What do scammers have up their sleeve?

Posted on 06/04/20

Home-improvement-scams.jpg

Check out our June scam alerts from the AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Home Improvement Scams

With economic recovery checks arriving in bank accounts, scammers are lurking trying to separate recipients from their needed financial resources. One way this is happening is shady contractors showing up at people’s front door offering to fix their roof or driveway at a discounted price. These scams usually start with a deep discount and a down payment and then the friendly contractor disappears.

Beware of contractors who say they stopped by because they just happen to be in your neighborhood. And always get at least three bids and check references.

Do Me a Favor Scam

The current “new normal” of so many people working from home has opened a wide window for scammers. They are taking advantage of so much work and decision-making being conducted by e-mail.

One such scam involves a “boss” emailing to ask an employee to help purchase gift cards, and once purchased, to share the information on the cards. It’s only later the employee realizes that the boss’s email address was spoofed, and the money is long gone. There are variations on the theme, and a recent episode of AARP’s The Perfect Scam podcast shares how this happened to Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran.

Travel Scams

Summer has arrived and people are starting to venture out. With lots of pent up energy and a need for a good deal, travel scams are booming. So remember, as you search for savings on lodging and flights, keep a sharp eye out for deceptive offers and outright scams that could cost you a bundle. Common scams include lookalike websites for airlines and popular travel companies, emails offering free flights but requiring credit card information or click to links that download malicious software.

To ensure a safe summer getaway, be wary of hotel or airline deals that are just too good to be true and be on the lookout for websites with odd spelling or grammatical errors, which indicate it may have been created by a scammer in a foreign country.

Avoiding Health Care Scams

Fraudsters follow the headlines, taking advantage when an outbreak like coronavirus, Ebola or swine flu makes global news. Until there is a readily available treatment and vaccine for this outbreak, we can expect these scams to continue.

Be skeptical of claims made for untested or little-known health products and closely check email and web addresses in messages purporting to be from major health organizations like the CDC and WHO. Most importantly, never give out your Medicare or health insurance information to anyone other than your trusted health care providers.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork 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.

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

More from AARP in Lincoln

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Lincoln
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW