AARP issues fraud warning

Published 7:50 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe fraud has hit a crisis level, according to a new AARP Fraud Watch Network report.

The new report also highlights the methods criminals use to steal money, such as cryptocurrency, gift cards and peer-to-peer payment apps. The findings suggest the need for Americans to share what they know about scams with their friends and family. 

“Financial predators use a playbook to get us into a heightened emotional state,” said Kathy Stokes, AARP director of fraud prevention programs. “They know it’s hard to access our logical thinking when we are panicked, excited or scared. But knowing about specific scams makes it far less likely that we will engage with them.” 

Criminals often turn to atypical payment options in their scams like gift cards, peer-to-peer payment apps and cryptocurrency, because these forms of payment are processed quickly and cannot be reversed.

The AARP report showed one third of adults do not know it is a scam when someone directs you to use a cryptocurrency ATM to address some financial concern. In 2022 alone, the FBI says reported losses from fraud involving cryptocurrency reached $2.57 billion, a 183 percent increase from the previous year.