AARP Vermont is offering a series of free virtual presentations on consumer fraud. These one-hour sessions are offered as independent programs and anyone interested is free to attend as many as they wish. Two presentations are offered on each of the dates at 10 a.m. and repeated at 7 p.m. Programs provide an explanation of the topic, specific examples, recommendations for self-defense, and a listing of consumer resources. Pre-registration is required for each presentation. To pre-register or for more information, contact Elliott Greenblott, AARP Vermont Fraud Watch Coordinator, at egreenblott@aarp.org.

Jan. 12 – A new pandemic: How scammers exploit vulnerabilities created by the COVID crisisCon-artists take advantage of people by playing on emotional themes. The current pandemic has created “the perfect storm” for these criminals. Learn the ABC’s of novel coronavirus scams, how to spot and avoid them, and how to report them. Resources will be provided and there will be ample opportunity to ask questions.

Jan. 26 – The weapons of fraud: Anatomy of the crimeAn overview of the leading scams, techniques of con artists, and discussion of the steps to take to avoid victimization. This is our “flagship” presentation as it is our oldest program and has been presented most frequently. While addressing a wide range of issues, it does not cover computer/cyber scams in detail

Feb. 10 – Fraud, scams, and con-artists: Coming to a computer near youThe why, how and basic defense regarding scams perpetrated over the internet. This presentation is continuously revised to address the latest cyber threats and addresses how to recognize malicious eMails and pop-ups as well as Wi-Fi issues arising from the increased use of tablets and smart phones.

Feb. 24 – Identity theft: Steal your name, steal your lifeAn explanation of identity theft that explains how and why it occurs, provides instruction on protective steps and explains what to do if it happens. This presentation includes techniques used by identity thieves who commit fraud using stolen information.

March 10 – Medicare fraud: It’s enough to make you sickAnnually, $65 billion is lost to Medicare fraud that could be applied to extended benefits and reduced taxpayer liability. This presentation explains how the crime is committed, how to protect yourself, and how to report it.

March 24 – Investment fraud: A life savings up in smokeApproximately $3 billion is lost annually to investment fraud which directly impacts the life savings of many senior citizens. Join our fraud team for an examination of how to recognize it and what you can do to avoid it.

April 7 – Operation protect veterans: Defending against an invasion of scammersA program similar to Weapons of Fraud but with a focus on scams directed against veterans and their benefits. This presentation provides resource information, describes how to recognize the crimes, and explains techniques to avoid victimization.

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