AARP SCAM ALERT: Impostor Scams
November 9, 2020
Older North Dakotans are receiving unexpected phone calls offering them a plastic chip card to replace their paper Medicare card. Of course, the calls are a scam to get them to give up personal information. It’s just one of many impostor scams that continue to evolve and find new victims.
Impostor scams are exactly what they sound like— crooks pose as someone else to try to convince you to send them money.
Impostors pretend to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration or other government agencies. Impostor scams go beyond government to encompass romance fraudsters and tech support. Con artists impersonate people and organizations you would ordinarily trust, such as your bank, a utility company, or a charity.
Their message is usually urgent. A bill is overdue. An account has been compromised. A computer is infected. A cause needs your support. A grandchild is in trouble. Some impostors pretend to be bearing good news— you’ve won a lottery and claiming the prize is a simple matter of paying an upfront fee to collect it, or providing personal data such as a Social Security or bank account number.
If the person contacting you asks for payment by wire transfer, gift card, prepaid debit card or cash, it’s a scam.
Hang up on unsolicited callers. And don’t give callers sensitive information such as a credit card number or your Social Security number unless you’re sure of whom you are dealing with.
Don’t allow remote access to your computer to someone who calls out of the blue offering tech support. Don’t rely on caller ID to determine if a call is legitimate. Scammers use spoofing tools to make it appear they are calling from a genuine government or business number.
If you think you have fallen victim to any type of scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 for guidance and support, or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at http://www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork