WASHINGTON — With more than a million cases of fraud being reported to the government annually, the AARP Fraud Watch Network has launched an online Scam-Tracking Map, allowing consumers nationwide to report instances of fraud schemes, by way of sharing the information with others in their community who may become targeted. The free interactive tool also includes alerts from law enforcement and other public agencies, listed state-by-state.
The Fraud Watch Network is encouraging those who have been targeted or victimized by a scam to access the map web page, where they can easily post a brief description of the scam. The Scam-Tracking Map, powered by Google Maps, features location-based functionality, allowing users with one click to view current scam alerts posted by residents of their own community.
Users also may search for different types of scams via a keyword search function. A pull-down menu displays the latest police and public safety notices, state by state.
“Scammers have demonstrated that they are highly adept at developing creative identity theft schemes, imposter scams and other types of fraud,” said Nancy LeaMond, Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, AARP. “The Scam-Tracking Map will help people recognize these insidious schemes wherever they encounter them – via email, telephone or a knock at your door.”
The Federal Trade Commission reports that it received 1.2 million fraud complaints during 2015, with consumers losing more than $765 million to the con artists.
The Scam-Tracking Map is being promoted via an advertising campaign which features an online video.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network was launched in 2013 as a free resource for people of all ages. The website provides information about fraud and scams, prevention tips from experts, fun educational quizzes, and video presentations featuring Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale. Users may sign up for “Watchdog Alert” emails that deliver breaking scam information, or call a free helpline at 877-908-3360 to speak with trained volunteers.