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AARP Arizona Expanding Fraud-Awareness Program

PHOTO: AARP Arizona is looking for volunteer presenters for its Community Educators Program. They’re looking to expand the program in western and northern Arizona. CREDIT: AARP
PHOTO: AARP Arizona is looking for volunteer presenters for its Community Educators Program. They’re looking to expand the program in western and northern Arizona. CREDIT: AARP
February 25, 2014

PHOENIX - Arizona is the number-one state for identity theft, and AARP Arizona is looking to expand its fraud-education program beyond Maricopa and Pima counties. That Community Educators Program relies on trained volunteers to make presentations to communities and organizations.

According to AARP's Arizona associate state director David Parra, the Fraud Watch Network presentations help consumers identify and avoid that problem and several others.

"Investment fraud, gold coin scams, free lunch scams, oil and gas scams. There's other common scams, fake checks, check support scams, disaster-related charity fraud," he recounted.

Volunteer presenters also are available in metro Phoenix and Tucson to speak on Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network features a website, FraudWatchNetwork.org. Those who sign up there will receive regular fraud alerts for Arizona and other states.

Those include "monthly alerts about common scams, fraud, and also tips on what to do to avoid being victimized, and also resources on where to go if they have been victimized," Parra said.

There will also be the opportunity to share personal stories about fraud with other website visitors.

AARP Arizona is looking for volunteers to expand its fraud-awareness presentations to places such as Yuma, Prescott and Flagstaff. Parra said the extensive training begins with a three-hour session.

"They take the training, then we give them some time to digest the information. And then we have practices where they literally practice delivering the presentations," as he described the process. "And then they are accompanied by a trained presenter when they do their first one."

If you'd like to request a community presentation or volunteer to be a presenter, contact the AARP state office at 1-866-389-5649, or online by email at aarpaz@aarp.org.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