AARP to Nebraska families: Let’s talk about fraud

AARP to Nebraska families: Let’s talk about fraud
COURTESY/An AARP survey found 43% of respondents aged 20-29 reported having lost money to fraud, compared to 23% of those aged 70-79.
December 20th, 2023 | Nebraska News Connection

With holiday shopping and year-end giving in full swing, some scammers are ramping up their efforts as well.

In a recent survey from AARP, nearly 40% of those who had purchased from an online ad had experienced fraud, and more than 50% reported receiving a false package notification.

Todd Stubbendieck, state director of AARP Nebraska, said during the season of giving, many scammers attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity. He encouraged people to confirm the authenticity of groups appealing for money.

“We just caution people to take a minute to do a little research,” Stubbendieck explained. “There are some great websites out there: and, where you can make sure that charity is legitimate.”

AARP Nebraska recommended families talk about fraud and steps to guard against it, including using strong, unique passwords and establishing a security question, story, or phrase which only family members know. The organization also pointed out criminals can now use artificial intelligence to make extremely convincing pleas for money.

Stubbendieck cautioned against underestimating the sophistication of scammers. He noted they can pose as a family member in trouble.

“We’ve heard instances of going on people’s Facebook pages and seeing that a grandchild happens to be out of the country and using that information to try to scam money out of people,” Stubbendieck observed.

Stubbendieck added acknowledging how convincing some scammers are can reduce the shame victims of fraud tend to feel.

“On any given day, any of us could fall victim to one of these very sophisticated criminals,” Stubbendieck warned. “By us shaming people, it actually makes it harder to fight it because people are less likely to report it and let people know what’s going on.”

AARP’s searchable scam tracking map currently has more than 46,000 active scam reports.


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