Notice: In observance of Juneteenth, all SBSI locations will be closed Wednesday, June 19th 2024. Normal business hours will resume Thursday, June 20th 2024.

AARP Scam Alert - June

1. Crypto ATMs: What to Know
If you’re like most Americans, you walk right past a tool used to steal a reported $35 million from US consumers last year each time you go out for groceries. Cryptocurrency ATMs are often colorful kiosks that are popping up in supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, liquor stores and even laundromats across the US. There are more than 49,000 crypto ATMs in the United States, up from only about 1,200 at the end of 2017.

Criminal scammers are always looking for the quickest way to get money from their victims. As awareness and protections around other payment methods increase, crypto ATMs have become their tool of choice.  Because these kiosks look similar to regular ATM machines, they seem more legitimate to victims who are directed to them. The AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has heard from countless victims who have been directed to insert thousands of dollars in cash into these machines to address an “urgent” financial matter.

While there are many different scams, there are only a handful of ways that criminals can get paid. If you are directed to a crypto ATM to address an urgent financial matter, it is a scam.

2. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Each year, the US draws attention to the pernicious crime of elder abuse in our country. Elder financial exploitation – generally involving a known person who is deceiving and manipulating an older adult to steal from them, is a multi-billion dollar, and often unreported, crime. 

On June 20th in Bangor or over Zoom, you are invited to attend Dark Secrets - The Terrible Truth About Elder Abuse in the Family. Hear about the case that shocked the nation, as told by the grandson who lived it. 
Brooke Astor, wealthy New York philanthropist, writer, and socialite, was recognized for her generosity towards those less fortunate. While she spent most of the year working in New York, each summer she refueled at her beloved home in Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Brooke Astor is also known for something else, something far more sinister. In her later years, Mrs. Astor was abused—isolated, deprived, manipulated, and exploited—by her only child who gained control of millions of dollars that she had bequeathed to charities. It was her grandson, Philip Marshall, who, with the help of many concerned persons and law enforcement, saved his grandmother. 

Join us to hear Philip Marshall tell his story. This event is free and is available in person or over Zoom.
Click here to register.

3. Moving Scams                    

Summer seems to be the season for moving. Whether you’re relocating for work, downsizing or sending a child off to college, who you hire to help with the move matters a lot. Cutting corners to save money on your move could lead you right to a criminal scammer.

Moving scams are committed by rogue operators that exist primarily online. They solicit business by offering lowball estimates, often without so much as laying an eye on what’s to be moved. They might demand a hefty deposit, or even full payment in advance. 

With your deposit in hand, the “movers” might simply not show up at the appointed time and place. Or they’ll try to change the deal at the last minute by raising the price. Worst of all, some companies will pick up your belongings but then demand more money to deliver them.

To avoid these scams, make sure to get multiple quotes and check the references of any company you hire. While we are all looking to save money, when it comes to moving your personal goods safely and securely, cheaper isn’t always better.

4. Lost Wallet? What’s Next

We’ve all been there; you reach for your wallet and find nothing in your pocket or purse. The panic we feel in that moment is real because our wallet can be a treasure trove for criminals, who can go on to perpetrate credit card fraud or identity theft. Most times that feeling is short lived but sometimes that wallet really is gone. Here’s what to do if this happens to you.

First, cancel all debit or credit cards. By reporting them lost or stolen ASAP you may be able to avoid illegal charges. This is especially important for debit cards which are gateways to your bank account.

Next, file a fraud alert. With your driver’s license in hand, identity thieves can do a lot of damage. You can request that the credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax —place a fraud alert on your credit. (Contact one and the others will add the fraud alert, too.) A fraud alert notifies creditors, lenders or anyone viewing your credit report that someone may be trying to apply for credit in your name.

Lastly, if you think your wallet has been stolen, call your local precinct to get a police report on record. Even though the police may not be able to recover your missing wallet, it’s a crucial piece of documentation to have on hand.