Think fraud is an issue only other folks need to worry about? Think again. A recent AARP study shows that we all must take the risk seriously. An estimated nine in 10 Americans—that’s 229 million people—encountered a fraud attempt last year. And 33 million people lost money to a scam in 2020.

Social isolation and a relative lack of social and family support can play in fraud victimization. Victims report more experiences of loneliness and less social and family support than non-victims. Photo courtesy AARP of Washington

Fraud
reports skyrocketed during the pandemic, just as technology and business
sophistication allowed scammers to cast even wider nets to snare unsuspecting
victims. Fortunately, AARP and allies are working hard to keep up with the
explosion of scams and schemes—and keep you informed on how to spot and thwart
potentially sticky situations.

“Consumer
advocates have long struggled to identify exactly who is most likely to become
a fraud victim,” says AARP Washington State Director Doug Shadel. “The truth of
the matter is that scam artists are master manipulators of emotion, and anyone
can experience a scam, regardless of age, income or education. Our research has
shown that it isn’t necessarily who you
are that matters, but how
you are when the pitch is made.”

AARP’s July
2021 report, “A Moment’s Notice,” pinpoints specific
environmental and emotional factors that are present in nearly all successful
attempts to…

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