Home 5 Ag Stories Phone scams costing rural residents billions

Phone scams costing rural residents billions

Source: Wikimedia Commons

So much of information is just floating around out in cyberspace. Also, there are so many mergers, acquisitions, and liquidations of the entities which are supposed to have access to this information. It is no surprise this is causing more than a few people to be fooled by clever scammers. The elderly in rural areas continue to be the prime targets for these scams, which always keep changing. AARP is working hard to protect this demographic and keep them safe.

AARP’s Sean Voskuhl says scammers are stealing billions of dollars annually, much of it from rural residents.

The Federal Trade Commission says 16.7 million people lost almost $17 billion just last year to identity fraud. DNA fraud is believed to be costing Americans another $2.1 billion. DNA fraud happens when Medicare is being billed for tests that aren’t ordered and are not medically necessary. Many victims sign up for them over the phone. Voskuhl says to keep a tight lid on what information you give over the phone.

AARP is offering online tools to help citizens protect themselves, or to recover if they have been a victim.