We've all been victims of someone trying to phone scam us, and it's important to be careful these days. One that happened to me last year was a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Office that said I needed to confirm information. They told me that if I did not respond, it would affect my benefits. There are also a lot of IRS scams as well. REMEMBER that the Social Security Office and IRS will never contact you by phone.

Locally, police in East Lansing say there is a scam going on, so watch out. Police have received reports of people getting calls from individuals claiming to be with the federal government or local law enforcement. The callers demand they take money out of the callers’ accounts to buy gift cards to clear warrants for their arrest or for tax purposes. Police said if you get this call, hang up immediately.

Elderly victims are especially vulnerable. AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Helpline, a free resource for AARP members and nonmembers alike, can provide the information you need to protect yourself and your family.

The helpline is operated by staff and volunteers with extensive training and experience fighting scams that target older Americans.

"We know that older people, and people in general, need a wise friend or need support when it comes to dealing with scams and fraud,” says Amy Nofziger, director of the Fraud Watch Network Helpline. “The most important thing our volunteers do is that they listen."

Have you been a victim of a scam?  Share your experience.

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