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AARP fraud network helps avoid gift card scams

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Posted at 5:56 AM, Apr 08, 2021

AARP is helping people protect themselves from scams with its Fraud Watch Network.

According to AARP, scammers like to use gift cards because they're readily available and basically untraceable. Other popular scams include social security scams, IRS imposter fraud and romance scams.

Signs to watch for

  1. You’re directed to buy one or more gift cards — often referred to as “electronic vouchers” — as a quick means of making payment.
  2. You’re told to share the numbers on the back of the gift cards, by reading them off or sending a picture.
  3. The request comes from someone you wouldn’t expect to ask for money this way:
    1. A Social Security agent warning of a problem with your account
    2. A utility company warning of an imminent shutoff
    3. A lottery company promising a big prize — once you pay some fees upfront
    4. A grandchild needing bail or facing another financial emergency.

How to report a scam

Option 1: Report your encounter to the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360. You'll be able to speak to a fraud specialist and data from the Helpline will be shared with the Federal Trade Commission and used to identify trends and build cases against criminals.

Option 2: Report your encounter on the AARP Scam-Tracking Map. Your report will help warn others in your area.

Click here for more information from AARP on scams.