Details for AARP - Ad from 2023-03-15

Just like the Groundhog says, winter isn’t going away This year Social Security payments are being boosted by anytime soon. That fact has many of us looking for a warm the biggest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in more than getaway this spring, but beware: scammers could be 40 years, and beneficiaries aren’t the only ones looking lurking on the other end of that sweetheart spring break to cash in. Social Security impostor scams are among the deal. These three tips will help you spot a potential travel most reported scams each year and criminals are already scam. seeking to use the COLA boost to their advantage. First, be wary of any deal that is dramatically lower than The Social Security Administration (SSA) has reported that what else is available at your destination. Next, verify the scammers have been contacting people claiming that they legitimacy of online travel sites by looking closely at the have to pay a fee or share personal information in order web address – scammers often “spoof” legitimate hotels to receive the higher payments. The truth is that COLA and third-party booking sites. Finally, don’t trust anyone adjustments happen automatically. who requests a wire transfer or prepaid gift card to pay for The best way to fight back against Social Security impostors your getaway – these are the payment forms preferred by is to remember that SSA will not contact you out of the blue. today’s scammers. Any unsolicited call claiming to be from Social Security is Don’t get left out in the cold this spring, be a fraud fighter! likely to be fraud – especially if they ask for personal or If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. financial information or payment. For many fraud victims, the financial toll is only part of the story; nearly two in three victims suffer a significant health or emotional impact, according to research by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Banking has changed quite a bit thanks to the internet. While many people still prefer the brick and mortar experience when dealing with their money, today you can do many of the same functions online and over the phone. Criminals are cashing in on these remote transactions by impersonating banks. To address this reality, the AARP Fraud Watch Network and Volunteers of America (VOA) developed a free program to provide emotional support for people affected by fraud. AARP VOA ReST, which stands for Resilience, Strength and Time, features small groups whose participants are led in discussion by one or more trained peer facilitators. These online, hour-long sessions help to re-establish trust, integrate your experience and build back your resilience despite a difficult and painful occurrence. Discussions are confidential and you are welcome to attend one session or several – it’s your choice. Experiencing a scam can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to define you. Visit to learn more about the free program and register today. Remember, you are not alone. These scams start with a phone call, email or text that appears to come from your financial institution. These spoofed communications carry urgent warnings about problems with an account or transaction and direct you to click a link or call a given number. The first defense against these types of banking scams is knowing that a reputable bank will not contact you out of the blue and ask for sensitive information. If you get a phone call, text or email saying there is a problem with your bank account, don’t engage. Instead, contact your bank in a way you know to be legitimate (a phone number on a statement, for example). By verifying the official number before calling you will know for certain that you’re talking to the legitimate institution and if there is a problem, they will help you address it. Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360 to report a scam or get help if you’ve fallen victim.