AARP Scam

AARP itself isn’t a scam, it’s a legitimate organization for people over 50. However, some scams try impersonating AARP to steal people’s money and personal information. These scams are called phishing scams.

Shield Yourself

Deep Dive into AARP Scams

AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, is a trusted organization for people over 50. Unfortunately, scammers exploit this trust by impersonating AARP to steal personal and financial information. Here’s a deeper look into these scams and how to protect yourself:

Common AARP Scams:

  • Phone Scams: Scammers call pretending to be from AARP, often claiming:
    • Your membership is expiring or needs renewal. AARP won’t pressure renewal via phone.
    • There’s a problem with your account or benefits. AARP won’t ask for personal details over the phone.
    • You’ve won a prize. AARP doesn’t run random prize giveaways.
  • Email/Text Scams: Similar to phone scams, emails or texts might arrive with:
    • Phishing links that look like legitimate AARP webpages, designed to steal login credentials.
    • Urgent requests for personal information like Social Security numbers or bank details.
    • Offers for discounted memberships or health products that aren’t real.
  • Social Security Card Scam: Scammers might claim your Social Security number is linked to fraudulent activity and use AARP’s name for legitimacy.

Red Flags to Watch Out For:

  • Pressure Tactics: Scammers create a sense of urgency to cloud your judgment.
  • Threats: They may threaten to cancel your AARP membership or report you to authorities if you don’t comply.
  • Requests for Money via Gift Cards: A legitimate organization won’t ask for gift cards for payment.
  • Poor Grammar and Misspellings: Professional communication from AARP will be error-free.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Never give out personal information over the phone, email, or text unless you initiated contact.
  • Verify AARP contact: If unsure about a call or email, hang up or don’t respond. Look up AARP’s official contact information on their website https://www.aarp.org/ to confirm.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments.
  • Verify AARP membership status online at your AARP account instead of responding to emails or calls about renewals.
  • Report Scams: If you suspect an AARP scam, report it to the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 or online at https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/about-fraud-watch-network/.

Additional Resources:

By staying informed and cautious, you can protect yourself from falling victim to AARP scams. Remember, AARP is there to help, not pressure you for personal information or money.

Here are some key ways to shield yourself from AARP scams:

Be Wary of Unsolicited Contact:

  • Phone Calls & Texts: AARP won’t call or text you about your membership, benefits, or prizes out of the blue. Don’t engage with these calls or respond to suspicious texts.
  • Emails: Be cautious of emails with AARP branding. Phishing emails often mimic legitimate sources. Look for red flags like bad grammar, misspelled words, and generic greetings.

Never Share Personal Information:

  • Social Security Numbers, Bank Details, Login Credentials: AARP won’t ask for this information over the phone, email, or text. If pressured, hang up or delete the message.

Double-Check Everything:

  • Renewal Notices: If you receive a renewal notice, log in to your AARP account on their official website (https://www.aarp.org/) to verify its legitimacy. Don’t renew through suspicious links or over the phone.
  • Prize Offers: AARP doesn’t run random prize giveaways. Don’t get lured by tempting offers.

Spot the Red Flags:

  • Urgency & Threats: Scammers create a sense of urgency to pressure you into acting fast. They might threaten to cancel your membership or report you if you don’t comply.
  • Requests for Gift Card Payments: Legitimate organizations won’t ask for payment via gift cards.

Stay Informed and Report:

Additional Proactive Steps:

  • Strengthen Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for your AARP account and other online services.
  • Enable Two-factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  • Be Mindful of Social Media Sharing: Don’t overshare personal information on social media, as scammers can use it to target you.

By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to AARP scams. Remember, AARP is there to assist you, not pressure you for personal information or money.

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