- AARP Online Community
- Games Talk
- Games Tips
- Leave a Game Tip
- Ask for a Game Tip
- AARP Rewards
- AARP Rewards Connect
- Earn Activities
- AARP Rewards Tips
- Ask for a Rewards Tip
- Leave a Rewards Tip
- Grief & Loss
- Share and Find Caregiving Tips - AARP Online Community
- Ask for a Caregiving Tip
- Leave a Caregiving Tip
- AARP Help
- Benefits & Discounts
- General Help
- Entertainment Forums
- Rock N' Roll
- Let's Play Bingo!
- Leisure & Lifestyle
- Entertainment Archive
- Health Forums
- Brain Health
- Conditions & Treatments
- Healthy Living
- Medicare & Insurance
- Health Tips
- Ask for a Health Tip
- Leave a Health Tip
- Home & Family Forums
- Friends & Family
- Introduce Yourself
- Late Life Divorce
- Our Front Porch
- Home & Family Archive
- Money Forums
- Budget & Savings
- Scams & Fraud
- Retirement Forum
- Social Security
- Retirement Archive
- Technology Forums
- Computer Questions & Tips
- About Our Community
- Travel Forums
- Work & Jobs
- Work & Jobs
Spotted a scam? Tell us about it.
Spotted a scam? Tell us about it. Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state. You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family. Go to the Scam-Taking Map>>
I didn't spot the scam. I was scammed!
It was a July 4th weekend and I was doing yard work. A white van pulled into my drive and a man with a chain offered to trim two of my huge trees for $200 cash. He had a young woman with him. I told them I'd go to the bank and get the cash. When I returned, the man was working on the first of the two trees. I offered the woman a soda while we waited. During this time, she told me about the man's anger management issues.
When he was done with the first tree, he said he was done and I owed him the $200. I said, "But you said you would do both trees." He became incredibly angry to the point where I was scared. He kept screaming, "Do you want me to leave my chain saw here as a promise I will come back?" I said, "Yes." That infuriated him. He and the young woman got in their van and drove away.
I had no contract, had no receipt, had half the job done, had all the limbs that he refused to take away, and didn't even think to get his license number. Scammed!
I was just told that a new scam is that the caller will say "can you hear me?" & if you answer yes, the yes reply is recorded with a different leadin so you've agreed to whatever the answer is attached to. Hang up if this question is posed!
Well, I’ve got to tell you who:
- The back brace that I asked for. I don't have a problem.
- Reduce my credit card interest rate. No problem there.
- Home security. Nope.
- Microsoft and a computer problem. Nope.
- Miscellaneous donations. DON'T DO THIS AT ALL!!! (I will explain later)
There is always something, but these 5 are the top of the list.
My general answers to any one of the above is to keep them on the phone for as long as I can.
The credit card guy called today, and I had him for 30 minutes. You need to give them the first 8 digits of your credit card (this is the issuing bank) then make up the final 8. When he says that it doesn't work, I flop a couple of numbers and have him retry. Indicated to him that I used it yesterday and it worked just fine. What fun. They eventually hang up. I love to keep these guys on as long as I can. I pissed one of these guys off so much, that I got a **bleep** return call on my answering machine. Sorry but I didn't save it, would have made a nice ringtone.
Computer guy tries to get you to allow him to get control of your computer. Generally these guys speak broken english, so you can misspell stuff for a while. Again, fun stuff. Except for "eventvwr" NEVER type in what they say. eventvwr is the event viewer on YOUR computer. It shows all the errors, mostly printing and tracing stuff, my computer currently has over 1500 errors. These are not a problem and are common errors. Again, don't type anything they ask you besides "eventvwr". NOT GOOD. After a while, when I get bored with them, I ask them for my IP Address, and they immediately hang up. Microsoft will never contact you.
The donations are the bad ones, they try and get you to commit to a sum, and if they record you, it may bind you to that donation. I usually say "I don't do solicitations by phone, send me something." Haven't received anything as of yet.
I'm a systems engineer who has recently retired. I exercise and work around the house. These phone calls are an annoyance, but I believe that payback are fun.
The worst one:
I've had a police man call about my wife being in an accident which was her fault. They gave me the correct address of the hospital and police station. As a little background, my wife travels to this alternate city every so often, so it got me! They said that she was texting and hit some pregnant girl who is in critical care. The sargent said that she was going to be arraigned and I need to send them $1500 for bail. Luckily they called on my land line, so I called her on my cell phone. She was at work, perfectly normal. THIS ONE REALLY PISSED ME OFF. I went off on the guy, he hung up. I was shaken pretty much for the rest of the day. What an **bleep**! This was the worst.
