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Report Reveals Scammer Tactics Targeting Black, Latino Adults

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Monday, August 16, 2021   

DENVER - Nearly 40% of Black and Latino adults in Colorado and across the U.S. have been targeted by scammers, according to new AARP research.

One in five people targeted lost money, and nearly 60% ended up being repeat victims.

While exposure to scams among Black and Latinos was on par with other racial groups, 2020 saw the highest ever year-over-year rise in fraud reports.

Shani Hosten, vice president for African American/Black audience strategy with AARP, said during the pandemic, people were isolated, and spent more time than ever online.

"So we have seen," said Hosten, "particularly in the Black community and the Latino community, work from home scams, fake job postings, COVID-19 stimulus check scams, and also online romance and dating scams."

Latino adults are most frequently targeted by scammers posing as utility company officials, and scams targeting grandparents. Black adults were mostly targeted in government imposter scams, where a caller claims to be a government official asking to confirm personal or bank account information.

AARP offers a toll-free help line at 877-908-3360, and you can sign up for the latest scam alerts reported in your ZIP code at 'AARP.org/FraudWatchNetwork.'

Hosten said there are steps people can take to protect themselves. Enter your phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry at 'donotcall.gov,' don't enter free prize contests that ask for personal information, and don't answer the phone if you don't know who the caller is.

"Change your passwords, making sure they are unique for certain accounts, and really decreasing your risk for fraud losses online," said Hosten. "And then the other thing that we can do is making sure that you're avoiding giving personal information out over the phone."

Being able to spot a scam can not only help people avoid losing money, Hosten said it can also avoid the emotional toll of a scam. She said it's also important for people to talk with friends and family about the specific scams they encounter, and how to avoid them.




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