When it comes to scams and fraud, there is no single demographic of victims that criminals consider “off limits.”
There have been reported scams that have targeted military veterans and active duty soldiers, lonely individuals seeking companionship, the disabled, the elderly, families with school-aged children, and much more. There is no limit to the depths to which a thief will sink when it comes to stealing money, identifying information, or both.
Thankfully, groups like AARP are fighting back, though, specifically with its nationwide program called “Operation: Stop Scams.” This month-long initiative through AARP’s Fraud Watch Network will put on more than 150 events across the US, as well as hold “tele-town halls” and provide phone bank news updates that arm the public with knowledge and resources to spot a scam and avoid it.
Some of the in-person events will include shredding opportunities, which allow the public to shred their old papers and documents free of charge. This is to cut down on the physical theft of identifying information, either by criminals who seek out discarded papers or who steal them directly from the home. The phone bank information sessions and tele-town halls will alert people who’ve requested information to the latest updates in scams and fraud and work to provide educational resources.
April is also the annual observance of Money Smart Week, an organized effort that includes involvement from thousands of different agencies, all working towards the goal of protecting the public’s finances.
You can also Stay “scam aware” by signing up for the Identity Theft Resource Center’s TMI Weekly emailed newsletter.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App.