It's 'National Slam the Scam Day'
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Today is National Slam the Scam Day, created to heighten public awareness of scammers who impersonate agencies.
A scammer behind a telephone call or email could claim to represent the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Medicaid, or a law enforcement officer to trick people into giving up their money or personal information.
Amy Nofziger, director of fraud victim support for the AARP Fraud Watch Network, said although the impostors are evolving their tactics, their goal is unchanged.
"Even criminals posturing as FBI or DEA agents, all to scare and trick their victims into handing over their hard-earned money," Nofziger explained.
According to the FBI's most recent Elder Fraud Report, people over age 60 in Indiana reported losses in 2021 of nearly $19 million. Government impersonation is joined by tech support, lottery and confidence or romance schemes as the most frequent types of scams.
The Elder Fraud Report noted more than 1,500 Indiana seniors who lost money to scammers, but authorities acknowledged many cases go unreported, and people of any age can be targets.
Traditional mail and the internet are the tools fraudsters still access to confuse and threaten people, mostly demanding money or asking them to provide confidential information.
Nofziger pointed out there are indicators to help identify the bogus inquiries.
"Look for misspellings or poor grammar," Nofziger suggested. "Legitimate companies take pride in their work and their graphics, and they certainly will not have misspellings in any of their documentation. And that goes the same for any email you might receive."
She urged anyone who feels they have been scammed to report the incident, either to local law enforcement or to the trained specialists at AARP's Fraud Watch Network. Call 877-908-3360 or visit their website at aarp.org/fraud.
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