NEVER give infomation over the phone. Even when I have been contacted by my credit card company, I will ask for the reason for the call, thank them, explain the fact that I am not going to give them any information and that "I will call THEM back" and hang up.
I will then get the credit card out and call the number on the back.
Again, NEVER, NEVER give infomation over the phone.
I have recently been reciving calls claiming to be from Medicare and asking for a verification of my information. I ask them, "Why don't you just tell me what information you have and I'll tell you if it's correct or not." This usually gets a response that they can't do that or they don't have it handy. The called ID never says Medicare or anything similar but I would recommend not complying even if it does since Medicare does not do business that way. The phone number sometimes appears as "Invalid Number" or else a personal account which is not toll-free as government numbers typically are. Occasionally I will string the caller along - if I feel like being crotchety - until I then cut in and ask, "Excuse me, Ed - it was Ed wasn't it? ("Ed" often has a very thick Asian or Eastern European accent). To which he/she responds, "Yes sir, what is it?" I then ask, "Does your mother know that your job is stealing money from people over the phone?" Nine out of ten hang up immediately, the cocksure ones typically begin to bluster at which time I hang up. If you are more polite than I am toward petty criminals you can just say at the very beginning, "Send me the information request to the address you have in your computer and I will look at it when the postal service delivers it." Postal fraud will put them in jail, no questions asked and they know that.
If I am near the phone and the caller ID shows a number that is not familiar, I will either let it ring until the my automatic voice answering kicks in and tells them to leave a message if the call is important. That usually results in no messages. Also, at times I will answer the phone saying (Name of a made up Company) and saying "How may I direct your call"??.....that so far has stopped whoever is calling immediately and the line goes dead. Calls to my number have been cut in half now for sure.
Computer internet problems may be of our own making. When you contact a computer service over the internet and then by phone you just put yourself in the trap. Then they want permission to install software on your computer so they can "FIX" it. They show your problem and they need your credit card for a minimal charge. Now you set your self up for the "FIX" not your computer but YOU and your credit card. Next they will have you sign the monitor on the line and you just signed a contract, Little did you know that you may not be able to disable or uninstall the software they installed. You will be called from area codes you do not recognize because they are coming from other countries. They will tell you "Your computer has a problem and we need to "FIX" it. What are they doing? Copying your data and email addresses. Sound impossible? No! It cost me months of time and money, change email accounts, financial accounts, passwords and loss of friends because of junk sent to them. Trust only someone you know personally to help you.
BEWARE. If you sold something on eBay, beware of ALL eMails from somebody who says he is the guy who bought your item on eBay, and wants it shipped to a different address than what the order says on Paypal. It is a SCAM to rob you of that product.
First of all, the shipping address he will give you will be a ship forwarding company, to ship forward the your box to an unknown address outside of the USA where there is no legal recourse and no way to catch and arrest the perpetrator. BEWARE.
You just can't trust opening e-mails that seem odd. In just the last week, I've gotten emails from "my bank?", E-bay?, and Paypal? - I don't open any of them. I figure if any of these companies really want to talk to me for real, they know my mailing address.
A woman after my own heart! Chloe...my big issue is phone calls that are unidentified and now I'm getting them on my cell phone. If you're legitimate, you would identify yourself, leave a detailed message and not call several times a day!
Seriously, I don't answer calls that have no identification. I allow it to go to message. The caller must leave a detailed message explaining why he called in the first place and justify the reason why I should return the call. Friends and relatives won't mind leaving a message. Telemarketers usually won't because time is money and they must get onto the next call. Scammers will just continue to call back until they decide you are a lost cause and skip tracers will continue to call and will resort to multiple out-of-state numbers to try to catch you off guard. Do not answer...even if you are on the "Do Not Call" list they will call you.
I agree with you. Chloe. If they really want to get in touch with you, they can send you a letter via the USPS, identify themselves and who they're working for and justify the reasons for trying to make contact with you!
BEWARE of MIAMI. Dont use a debit card with pin in MIAMI. 8 years ago, I went to Miami for some PRP injections on my knee and some needed rest. Went shopping on the Miami boardwalk and bought some clothes using my debit card. Came home, and a week later, my debit card was charged $1400 for womens shoes in some scuzzy high crime mall 20 miles away.
I am a guy, so it should have been clear to the bank that it was fraud. I buy mens clothing, not womens. Also, I was home in Los Angeles when the charges happened. Dont know how they got my pin. Filed police report, filed fraud report, but still took 2 months to get my money back from the bank.
The IRS scam. Phone call from a guy with an Indian accent. Threatened to come to my house with handcuffs if I didnt pay. Immediately knew it was a scam. Let him talk and gave him bogus answers for about 10 minutes untill he got frustrated and hung up the phone. After that, I blocked the number.
