Coloradans Continue to Be Prey for Scammers

AARP, an AgeWise Colorado Provider, reported in the organization’s April 2024 Bulletin newsletter that Colorado consumers had fallen victims to fraud roughly 40,000 times in 2023, losing over $164 million total. The median loss per victim was $500. Imposter scams — criminals pretending to be other than who they are — led the list of frauds at nearly 14,000 incidents. Next highest was identity theft incidents at close to 13,000. AARP noted these figures do not include frauds that go unreported, which many believe is a substantial number. Mark Fetterhoff, manager for AARP’s ElderWatch program, says although younger people are victimized by scams in greater numbers than older adults, the latter tend to lose more money because they have more assets. Colorado has recently streamlined its fraud prevention website at https://stopfraudcolorado.gov/ to make it easier for victims to report suspected fraud. The website also has information on scams to be aware of, and you can sign up to receive fraud tips and alerts. If you are a fraud victim, contact any financial institution that’s involved and also report it to local police, the Colorado attorney general (https://coag.gov/), and the FBI. In a case of identity theft, file a report at https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/ and consider freezing your credit at the three credit bureaus. An AARP FraudWatch helpline is available at 877-908-3360. Also note that if you have disputes with a business you have patronized, the Colorado attorney general’s office now has a consumer mediation program to help people through informal negotiations as one way to resolve such disputes. See https://coag.gov/file-a-complaint/ for more information on this.

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