Email Michael Email
Insightful Discussions
Aug 30, 2021

September 2021 State Scam Alerts

Sponsored Content provided by Michael Olender - State Director, AARP North Carolina

The summer may be winding down, but when it comes to fraud and scams, things are still red hot. Here are some tips from the AARP Fraud Watch Network can help you steer clear of fraud.
 
ALWAYS WATCH OUT FOR IMPOSTERS
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this. Not even AARP.

Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). We are told the first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up.

We haven’t yet heard from anyone who lost money or sensitive information to these scam calls, but that could always change. Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, let us know by calling the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on our scam map (www.aarp.org/scammap).
 
BEWARE OF “SMISHING”
 
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing.
 
The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.
 
UTILITY SCAMS
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee.

Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.
 
 Michael Olender is the state director of AARP North Carolina. He was appointed this position after serving as Associate State Director for AARP in the Charlotte region and managing the work of AARP in communities across the state. Prior to North Carolina, Olender was the Associate State Director for AARP New York leading AARP’s work in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Prior to joining AARP in 2007 Mike worked as a community organizer in New Jersey on a variety of consumer issues including health care reform, affordable prescription drugs, utilities and other issues affecting New Jersey residents. A graduate from Rutgers University, Michael resides in Apex, North Carolina.

 
 
 

Other Posts from Michael Olender

Aarplogo 7132110945
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Ubs chadpearson headshotresized

The Three Dimensions Of Selling Your Business

Chad Pearson - UBS Decision Point Wealth Consulting
Natalieenglish headshot

MODERNIZE OUR DOWNTOWN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Jc300 dsc 2735

Did We Waste This Disaster?

JC Lyle - Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry

Trending News

Restaurants, Retailers Among 192 Businesses Receiving Pandemic Relief Grants

Staff Reports - Sep 22, 2021

Mayfaire Announces Opening Dates For New Stores

Cece Nunn - Sep 21, 2021

More Than 51 Acres Sell In Leland

Cece Nunn - Sep 21, 2021

New Restaurant Opening Saturday In Ogden

Justin Pope Williams - Sep 22, 2021

Custom Builder Moves Into New Office After Repurposing Former Church Building

Cece Nunn - Sep 23, 2021

In The Current Issue

Economist To Share Local Prognosis

“The way I’m thinking about the current situation is that it’s like taking a drug if you’re ill,” he said. “There’s the benefit in that it t...


Store Owners Share Basketful Of Hopes

Not only will it offer fresh, locally sourced meats, produce and dairy products, but the business will also have an open kitchen where baked...


MADE Winners: Supporter Business Category

Big Sky Shop + Studio is the winner in the MADE Awards Supporter Business Category....

Book On Business

The 2021 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100