The AARP Fraud Watch Network will bring fraud-fighting efforts directly to consumers nationwide as part of Operation: Stop Scams. The monthlong series of free events will take place in nearly every state and in Washington, D.C., from April 14 through May 16.
Paper-shredding and fraud education events, as well as other programs, have been planned. To find out the locations, go to www.aarp.org/OperationStopScams.
“Many Americans clear out and discard their obsolete financial documents at the end of the tax-filing season in April,” said Nancy LeaMond, chief advocacy and engagement officer at AARP. “Our shredding events in dozens of communities provide a convenient and safe way for people to destroy this sensitive paperwork. April also brings the personal finance awareness activities of Money Smart Week, so we’re excited to do our part with events to teach consumers to be smart about avoiding fraud and scams.”
Money Smart Week, which takes place April 22–29, is a collaborative effort involving thousands of organizations across the United States. The initiative offers financial education programs, classes, and activities.
Examples of AARP Operation: Stop Scams events range from a financial forum in Louisville, Ky., to a Scam Jam in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to a presentation by AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale in Clinton Township, Mich. Paper-shredding events total more than 100. Some 250 tons of sensitive documents were destroyed during a similar AARP National Shred Fest in 2016.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. The website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, an interactive scam-tracking map, fun educational quizzes and video presentations featuring Abagnale. Consumers may sign up for Watchdog Alert emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with volunteers trained in fraud counseling.