Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Scammers ruin people’s lives

Posted on May 04, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By: Carol Laverriere, Contributor

Earlier this week, I found out that my email had been hacked. I was locked out of my email and unable to access my list of contacts. It was frustrating and it was scary.

Luckily, on April 20 I attended AARP Maine’s event with fraud expert Frank Abagnale, so I knew what to do. The first thing I did was call my local police. They came to my house and suggested next steps. We also filed an official police report. I also contacted all three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Transunion – and placed a freeze on my credit report. Mr. Abagnale mentioned during his talk that doing this is the best way to protect oneself from identity theft. Not knowing exactly what the hackers may have stolen from me, I was eager to put this in place right away. Mr. Abagnale also mentioned that Maine is one of only three states where placing a freeze on your credit report is free. It was easy to do, it didn’t cost me a dime and now I have more peace of mind.

I also joined the AARP Fraud Watch Network because they will send me free scam alerts so I can learn about the latest scams and keep an eye out. I am really grateful that I was able to attend this event. I learned a lot from Mr. Abagnale and I also learned that law enforcement and our state agencies are working really hard to help us stay safe from scams and fraud. I’m excited to learn more and get involved.

Scammers ruin people’s lives. It’s up to each of us to stay vigilant.