Talk fraud this holiday season

Posted on 12/06/23

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The holidays are a time when friends and family of all ages gather together, share updates on their lives and recount cherished memories. One thing to add to that list this year: a conversation on how to stay safe from fraud.

We know that scammers target people of all ages. Last year 40% of all scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission were from people under the age of 40, and victims over the age of 60 lose the most money to scams on average. So we are all vulnerable to these criminals, and we could all use a little help and guidance. Here are two fraud topics to talk about with your family this holiday season.

What is a question, story or phrase that no one other than your close family would know? Scams targeting parents and grandparents are only becoming more believable with the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, but no matter how realistic a voice may sound it won’t know this private memory or password. Passwords are another critical topic. We all have so many passwords that it’s hard to keep straight. This leads many to choose simple passwords or use the same one repeatedly. A quick chat about how you choose and protect your passwords could save someone you love a lot of money.

Lastly, be willing to share. Too many victims of fraud suffer in silence because they are ashamed to admit what happened to them. The truth is that scammers are sophisticated criminals and for victims sharing their story is the best way to protect others and get the support they need.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.

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

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