As we prepare to mark National Consumer Protection Week from March 4-10, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (OAG) and AARP Pennsylvania want to share ways you can protect yourself and your family from scam artists and criminals looking to rip you off.
Too many Pennsylvanians become victims of fraudulent telemarketers and a wide variety of scams. In fact, research shows someone’s identity is stolen online every three seconds.
To help you keep telephone scammers at bay, OAG operates the state’s Do Not Call list. Telemarketers are required by state law to remove phone numbers of consumers on the Do Not Call list from their telephone marketing efforts. You can sign up at www.attorneygeneral.gov/DoNotCall or by calling 1-888-777-3406. To further reduce unwanted calls, you should also sign up for the separate Federal Do Not Call list at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
The OAG takes the Do Not Call list very seriously. In the last year, OAG has investigated 15 companies for violating the law. In one case, OAG entered into a settlement agreement that resulted in affected consumers receiving $100 each.
Of course, the best way to avoid these criminals is by learning how to spot a scam. Scammers do not obey the Do Not Call list, so you need to be vigilant and be on the lookout for scams. You can beat the con artists at their own game by joining the AARP Fraud Watch Network. It’s free of charge, open to people of all ages and you don’t have to be an AARP member to join. When you sign up, you’ll get:
You can also receive alerts from OAG. You can sign up at www.attorneygeneral.gov/Alerts. There are also free apps for iPhone and Android to help you receive alerts and submit anonymous tips.
Finally, if you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam, OAG is here to help. We encourage you to report scams to local law enforcement and file a complaint online by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling our Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555. We will investigate potential scammers, and also track those reports to look for patterns; when we see a pattern, we will send out a warning so that others can protect themselves.
That’s because we both believe when it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon.
The post PA Attorney General & AARP Help You Avoid Scams During National Consumer Protection Week appeared first on AARP States.
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