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Fraud Fighters Dispatched to Thwart Holiday Scams

AARP North Dakota fraud fighters hold a training session to help people spot scams. (Doreen Riedman/AARP North Dakota)
AARP North Dakota fraud fighters hold a training session to help people spot scams. (Doreen Riedman/AARP North Dakota)
December 18, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. – AARP North Dakota is dispatching fraud fighters across the state to prevent North Dakotans from becoming victims of scams.

Fraud fighters are trained volunteers who speak to communities about how to avoid thieves.

Their expertise is important during the holidays, when scammers especially are active.

Fraud fighter Cindy Yale of Minot says people use this time of year to pretend they are from charities and ask for money.

She advises people only to donate to a charity if they do it in person.

"If you receive a phone call from someone soliciting money from you for any cause whatsoever, don't give them money,” she advises. “Don't buy a bank card for them. Don't give them your credit card number. You don't give your credit card information out to people that call you."

AARP offers more resources on its Fraud Watch Network webvsite on how to avoid scams and what to do if someone is a victim of fraud.

Yale says people trust her as a fraud fighter because she is honest and able to talk about times when she was scammed.

She says it's important to be out in the community and meeting people face-to-face when she's talking about this issue.

"They'll get comfortable with you and in a group of 10 or 12 people, by the time I am done speaking, they will all admit that, in one way or the other, they have been scammed,” she relates. “They just probably never put that word on it, but they have all been scammed."

Doreen Riedman, associate state director for community outreach with AARP North Dakota, says older North Dakotans especially are vulnerable to scams.

She warns people should watch out for supposed deals in their email inbox.

"They're not always the best,
she stresses. “You should just go to that retailer's website and not necessarily fall for some emails that might come out as a guise and look like they're actually a legitimate store or online shopping venue."

Riedman says it's free to have fraud fighters come and speak. Folks can call 701-355-3643 to set up a presentation.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND