COURIER LIFE, APRIL 15-21, 2022
Free Resources to Help Consumers
Avoid Risk of Identity Theft
The best way to fight fraud is to stay
informed and be alert. Knowledge gives
you the power and tools to help others.
AARP New York’s commitment to helping
you fight fraud is evident in the many
events we host, both virtual and in-person,
around the state—from shredding trucks to
webinars that connect you with experts.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network equips
you with reliable, up-to-date insights,
alerts, and fraud prevention resources to
help you spot and avoid scams and protect
your loved ones. And you are not
alone if you’ve been targeted by scams or
fraud. Fraudsters have become even more
sophisticated and persistent. But a little
know-how can go a long way.
Trained fraud specialists are also available
to provide support and guidance on
what to do next and how to avoid scams in
the future. The AARP Fraud Helpline, 1-877-
908-3360, is free and available to anyone.
You can also sign up to receive biweekly
“Watchdog Alerts” to learn how scams
work and how to avoid them. Or, sign up
for our Watchdog Alerts by texting FWN to
AARP ReST: Emotional Support for Fraud
For many fraud victims, the financial toll
is only part of the story; nearly two in three
victims suffer significant health or emotional
impact, according to research by the
FINRA Investor Education Foundation. 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.
These online, hour-long sessions help
re-establish trust, integrate your experience
and build back your resilience despite
a difficult and painful occurrence.
Discussions are confidential. Visit aarp.
org/fraudsupport to learn more about the
free program and register today. Remember,
you are not alone.
Here are some tips and resources you
can tap to empower yourself:
If someone close to you is scammed, it’s
important to react with empathy. Don’t
blame the victim. Instead, help them file
complaints, deal with their financial institutions
and work with law enforcement to
catch the culprit.
Keep an eye on your accounts for anything
suspicious. If you see something that concerns
you, contact your bank or credit card
company immediately. If you lost money,
you can also contact your local police department.
Credit Report Freeze
Monitor your credit reports. To order free
copies of your reports from the three major
credit bureaus, go to annualcreditreport.
com or 1-877-322-8228.
If you suspect fraud, you should freeze
your credit reports. Scammers can open
credit card accounts, bank accounts, and
loans in other names. A freeze restricts
access to credit reports and prevents new
accounts from being opened. You’ll create
a PIN, which is needed to lift the freeze before
you can open any new accounts.
Here are the companies:
• Experian: 1-888-397-3742,
P.O. Box 9530 Allen, TX 75013,
• Equifax: 1-800-685-1111,
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374,
• Trans Union:1-888-909-8872,
P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA19016,