the method of attack has progressed from letters and faxes to emails and social media. What hasn’t changed is the premise: The scammer poses as …

— Scam Alert 2/20: Tech Support Scams Computer viruses are scary, and scammers exploit this fear to gain access to your personal information. They do this by tricking you into thinking your computer or other device has been compromised, and that you need their help to fix the problem. The Federal Trade Commission notes that some scammers will pretend to be working for trusted or familiar software companies such as Microsoft. They may ask you to give them remote access to …

— The Internet can be a wonderful place to start friendships and relationships. Sometimes, this is done intentionally through dating sites or apps. Other times, it happens through social media or in a chat room. Fraudsters build trust through online relationships for the sole purpose of stealing money from victims. Scammers in these scenarios typically are quick to get their victims to continue their conversations through personal email, instant message or texting. Online dating scammers will be quick to profess love …

— We get it.  Discussing fraud prevention can lack excitement. But what if we threw in a little excitement:  Free drink, yummy appetizers, and cool prizes?  How about a trivia game to test your knowledge of identity theft, cyber safety, investment fraud and more? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Fraud on Tap, a brand new program designed to marry fraud trivia with happy hour!  Bring your friends and family and join other AARP members at Fraud on Tap, March 23 …

— Scam Alert 2/13: Work from Home Scams It is becoming more common for people to look for ways to supplement their income, and job listings for “work from home” jobs are becoming more popular because they are so convenient. Scammers already know this and they use this knowledge to target their victims. There are some easy ways to spot this scam early. If the “company” offers high pay for very little work, or doesn’t require any previous experience, it may …

— Scam Alert 2/6: Online Dating Scams Along with the rise in dating website use, there comes a rise in online dating scams. Scammers create fake profiles, build relationships with individuals through the dating site, and then attempt to steal their money and disappear. You can spot a con artist quickly by recognizing a few red flags: They might propose chatting offline or profess their feelings for you before getting to know you. They may offer to visit if you can …

— In recent years, gift cards have taken off in popularity. Unfortunately, scammers have a keen interest in gift cards, too – only for them, they are being used to pry money from you as a form of payment in their latest con. Scams that seek payment by gift cards take many forms, but often have a common theme. They may assert you neglected to pay taxes to the IRS and must pay immediately. You may receive a call from the …

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— New frauds and scams seem to crop up weekly.  Identity theft and other scams rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money.  Last year alone, Americans lost $18 billion dollars to fraud and scams.  In fact, every two seconds, a con artist steals someone’s identity. What tricks do con artists use to steal your money?  How can you outsmart scammers before they strike?  Beat the con artists at their game.  Check out this month’s scam alerts and don’t get taken …

— Online Dating Scams Along with the rise in dating website use, there comes a rise in online dating scams. Scammers create fake profiles, build relationships with individuals through the dating site, and then attempt to steal their money and disappear. You can spot a con artist quickly by recognizing a few red flags: They might propose chatting offline or profess their feelings for you before getting to know you. They may offer to visit if you can help cover travel …

— The Social Security Impostor Scam: This new scam burst onto the scene in the latter half of 2018. A caller claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) says there is an issue with your benefits and that you must provide personal and financial information to release your payment. If you have caller ID, the call may even appear to come from the SSA’s toll-free number. This is a scam. SSA does not operate this way and will typically only …