November 17, 2017

AARP Massachusetts Monthly Fraud Watch Update for November 2017

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 Annual Enrollment runs through December 7, and it’s a banner time for Medicare fraud. Beware of ads that promise medical equipment covered 100% by Medicare. Medicare only covers durable medical equipment that is medically necessary with a doctor’s prescription. Scammers are also taking advantage of the upcoming issuance of new Medicare cards – ones without your Social Security number on them. You don’t have to pay for the new card, which will start rolling out in April; don’t share your personal information from someone claiming to be from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and calling to “verify” your information.
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:
Veterans Day is prime time for bogus charities that like to claim they are benefiting our nation’s veterans. Scammers often use sound-alike names (or invent authentic “organizations”) to solicit funds. Before donating, check the charity’s name and reputation at give.org or www.charitynavigator.org. On Veterans Day let’s honor our veterans, and not line the pockets of scammers who use their name so disrespectfully.
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:
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs through December 15 (longer in some states that run their own exchanges). That makes it prime time for scammers to try to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Be wary of phone or email solicitations selling cheap health insurance that claim to meet all federal requirements. If you bite, you may end up without a plan, and with a tax penalty for not having qualifying coverage. Your best bet is to enroll or re-enroll by visiting healthcare.gov, where you can learn about ways to get help during open enrollment. You can also check with your Area Agency on Aging for help (www.n4a.org).
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:
Don’t give out your Social Security number over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call. You have no way of knowing who is on the other end of the line. For instance, some cons may call posing as officials from the Social Security Administration, asking you to confirm your number. Likewise, beware of providing your number to anyone who asks for it by email. Scammers will send an email that appears to be from your bank or credit card company to try to obtain sensitive information. Don’t fall for it!
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 #5:
Vehicles that get damaged in floods and hurricanes can be shipped across the country to be re-sold to unknowing consumers. If you are in the market for a used car, look for signs of flooding, such as water stains or fogged headlights and taillights. If you smell mildew, walk away. Do you smell disinfectant? It may be a sign of a mold cover-up. You can also check the vehicle’s history by typing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into a free database of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, at www.nicb.org.
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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