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Lesson 4: How to report a scam

If you or a loved one have been a victim of a scam, or believe there was an attempt to maliciously obtain your personal information, there are steps you can take to report it and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. It’s important to report so authorities can track and educate others about these scams.

Specifically, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network can help you spot and avoid scams. By signing up for free Watchdog Alerts, you can get current information about trending scams. AARP also has a toll-free fraud helpline at 877-908-3360 if you or a loved one suspect you’ve been a victim. This service is free and you do not have to be a member of AARP to use it.

Additionally, by using AARP’s nationwide Scam Tracking Map, older adults can use an interactive map to find current information about scams taking place in their area and report their own instances of fraud. If you have been approached by or victimized by a scam you are encouraged to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report it.

You can do so online, or by calling the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Although filing a complaint will not guarantee that your problem will be fixed, it can help the FTC and other agencies investigate and take enforcement actions whenever it is warranted.

  • Step 1

    Take down as much information as possible about a potential scam so you can provide a detailed description.

  • Step 2

    Let your financial institutions’ help centers know as soon as possible that you may have been a victim of fraud.

  • Step 3

    Report the scam to AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.

  • Step 4

    Alert friends and family to the scam, so they will be able to recognize scam attempts.

  • Step 5

    Monitor your accounts regularly to identify other suspicious activity and, if applicable, place a fraud alert on your credit report.

Reporting Fraud

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