Fighting more fraud than ever before


By Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director 

Mike Festa of AARP Massachusetts highlights AARP's commitment to fighting fraud.
Mike Festa

If it seems fraud doesn’t stop, you’re right. Every day scammers find new and convincing ways to get unsuspecting people’s money. There’s data to prove it. Last year was yet another historic year for fraud. For the first time ever, the Federal Trade Commission reported theft through fraud topped $10 billion in 2023. The total is 14% higher than what was reported in 2022. It’s five times greater than reported losses in 2019. 

More money, $4.6 billion, was stolen through investment scams than any other type of fraud. Many of the investment scams were tied to cryptocurrency where consumers reported $1.4 billion stolen. The most frequently reported scams were impostor scams, where the criminal pretends to be a person, company or government agency that you trust. The average victim of an impostor scam had $800 stolen from them.  The most popular method for criminals to reach their victims in 2023 was email, surpassing text messages and phone calls which led in previous years.

While all these numbers are eye opening, the sad reality is that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg because the vast majority of fraud goes unreported.

That’s why AARP is here to act as a wise friend and fierce defender. AARP arms people with tools to combat con artists and fraudsters. Knowledge is power when combatting scam artists. If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all.  We equip consumers with up-to-date knowledge to spot and avoid scams and connect those targeted by scams with our fraud helpline specialists, who provide support and guidance on what to do next. We also advocate at the federal, state, and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws.

One great resource from AARP Fraud Watch Network is the Scam-Tracking Map. From your home to anywhere in the United States, AARP can pinpoint the latest scams. On a map, if you choose a location, AARP will show you what fraudsters are up to in your area. The AARP Fraud Watch Network Scam-Tracking Map shows scams reported in your area in real time. Report your scam to warn your neighbors and see what else has been reported near you. 

If you’ve been targeted by scams or fraud, you are not alone. Our trained fraud specialists provide support and guidance on what to do next and how to avoid scams in the future. The AARP fraud helpline, 877-908-3360, is free and available to anyone.

Here in Massachusetts, we are always on guard against fraud. AARP Volunteers are always keeping an eye on new scams. We hold Fraud Talk Tuesdays once a month. On the second Tuesday of every month, we take just 30 minutes online to share important information about the latest scams plaguing the Bay State. 

AARP Massachusetts volunteers also offer free presentations for community groups across the state on topics such as how to guard against fraud and identity theft. These presentations can be in person or virtual. 

These programs are run by volunteers. So, we are always looking for people like you to help. The AARP Fraud Watch Network needs people to help teach, give support, and help spread awareness.

 You can find AARP resources online at If you’re interested in helping us or would like us to provide a presentation to your group, send us an email at



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