AARP Fraud Watch Network on the Move

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Today, someone’s identity is stolen every 2.8 seconds and $40 billion is lost to scammers each year. But there are actions you can take to protect you and your family.

Two crime fighting experts were at Noble on September 14 for a program entitled “The Con Artist’s Playbook” outlining the tactics these criminals use and offering guidance in protecting oneself.

Byron D. Peterson, left, is an AARP Executive Council member and the organization’s Connecticut lead volunteer, deploying AARP’s army of trained volunteers ready to offer advice in avoiding identity theft, investment fraud and other scams. He was joined by Mark Solomon, Detective with the Greenwich Police Department and U.S. Secret Service’s CT Financial Crimes Task Force Agent.

The recent Equifax security breach put the personal information of 143 million Americans at risk and cyber security in the news, but criminals intent on stealing others’ identities and money were a scourge before the Equifax mess and will continue to be.

The variety of scams out there is astounding: the gold coin scam, the tech support scam, disaster-related charity fraud, sweetheart scams, the foreign lottery scam and the grandparent scam, in which a scammer pretending to be a grandchild at risk in a foreign country calls and asks for money.

A few tips? Never give out personal information to anyone who calls you on the phone. Don’t buy anything “under the gun.” If an offer is only good if you buy immediately, the offer is no good. Beware of anyone promising riches in lotteries or sweepstakes or who tries to sell you an investment that will grow in value at a rate that is too good to be true. Because it is.

AARP has volunteers trained in how to spot and report fraud and information they can send you. Call the Fraud Fighters at 1-877-908-3360.

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