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Jun 1, 2023

Help Stop Summer Season Scams

Sponsored Content provided by Rosalie Calarco - Associate State Director, Coastal Region, AARP

Summer has finally arrived, but the beginning of beach season inevitably brings weight loss scams with it. Criminals take advantage of the season to offer bogus solutions for losing weight or getting in shape. Here’s how these scams generally work. 

A web search on weight loss pulls up legitimate-looking websites often with supposed celebrity endorsements. The websites often encourage you to sign up for a free trial — which, if you read the tiny print, opts you in to getting charged for regular orders or additional products. Lastly, the products themselves, often marketed as “natural” or “organic,” can be unsafe for your body.

Living and eating healthier are laudable goals but take time and commitment. Don’t trust offers that promise “fast results” or “miracle” products. If you are looking to slim down, seek advice from a trustworthy source, such as your doctor or a dietitian, before you commit to a weight loss regimen.
 
Artificial Intelligence Scams

We have also been hearing a lot about AI lately. Scammers are adept at manipulating the latest technological advances to commit their crimes. These days it’s happening in the world of artificial intelligence – commonly known as AI.

AI voice cloning is already bringing a new twist to scams that have been around forever. For instance, the grandparent scam calls now can feature the actual voice of the loved one the criminal is impersonating. These tactics are startling, but the ways we protect ourselves haven’t changed.

The first sign of any fraud attempt is when an unexpected contact causes an immediate emotional reaction – often fear, panic, or excitement. Maybe training our brains to disengage when we feel that emotional surge could be the best way to disrupt the criminal act.

Otherwise, stay updated on the latest fraud tactics by bookmarking www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. And know that anytime you are asked to address some urgent financial matter with a gift card, cryptocurrency or peer-to-peer payment app, it’s a scam.

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

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork  or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.

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