By Mike Festa, State Director, AARP Massachusetts
(Photo Mike Festa, Photo Submitted)
The AARP Fraud Watch Network arms Massachusetts residents, and all Americans, with the tools they need to spot and avoid scams. A free resource for people of all ages, the Fraud Watch Network offers real-time alerts about the latest scams in your state, a scam tracking map where people can report on scams so their friends and neighbors know what to watch out for, a guide to outsmarting con artists, and a helpline where Massachusetts residents can talk to a trained volunteer for advice if they or someone they love has been scammed.
One of the best ways to safeguard against identity theft and fraud is to shred personal documents.
AARP Massachusetts is doing our part to help you avoid identity theft and fraud by offering free Fraud Watch Network shredding events around the state in July and August. Shredding confidential documents is a good way to protect against scammers.
Not sure what to keep or shred? Certain bank, financial, household and medical documents should be filed or a minimum number of years before shredding.
More ways to protect yourself
In addition to shredding, many simple precautions can help keep your information safe, including:
- Avoid carrying personal documents like Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports, and carry as few credit cards as possible.
- Be aware of others who are nearby when you’re using PIN numbers, and never discard an ATM receipt in a public wastebasket.
- Don’t give credit card or bank account numbers over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet without confirming you are dealing with an actual representative of a legitimate business.
- Secure personal information at home, especially when having work done by strangers.
- Be extra careful about revealing information online at social networking sites, chat rooms, genealogy or class reunion sites.
Our shredding events are free and open to the public. Bring any confidential documents to our shredding events, and we’ll shred them for free in the on-site shredding truck. It only takes a few minutes. Limit five boxes per person, please. Please call 1-866-448-3621 with questions. See you at the shred events!
Saturday, July 14, 2018, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Worcester Technical High School, 1 Skyline Dr., Worcester, MA 01605
Saturday, August 4, 2018, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Jenks Center, 109 Skillings Rd., Winchester, MA 02601
Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 12-3 p.m.
Brockton Council on Aging, 10 Father Kenney Way, Brockton, MA 02301