Week later, got another call from an IRS scammer, similar Indian accent, but from a different number. Did same thing. After giving bogus info, he got frustrated and hung up. Never got another call.
I let my answering machine answer all my calls and just ignore the scammers. I've gotten the IRS call many times and never replied. I've decided to answer the next time and tell them to come and arrest me because when they send me to federal prison they'll have to provide medical care that I can't afford. Sadly they haven't called in a while. Probably have to wait until next tax season.
I've posted a couple of times that I've had calls from the (alleged) IRS stating that I owed back taxes and would face serious consequences, possibly jail, if I did not call the number they provided.
"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
This happened to me today. I was sceptical. Because the guy had a thick accent. He asked me to spell my last name to see it he had it spelled correctly. I started to but said if you. Are my case manager you already have it.He then tried to verify my address. I would not tell him.He then said well tell me if whatI have is correctly.Then he gave an incorrect address. SNAG. I told him it must be the person who lives at that address who you are looking for I have never heard of that address before now.CLICK HE HUNG UP. Then I spent hours trying in vain to report it to IRS. Block their number. Then call your phone service provider.
I am curious if you keep records about scam attempts on the pages of AARP discussion forums? There for a while, there were many romance scammers working the pages of AARP discussion forums and sending PMs wanting to "get to know you better." They've been quiet for some time now, but recently I've heard of an uptick in the numbers elsewhere, Facebook, for example.
I responded this morning to a poster on another thread here who seemed to have an urgent need for advice . It looked legitimate, but the dates were off. I decided it must have been a "phishing" attempt or an older poster with dementia. I reinforced advice which had been previously given. It was about Chase Bank. What do you think? Real or scam?
The biggest scam on Planet Earth at this time is occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Sometimes, that is. Other times you can find him at Miralago (SP?) Do not. I repeat, DO NOT believe anything he says. You will know he is scamming when his lips are moving.
I received a call stating the person represented Microsoft and I had a refund coming because their equipment was down for a time and they were refunding part of the service costs. I did not question them because they said they worked for Microsoft and gave ID numbers. Anyway, I filled out the information they asked me to do. When I was doing this, I did not pay attention to the square where the refund amount was to be placed and it had a built in period which turned the amount of refund from $300 to $30,000. When the caller saw this he started cussing and had a fit. He ordered me to get to bank within the hour and change it at the bank and they would pay me $500 and to tell the bank I was sending this to a relative in Europe. He said if I did not the authorites would think I stole the money. Also, I was told to tell them I was sending this money to a relative in Europe. It was quite a story and as I am housebound it took me several hours to get to the bank and I was scared to death. At this point I was sure it was scam, but did not want to get in trouble. I told the bank all the details and asked them to retract the entire transaction. I do not know if they had a way to find out who it was, but I learned a very good lesson from this. Hopefully, the bank reported the scam. I also called the police, but they said it was something they did not deal with. It is my pleasure to report this as I am 80 yrs old and on social security so I had little money to lose. Hopefully this helps. Unfortunately I am still getting calls with the same message, SO BEWARE. Mildred - long-term AARP member.
There are so many scams out there I just stopped answering my phone if it was not a number that I am familiar with. My son in law was called by someone who said they were from the IRS I told him it was a scam because I had read about such scams on AARP so my son in law hung up on them. These people are very clever or so they think they called him several more times from different numbers.
If these people used as much energy working a real job what a world this would be.
"...It looked legitimate, but the dates were off. I decided it must have been a "phishing" attempt or an older poster with dementia. I reinforced advice which had been previously given. It was about Chase Bank. What do you think? Real or scam?...".
I saw that. I thought the whole thing was made up, but of course, have no idea what the truth is.
"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
@retiredtraveler - Everyone once in a while I see such terrible stories about intra-family fighting, underhanded dealings, people saying they've been taken advantage of by some well-known institution, I do wonder if it's legitimate, someone who's just amused getting people to respond to help them, or some type of scam. I've seen other posters really come down hard on them, as if they're positive it's a scam, but I would hesitate to do that because a) I'm not positive, b) maybe they do have some mental issues .. who am I to judge?! If it really sounds questionable, I'll report the post so AARP can investigate!
Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Hello, @Prosecco6247, thank you, yes, we do share information and stories with our Fraud Watch Network colleagues. If you like, you can share this number and suggest the other person contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 1-877-908-3360. Thanks for looking out for others in our Online Community!
AARP Online Community
- AARP Rewards
- AARP Help
- Home & Family
- Work & Jobs
Announcing a brand new feature requested by players! Answer the final Q early for extra points in Right Again! Trivia! Play now.
Sync your smartphone or favorite tracker with AARP Rewards to earn points for hitting steps, swimming and cycling milestones Sync now.
From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.