December 10, 2018

AARP Massachusetts Monthly Fraud Watch Update for April 2018

Posted

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:
Medicare is sending out new cards to beneficiaries starting this month and running through April 2019. The new cards will no longer list the beneficiary’s Social Security number, making them much safer. However, the change gives scammers an opportunity. If you get a call purporting to be from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services saying you either have to confirm your Social Security number or pay for your new card, hang up. The new cards are free, and Medicare already has your Social Security number.
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:
As tax filing season winds down, be on the alert for the IRS tax scam. A caller, claiming to be an IRS employee, says you owe taxes and you face arrest if you do not pay immediately. Know that the IRS will not call to demand immediate payment without first sending you a notification by mail, will not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, and will not threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to arrest you for nonpayment. If you have any doubts, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
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:
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. The ads, using terms like “medical alert”, “consumer alert”, “recall”, or “FDA warning”, warn about the risk of death and other serious medical problems such as stroke, heart attack and cancer. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medications, or if you have questions or concerns about the medications you have been prescribed.
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:
Each year, the Federal Trade Commission releases a data book on consumer complaints and scams as reported to the agency in the prior year. The top complaint for 2017 was debt collections, followed by identity theft and imposter scams. The report reveals that younger people were more likely to become victims than people age 70 and older, but older victims lost a lot more money. Also of note – 70% of reported scams happen over the phone, suggesting that screening your calls is a good practice.
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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