Track Scams Reported Near You

We’re constantly being reminded to not fall for scams but it’s difficult. Those scams become more sophisticated every day — especially with AI now in play. It’s increasingly hard to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.

AARP has a new tool that can help you stay ahead of the scams. It’s a Fraud Watch Network Scam-Tracking Map — you can enter your zip code and see scams that have been reported in your area. You can also select to see what scams law enforcement has reported or you can report a scam if you’ve been a victim.

It’s another tool in your toolbox to stay safe and protect yourself and your property. Click here to access the map and get started.

Learn more about AARP features to protect seniors by visiting their website –

Georgia Real Estate Scam Warning

Stealing your property without your knowledge.

Georgia counties are warning property owners of real estate fraud. People are using forged documents and signatures to transfer the title of a home or other property without the owner’s approval. Worst of all, many property owners may have no idea their property has been stolen.

Gwinnett County warns of an incident where a resident had issues paying property taxes because the property had, without her knowledge, been transferred to another person. (Read more about the case here)

The fraudsters are using quitclaim deeds which were designed to be a way to transfer ownership between trusted individuals such as family members.

So, how do you check your own property? I recommend you first conduct a title search. You can also enroll in the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Filing Activity Information System. That will notify you if there is activity on your property such as a change to the deed, mortgage, or a lien is filed on the property.

A Georgia state legislator has filed a bill (House Bill 888 – the Georgia Not On My Deed Act) which would authorize Superior Court Clerks to require ID for anyone recording property deeds.

How to take action after being victimized by scammers.

Have You or a Loved One Been Scammed?
Here are some recommendations of what to do next:


  • Report the fraud. Let people who can help you know about the scam. Reporting the deception can stop more individuals from being victimized. Start by contacting your bank and the Federal Trade Commission at  
    You may also want to report losses to local police or your State Consumer Protection Office at state-consumer. 
  • Work with your bank to recover lost funds. Contact your financial service provider to let them know what happened. Although there is no guarantee, they may be able to help recover your funds if you get in touch quickly. 
  • Change passwords and ignore unknown calls. After a scam, change your passwords, replace any compromised credit cards, and block calls from unknown numbers to avoid getting scammed again.


  • Be embarrassed. Fraudsters are convincing, and millions of people fall victim to their tactics every year. Although it is unsettling to be taken in by a scam, don’t let those uncomfortable feelings stop you from taking action. 
  • Stay silent. Talking to family and friends that you trust about your experience can help you move on. Remember–they encounter scams too. Sharing your story can raise awareness and keep your loved ones safe.
  • Stop using all devices. Getting scammed can shake you up, but don’t let it shut you down. Devices are still safe and useful if you take precautions. 

In the United States, several government agencies investigate complaints. Report your experience to one of the following:

>Medicare-related fraud: U.S. Department of Health 800-HHS-TIPS • (800-447-8477) • 

>IRS Impersonators: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  800-366-4484 • 

>Social Security scams: Social Security Administration 1-800-269-0271•

>General scams: The Federal Trade Commission 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) • ftccomplaintassistant.go

Older Americans are Primary Targets of Cybercrime

(Originally published at

Cybercrime reported to the FBI cost Americans 50 and older nearly $3 billion last year, a 62 percent increase from 2020, according to data from the bureau. The steep rise in dollar losses came despite a drop in incidents reported by older adults to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Americans ages 50 and over filed 166,831 complaints with the cybercrime unit in 2021, down from 191,768 the year before. ​

Overall, nearly a quarter of last year’s total cybercrime losses were borne by people 60 and older, the population that is the focus of the new report. Tech support scamsinvestment fraud and what the bureau terms “confidence fraud” — cons that play on victims’ emotions and affections, primarily via romance scams — were major drivers of rising fraud costs, collectively accounting for more than half of that age group’s losses.

Confidence frauds, which also include grandparent scams, were the costliest cons for older adults, with 2021 losses topping $432 million for victims age 60 and up, a 54 percent increase from the prior year. 

But it’s tech support scams — in which crooks posing as IT pros from well-known tech companies charge hefty fees to fix fabricated computer problems — that have seen the most explosive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic

>>Click here to read more at AARP.

>>Read about common scams targeting veterans and military families.

5 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed

More than 2 million people in the United States file fraud complaints each year, many of them in the senior population. Here are some tips that can help you identify a scam before falling victim.

If someone contacts you from an organization you trust, verify that they are who they claim to be. You can hang up or stop replying, then contact them using information on the organization’s website.

Verify the organization. Call them back: Scammers want to build trust fast— preferably in a matter of seconds. They often pretend to be from a government agency or another well-known organization such as Apple, Medicare, Amazon, or local utilities companies. These imposter scammers will have specific, personal details that make them seem legitimate. Never give out your credit card or social security details over the phone unless you are the one who initiated the call. 

Be aware of people who present you with a problem or a prize. Never give out personal details or credit card info over email or over the phone during an unexpected, incoming call.

Be skeptical of urgent problems or sudden prizes: If you get a call about a sudden problem (a missed bill, back tax, family health emergency) that until now, you hadn’t known about, be alert. Be skeptical of any unexpected prizes like a sweepstakes or all-inclusive vacation. Oftentimes, scammers will use these scenarios and ask for a “small fee” to claim winnings.

Keep social media accounts private. Never give someone who contacts you remote access to your computer or device.

Avoid oversharing personal details online: Scammers are experts at extracting info. Sometimes they will research their targets beforehand. They might call and know names, hometowns, family members or home purchase prices. This kind of information is available online, and is easy for them to access. Having this information also makes it easy for them to win your trust and get more details from you. After purchasing a home, your personal details may be more readily available online. Be alert.

Even if something is urgent, there is always time for you to verify details online.

Remember, there’s always time to double check: If you or someone you know is being pressured to make an immediate payment, be suspicious. Scammers expect victims to act fast, before anyone can realize they are illegitimate, so they threaten with losses. If you feel nervous, time-pressured, or afraid of losing benefits during a phone call, it may be a scam.

Only use protected, traceable methods of payment. Using a credit card means seniors can dispute payments “after the fact” if a product is not delivered as advertised.

Pay with credit card: Scammers often request specific forms of payment. Anytime someone asks to be paid quickly via wire transfer, gift card or mailed cash, be wary. Most legitimate organizations offer a variety of safe, traceable payment options and let you decide the best form of payment.

To opt-out of marketing calls and easily recognize scams, consider registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry at Within a month of submission, all legitimate businesses should stop calling you. Scammers will still use your number, but you will know that the calls you receive are no legitimate.

>>Click here for more information on senior scams & safety from the FBI.