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Hartford Forum To Focus on Fraud

White River Junction — A free forum to help prevent consumer fraud will take place tomorrow in White River Junction.

The event, hosted by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and AARP Vermont, is set for 1-2:30 p.m. at Bugbee Senior Center.

It will provide tips, free materials and information about the latest scams and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Vermonters are losing thousands of dollars every week to various kinds of consumer fraud, and more than half of the victims are people over 50, the state’s AARP said in a recent news release.

“Whether it’s bogus investment deals, the grandparent scam, e-mail ploys, lottery scams, or the newest ID theft scheme, sophisticated con-artists are busy at work coming up with new ways to get consumers to hand over their hard-earned money,” the AARP said.

“It’s important for residents to keep up to date on the latest scams and schemes to help protect themselves, their families and friends.”

According to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, the following scams are active in Vermont:

∎ T he Grandparent scam, which involves calls from someone claiming to be a loved one in trouble in Canada, seeking money by wire transfer.

∎ A free security system scam, with “phishing” calls claiming to offer the product in exchange for a monthly service fee.

∎ A sweepstakes scam, with calls claiming a resident has won a sweepstakes, requesting wire transfer, check or credit card for fees to receive winnings.

∎ A credit card rate scam, with “phishing” calls offering reduced interest rates and seeking credit card account information.

∎ A phony payday loan collection scam, with threatening calls claiming a resident owes money on a payday loan, threatening arrest for various reasons, including check fraud.

∎ A Craigslist or classified ad scam involving emails purporting interest in an item.

Residents who receive such calls or emails should not send money, give out information or agree to pay.

To RSVP for the forum, call 877-926-8300.

— Staff report