Although people over age 65 make up only an eighth of the U.S. population, they constitute as many as a third of all scam victims. The reasons for this disproportionate vulnerability may be related to memory loss, loneliness and a more trusting nature. Scammers approach their victims by phone, by mail and by e-mail, and scams can involve identity theft, insurance fraud, investment fraud, credit card charges, phony lotteries and fake sweepstakes.
Learn how to use available resources to help get others to check their credit reports, remove their information from untrustworthy call lists and mailing lists and shred their unneeded personal documents.
This Fraud Fighters Do It Yourself (DIY) toolkit was created for you to help family, friends and neighbors educate themselves on the risks of consumer fraud. By following a few simple steps, you can help take action and minimize the incidence of fraud.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network (www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork) is a great resource for staying up on con artists' latest tricks and finding out what to do if you - or a family member, friend or neighbor - is victimized.
STEP 1: GET STARTED - SELECT THREE FRIENDS OR NEIGHBORS
Choose three friends or neighbors or family members you plan to assist. (Of course, you can help as many as you would like, but three is a great starting point.)
STEP 2: REVIEW THE "TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION"
You can copy and forward this tip sheet (below) or print and share it with a family member, friend or neighbor. You may even want to offer to help put their names on the Do Not Call list; to post a simple “I am not interested” script by their phone; and/or to stop unwanted pre-approved credit offers from coming their way. You can always print more copies.
STEP 3: REVIEW THE "TIPS FOR STOPPING AND SPOTTING INVESTMENT FRAUD" BELOW
Share and offer to review this tip sheet (below) on how to spot and stop investment fraud with family, friends, or neighbors. You can always print more copies for other acquaintances.
For more information on fighting fraud, visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
STEP 4: FIND OUT ABOUT SHREDDING EVENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Community shredding events help citizens prevent fraud at the most basic level by safely destroying documents such as old credit card and bank statements, which often contain individuals’ personal identifying information. Offer a ride to others who cannot drive or who need help carrying the heavy paperwork, so they can safely get rid of documents (rather than throwing them in the trash where thieves can find them).
STEP 5: INSPIRE OTHERS ON CREATE THE GOOD
KEEP UP THE GOOD!
Visit Create The Good for a wide range of opportunities to use your life experience, skills and passions to benefit your community.
How can you help your family, friends and neighbors protect their personal information? Here are some tips you can give them:
How can you help your family, friends, and neighbors choose safe ways to invest? This checklist is your answer to helping spot and stop investment fraud.