AARP, Attorney General launch 'Fraud Watch Network'

An estimated 250 local seniors packed the Museum of Flight auditorium Wednesday for the 2013 annual Scam Jam, where state, federal and local consumer advocates offered insights and information about the latest scams and how to avoid them.

Topics included recurring scams in King County, how scammers persuade you to take the bait, cyber security and password safety. AARP's Internet Security Expert Greg Hadley revealed common mistakes people make online and with their personal electronics and urged everyone to review the website .

Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation said surveys show 8 in 10 older investors have been the target of fraudulent investment offers. Walsh encouraged consumers to visit the website to stay on top of how to avoid investment fraud and make sure the investment advisor you're dealing with is legally registered.

Also speaking at the event, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who announced a new statewide fight against fraud called "Fraud Watch Network."

The state is teaming up with AARP to feature local events, telephone town halls, webinars, advertising and other educational resources. AARP says a key tactic in the campaign is the development of a public alert network to provide eyes and ears against fraud across the state. Consumers can sign up for timely alerts and notifications about new scams as they emerge. AARP State Director Doug Shadel said consumers will also be asked to report suspicious activity or raise concerns with the Seattle-based Fraud Fighter Call Center.

You can sign up for the "Fraud Watch Network" by calling 1-800-646-2283. The news Fraud Watch Network website is scheduled to go live starting next week.

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