AARP Fraud Watch Network: Contractor & Home Repair Fraud, Digital Delivery Scams, Medicare Scam Prevention, Enter AARP Connecticut’s “Shred Fraud” Sweepstakes & More

Posted on 05/17/24

Spring has sprung and with warmer weather comes home repairs. Unfortunately, shady contractors are out there looking for homeowners in the market for spring repairs. Contractor fraud and home improvement scams can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and leave them with shoddy workmanship, unfinished projects, or even damage to their homes. Scammers often target older adults, but anyone can fall victim to these scams.

With Contractor Fraud Awareness Week happening from May 20-24, here are three things to know to stay safe from a home improvement rip off:

  • Make sure to shop around. Don't settle for the first contractor you encounter. Get multiple estimates and ask for references before hiring anyone.
  • Never pay the full cost upfront. Reputable contractors typically require a deposit, but not the full amount prior to starting the job.
  • Resist responding to a solicitation at your door, on your phone, or online. Be proactive in your search for a reputable contractor.

Digital Delivery Scams
If you’re like many Americans, the arrival of a package at your doorstep is a common occurrence. In the age of digital shopping, it has become harder than ever to keep track of what is coming when and from whom. This new reality has led directly to the rise of the digital package delivery scam.

These scams start with a text message claiming that your package has been kept on hold because of an issue with your address, insufficient postage, or nobody was home to receive it. This type of impostor scam will claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS or FedEx delivery, to name a few, and will include a link to a website that looks legitimate.

Once there you’ll be asked to verify personal information like your address or login credentials or pay a postage or delivery fee. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans reported $330 million in theft from text scams in 2022, more than double the reported losses from the year before.

To avoid these scams never click on links or call phone numbers from random text messages. If you think there is an issue with a package you’ve ordered, go directly to the retailer or shipper’s website and check for yourself.

Medicare Scams
Government programs are often the target of criminal scammers and Medicare is one of the biggest ones. Thankfully, a nationwide network of Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers often sees these scams first and warn others. Here are three scams they are seeing in 2024: 

  • False billing for diabetes treatment has been seen on Medicare summary notices of people who don’t have diabetes and didn’t receive a related device. This is one example of how crooks charge Medicare for services not provided. To guard against this, check monthly Medicare statements carefully and report any false charges.
  • Free products are another common Medicare scam, however the product you receive – if you get anything at all – is usually cheap and inferior. Only share your Medicare number with your healthcare providers, and not with someone offering “free” products or services.
  • Lastly, free genetic testing is once again a trending Medicare scam. This often happens at health fairs where a scammer will offer a free genetic test that only requires a cheek swab and your Medicare number. Medicare rarely covers genetic testing, and this is just a ploy to get your Medicare number.

AARP Connecticut “Shred Fraud” Sweepstakes
Shred fraud! Enter AARP Connecticut’s “Shred Fraud” Sweepstakes for a chance to win an 11-quart, picnic style Igloo Cooler and Amazon Basics Cross Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office Shredder to prevent sensitive documents from getting into the hands of scammers. The AARP Connecticut sponsored sweepstakes will be open and accepting entries until Sunday, June 30, at 12 a.m. Entries must be received during this time and the first person drawn randomly will be the prize winner.

*** The official sweepstakes entry form can be found here ***

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States/District of Columbia. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Only one (1) entry per individual. Official sweepstakes rules can found here.

Fighting Fraud with AARP Connecticut Webinars
As part of a continuing effort to provide ways to protect people from becoming victims of scams, in February AARP Connecticut launched the free Fighting Fraud with AARP Connecticut bimonthly webinar series. The remaining 2024 schedule includes virtual events on June 28, August 30, October 25, and December 20. All webinars are on the fourth Friday of the month and begin at 12 p.m. Find details about this webinar series, as well as AARP Connecticut’s other free in-person and virtual events at

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Explore other free online Scam Prevention classes. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

This story is provided by AARP Connecticut. Visit the AARP Connecticut page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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