4 States

— The AARP Fraud Watch Network was recently debriefed by the Office of the Acting Inspector General (OIG) of a new telephone scam that is becoming more prevalent by the day. Scammers are spoofing the Social Security Administration’s 1-800 number (which means they make it appears on your caller ID as if the actual federal agency is calling you) in order to get you to provide vital personal information. HOW IT WORKS:  The OIG advises that scammers are spoofing caller IDs …

4 States

— Scammers pretending to be from computer companies rely on successful tech support scams to steal your money, gain access to your computer and personal information, or both. HOW IT WORKS  You get a call or see a pop-up message on your computer warning that you have a virus (the caller will claim to be from Microsoft, Apple or another well-known tech company). They convince you to provide remote access to your computer so they can show you the ‘problem’ – …

4 States

— All charity scams are deplorable, but those pretending to raise funds to support our nation’s veterans are particularly shameful. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission, along with state charities regulators, announced a major takedown of fake veteran charities. AARP is hosting the FTC for two hour long national telephone townhalls on the subject today at 9:10 am CT / 8:10 am MT and 1:00 pm CT / noon MT. If you’d like to listen in, dial 877-229-8493 and enter 13907 …

4 States

— There are plenty of reputable contests and sweepstakes out there (including some from AARP), and let’s be honest, winning feels great! But there are questionable characters out there too, who are trying to hook you on winning and reel in the profits for themselves. HOW IT WORKS: You have to pay a fee to collect your winnings;You’re told you’ve won a prize but: You have to wire money to a well-known company to insure delivery of the prize; You have …

4 States

— With the tech support scam, you get an online popup or a call from a well-known tech company (like Microsoft or Apple) saying that a virus has been identified on your computer. The scammer convinces you that he can fix the problem for a fee. Victims who catch on and stop payment are now getting hit with an associated scam. HOW IT WORKS:  You cancel payment for the fake tech support you purchased only to receive an official-looking letter from …

4 States

— A law passed in 2015 requires Medicare to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. Beneficiaries will begin to receive their new cards in May, and the rollout will continue into 2019. This is a good move, since Social Security numbers are the key to identity theft, and having them displayed on Medicare cards has long presented a risk. Unfortunately, scammers have come up with ways to take advantage of this change. HOW IT WORKS:  Scammers claiming to be from …

4 States

— A surge in television, radio and internet ads from law firms and lawsuit marketing companies is causing some patients to take serious risks. While “opt-in” notices are required for law firms bringing class action complaints, the rhetoric of these ads have frightened some patients into stopping critical life-saving medications without consulting a healthcare practitioner. WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR:  These ads use terms like “medical alert”, “consumer alert”, “FDA warning” or “recall” and warn about the risk of death and …

4 States

— Scammers are now going to the Social Security Administration website and setting up “my Social Security” accounts for workers that are of retirement age in an attempt to steal their retirement benefits. People age 62 and older face the highest risk from this scam! HOW IT WORKS:  Scammers get ahold of personal information, like Social Security numbers, and head to www.ssa.gov to open a “my Social Security” account in their victim’s name. They apply for benefits – requesting a lump …

4 States

— Lately, it seems that you can’t go one day without hearing about the tremendous gains (and losses) of Bitcoin and other popular “virtual currencies.” While high returns make them intriguing as an investment, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) wants you to be aware of the possible risks associated with investing or speculating in virtual currencies. The following information is straight from the CFTC. What You Should Know:  Virtual currency is a type of unregulated digital money that is used and …

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 …