Important Member Alert: AARP Phone Scam

alert-resized-600Did AARP show up on the Caller ID of that scam call you just received?

Don’t believe it. Fraudsters are putting AARP on Caller IDs, along with a number with a 202 area code, to try to convince seniors that their calls are real.

The calls appear to be from someone by the name of Dennis Grey – who leaves a 973 number on a voice message, said Jeff Abramo, a spokesman for AARP New Jersey. AARP’s Fraud Watch received 10 to 12 reports of the calls from New Jersey residents in a two-hour span on Thursday, 1/28.

The caller claims to be from the IRS or U.S. Treasury. “She needed to make a payment or she would be prosecuted,” one victim was told, according to Abramo.

“Please be advised, these calls are NOT legitimate,” AARP New Jersey said on its Facebook page. “They are in no way connected to AARP or to the IRS.”

Of course, this is the latest twist on a scam that has been going around for months and months.

Hang up on IRS telephone scammers. The IRS won’t:

  • Demand payment of tax debt over the telephone.
  • Threaten to have you arrested by the police for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay without giving you the ability to question or appeal how much you owe.
  • Require that you pay using a specific method, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone.

To avoid additional potential fraud and scams this time of year, it is encouraged to also use direct deposit for tax refunds in order to protect yourself and your finances. Here are some key messages and statistics that are important to consider:

  • Eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by direct deposit.
  • Direct deposit is simple, safe and secure.
  • 98% of all federal benefits are made by direct deposit.
  • Direct deposit also saves you money. It costs the nation’s taxpayers $1 for every paper refund check issued, but only about a dime for each direct deposit made.

As always, First Financial continues to monitor our member accounts for suspicious activity. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please give us a call at 866.750.0100 or email us at info@firstffcu.com

Be sure to enroll in our newest, upgraded Identity Theft Protection Program from Sherpa – don’t wait until it’s too late! The best part? You can enroll right online, 24/7. You can trust in First Financial and Sherpa to help keep your personal information protected. Packages begin at just $5.99 per month – click here to enroll today!

Article Source: David P. Willis of the Asbury Park Press, 1.29.16

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