Scammers are getting craftier with their pitches by using new technology to steal your information and money. Believe it or not, most Washington consumers don’t report robocalls or fraud attempts. However, you should report any attempted scams, says Chuck Hardwood, Regional Director of the Federal Trade Commission.

Any efforts, whether it’s by phone, email, online, or in person, should be reported. People must tell their stories because they add pieces to the puzzle that authorities are trying to put together. The larger the picture becomes, the easier it will be for law enforcement to protect consumers. When you choose not to report fraud, you’re helping scammers.

According to AARP, here are some common signs that scammers are targeting you:

  • You receive a call asking for money or personal information like a Social Security number
  • You find unauthorized charges on your credit card
  • You receive an email or call saying you’ve won a sweepstake or lottery you didn’t enter

Even if you don’t fall for a scammer’s tricks, it’s still helpful to report the situation because this crucial information can help authorities. Every story is important to them. Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint, or with the State Attorney General’s Office at www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint or toll-free at 877-382-4357.

You can also contact AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Helpline. The helpline is a free resource that can assist anyone who receives a suspicious call as well as anyone who may have fallen victim to fraud by giving personal information or money. AARP Fraud Watch Network staff and volunteers come equipped with extensive training and are ready to provide tips, advice, and emotional support to help keep you and your family safe.   Call 1-877-908-3360 or visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more.