AARP warns of New Years’ frauds

Published 9:28 am Saturday, January 6, 2024

It’s New Year’s Resolution time. Time to make a commitment to be fraud aware in 2024. For the next 52 weeks, like clockwork, scammers will be on the prowl looking to steal our money or sensitive information. Instead of making one pledge this New Year make a resolution to remember these three words: stop, think and verify.

Criminal scammers need one thing to be successful. They need to get their victims into a heightened emotional state where they don’t take the steps they normally do before making a decision – many call this being in “the ether.” Once someone is either so scared or excited and motivated to take action quickly they can miss some of the typical warning signs of a scam.

This is where the three words can help. Before making any sudden decision involving money try and stop by disengaging from the call, text or email. Once you have pressed pause, think about how this situation or opportunity got put in front of you. Is it logical, does it make sense? And if you think it might be legitimate then verify it on your own by contacting the source through other means, not the phone number or link that was sent to you.

These three simple words could save you and your family a lot of money and emotional trauma in 2024. Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.