Skip to main content
Press Enter to search
All Resources
Article 3 MIN READ

AARP Scam Alerts

We’re sharing the latest warnings from the AARP Fraud Watch Network — read on to find out what scammers are up to lately so you can stay ahead of their tricks and protect yourself and your loved ones.

elderly couple on couch with a tablet

Celebrity Scams in the Age of AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the new shiny object that has captured the world’s attention. It’s also captured the attention of criminal scammers who are using it to make their fraudulent schemes more realistic than ever. One area where AI scams are particularly dangerous is celebrity impostor scams.

For many years criminals have been impersonating celebrities online to steal from fans. Fake celebrity profiles offer fans personal connection, VIP access, investment opportunities or the chance to support favorite charities. These criminals attempt to create a bond through messaging or even a phone call from their “rep.”

With the power of AI, these scams can move from messaging to deepfake videos. Recent fake celebrity product endorsements impersonating Dolly Parton, Elon Musk and Tom Hanks demonstrate just how convincing these schemes can be.

Posting on a celebrity’s social media account might be exciting, but it could put you at risk of this impostor scam. In whatever way you choose to enjoy your favorite celebs, do so recognizing that an opportunity to personally connect with them is likely a scam.

Safe Shredding

There are many things that we can do to protect ourselves from identity thieves. We can use strong and unique passwords, keep our device operating systems current, and monitor our credit reports.  If you want to keep thieves out of your recycling bin, you’ll also want to make sure to shred your sensitive documents. Despite all of the online crimes out there, criminals won’t hesitate to dumpster dive for valuable sensitive personal information. Shredding continues to be an important step in preventing identity fraud.

If you shred papers yourself, a micro-cut shredder offers enhanced security. Otherwise look for businesses that offer shredding (for a fee) or keep an eye you for free shredding events, often offered by nonprofits of local government agencies. Another important protection against identity theft is placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit reports. Learn how to take these free steps at

Social Security Scams

One of the most popular ways for criminals to steal money and sensitive information is by impersonating a trusted source — often a government agency. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims of government impostor scams reported theft of nearly $617 million in 2023.

A frequently impersonated agency is the Social Security Administration. Here’s what you need to know to spot and stop a Social Security impostor scam.

Criminals rely on getting their target into a heightened emotional state, such as fear, panic or excitement. They know high emotions can block access to logical thinking. Social Security impostors tend to use fear (your number has been suspended, call immediately) or excitement (you are eligible for a higher monthly benefit).

If you get a call claiming to be from Social Security and you are not already engaged with them on a specific matter, hang up. Concerned? Look up the number to your local office at and find out if the agency has been trying to reach you.

Medicare Scams

Government programs are often the target of criminal scammers and Medicare is one of the biggest ones. Thankfully, a nationwide network of Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers often sees these scams first and warn others. Here are three scams they are seeing in 2024:

False billing for diabetes treatment has been seen on Medicare summary notices of people who don’t have diabetes and didn’t receive a related device. This is one example of how crooks charge Medicare for services not provided. To guard against this, check monthly Medicare statements carefully and report any false charges.

Free products are another common Medicare scam, however the product you receive – if you get anything at all – is usually cheap and inferior. Only share your Medicare number with your healthcare providers, and not with someone offering “free” products or services.

Lastly, free genetic testing is once again a trending Medicare scam. This often happens at health fairs where a scammer will offer a free genetic test that only requires a cheek swab and your Medicare number. Medicare rarely covers genetic testing, and this is just a ploy to get your Medicare number.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. 


Sign up to hear more from us!