Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Free September AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Scams and Financial Column
By Sentinel News Service
Published September 25, 2017




Scammers across the country are calling Social Security beneficiaries, claiming they are due a cost of living increase. They just need to verify your Social Security number and bank routing information, along with other personal information. Then, the scammers contact the real Social Security Administration to try to change your direct deposit to their bank account. If you get a call like this, hang up!


Do you use a smartphone?  Do you have a passcode?  Over a third of all smartphone users do not take this simple security step, leaving themselves vulnerable to identity theft and fraud should their smartphone get lost or stolen. Make your password difficult to guess, avoiding a sequential string like 1-2-3-4. Use a mix of numbers and letters if your smartphone allows it.


Look out for fake genealogy sites on the Internet. These scam sites pull information from public databases to make it look like they have lots of information about you and your lineage. They lure you into signing up so they can steal your personal information – and your identity. It’s a good idea to research the site before you sign up. Do an internet search on the site name with “reviews” and “scams” and see what comes up.



Tired of illegal robocalls? Report them to the Federal Trade Commission, which is doing something about them. The agency is posting a list of numbers it gets complaints about daily, along with the general subject matter. Then telecommunications carriers and other industry partners can use this information as they work on call blocking solutions, because those solutions rely on phone numbers that have been reported. The next time you get an unwanted robocall, report it at

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 for more information on fraud prevention.

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