With the need to protect yourself from identity theft and scams never more important, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming, AARP Wyoming, and the Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) are collaborating to offer a free presentation on the tech support scam at 12:30 p.m. on April 26.
The presentation is available to the public at no cost online by visiting: https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/815983397. For those without the ability to watch on your computer or internet-enabled device, the presentation is available by phone by dialing 1-646-558-8656. After your call is connected an operator will ask you for a meeting ID for this presentation. At that point, dial in: 815 983 397
US Attorney Mark Klaassen and Assistant US Attorney Eric Heimann will offer the presentation, which should take around 45 minutes, before answering questions. According to Klaassen, a tech-support scam typically begins with a message popping up on your computer or tablet asking you to call a toll-free number or follow a link for technical support, and urges you to do so immediately.
If criminals get you to call, they will pretend to work for a software company, computer manufacturer, cable or satellite provider, online bank, or GPS software company. They will falsely tell you of any urgent electronic threat (like a virus, malware, or hacking) that requires you to act immediately or risk losing personal data. From there, the criminals may immediately ask you for money to repair the phony problem with their worthless services. Often, they will ask for payment by gift card, or wire transfer.
This is the first collaboration between The Department of Justice, AARP Wyoming, and WyCOA around the subject of fraud, though it is a subject each prioritizes. The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming are committed to investigating and prosecuting elder fraud in general, and technical-support schemes in particular. The Department and its federal law enforcement partners recently announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history. The sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the world who victimized more than two million Americans. In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused over $750 million dollars of alleged losses.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network was launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. The website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, an interactive scam-tracking map , fun educational quizzes, and video presentations featuring renowned security expert Frank Abagnale . Users may sign up for “Watchdog Alert” emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling.
The presentation will be streamed live to 10 senior centers across the state where it can be viewed for free. Senior Centers interested in hosting the series may contact WyCOA for directions on how to stream the video by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Thus far the list of senior centers who will be showing the presentation include:
- Pine Bluffs Senior Center
- UW Family Medicine Residency Program
- Campbell County Senior Center
- Hot Springs Senior Citizens Center
- Eppson Center of Laramie
- Natrona County Meals on Wheels
- Epsilon Health Solutions of Casper
- Central Wyoming Senior Center
- Primrose Retirement Community of Casper
- Help for Health Hospice House