December 14, 2017

AARP Massachusetts Monthly Fraud Watch Update for July 2017

Posted

Editors, please feel free to use the following scam alert updates weekly or as a package as needed during the month of July. Going forward, these updates will be provided monthly.

Background:
Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds? The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family. Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks. It’s free of charge for everyone: AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is:
An Educator: Get real-time alerts about the latest scams, tips on how to spot them, and the inside scoop on how con artists think so you can outsmart them before they strike.
A Watchdog: Our nationwide scam tracking map gives you access to a network of people who've spotted scams and the opportunity to pass along your own experiences, so together we can beat con artists at their own game.
A Resource: Get connected to a real live person trained in how to avoid fraud and advise you if you or a loved one has been scammed by calling our fraud hotline or attending a forum in your community.
Free for Everyone: Anyone, of any age, can access our resources at no cost.
Scam Alert #1:
If you have a sign for a home security system in your yard, be wary of this summer scam. Fraudsters will hire college students to walk through neighborhoods looking for houses with security system signs. The student will tell the homeowner the security company is going out of business, and the student’s “company” is taking over the account. The homeowner is told she has to buy new equipment and sign a new contract. Only the equipment is fake and the homeowner is paying for a service she isn’t receiving. If you get this kind of visit, check first with your home security company. Better yet, don’t do business with someone who comes unsolicited to your home.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.
Scam Alert #2:
Caller ID spoofing is making its way to phones near you. Scammers have mastered calling people using a fake name and number that will pop up on your phone. The call will seem urgent; for example, it could concern something like an account that is about to be cancelled unless you immediately give your bank information or credit card number for payment. Never give out personal information via an incoming phone call. You never know who is actually on the line.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.
Scam Alert #3:
We are in prime time for home repair scams. A common tactic is a “contractor” will come to your door and offer to do work on your home at a steep discount. He or she will likely demand payment upfront and then disappear. Or they will do the work but it will be shoddy, or they will demand more money to finish the job. Avoid working with contractors who contact you. Before you start any work, ask for references and check them, get a written estimate and compare bids. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. And never pay anything until you have a written contract.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.
Scam Alert #4:
Using public Wi-Fi puts you at risk of sharing personal information with criminals. If you’re on free public Wi-Fi at the gym, a hotel or a coffee shop, anyone else on that same network can tap into the information you’re transferring over the network. This means any bad guy can see what you’re doing, leaving passwords, usernames, and account numbers vulnerable. Stick to browsing the web and checking news when on public Wi-Fi. Avoid online banking, checking email, making credit card purchases or even posting on Facebook while on public Wi-Fi.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

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