AARP Bulletin Investigation Reveals Inner Workings of International Scam Networks

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AARP Bulletin Investigation Reveals Inner Workings of International Scam Networks

Exclusive report details how boiler rooms, money launderers, cybercriminals operate

WASHINGTON—With fraudulent phone calls, emails, social media posts and texts arriving most every day to most every U.S. adult, Americans fear being victimized by cybercrimes much more than by traditional crimes. In response, AARP sent out a team of journalists and fraud fighters to detail the extent of the multi-billion-dollar fraud industry and exactly how it operates. Among its findings, which appear in the April issue of the AARP Bulletin:

  • Organized crime enterprises, both domestic and international, have learned how easy and profitable consumer fraud can be – particularly in comparison with their other illicit operations – and are eagerly setting up boiler rooms and other fraud operations.
  • An open market for illegally obtained personal information continues to flourish on the “dark web,” where credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other private data can be bought for a few dollars each.
  • The software and systems needed to set up illegal boiler rooms or cyberfraud operations are cheap, sophisticated, yet easily acquired and mastered.
  • Money laundering operations to “wash” payments from victims so they are untraceable are now able to convert a gift card into merchandise to be sold overseas within minutes.

For all the worrisome details of the scope and capability of the fraud industry, protecting yourself from becoming a victim has also become easier. The AARP Bulletin report exhaustively details both the tools, tips and techniques consumers can use to help never lose a cent to fraud, and also reveals the hottest new scams now rolling out across America.

Also in the April issue:

In the News

  • Special Report: Elections 2022: This year’s midterm election is of unusually high importance, as over 30 governor races, countless local races and initiatives, new voting laws and the fate of Congress weigh on the minds of voters. In this special report, AARP Bulletin breaks down what is at stake and how to vote in your state safely.

Your Money

  • Windfall Wizard: Whether it’s a tax refund, inheritance, home sale or lucky day with the Lotto, most adults at some point get a one-time cash windfall. What should you do with it? If you choose incorrectly, our experts say you could lose out on a great opportunity. Read this month’s “Your Money” section to learn to learn the best ways to use (or save) newfound money.
  • Outlet Deals Inside Your Home: If you love shopping at outlet malls for great deals, you’ll really love online outlet stores that sell open-box, past season, overstock items, and sometimes exclusive labels. This month’s issue will help you find websites with bargains, teach you to be alert to differences, and how to seek out discount codes.
  • The Other Retirement Plan: The retirement plan for millions of American teachers, government employees and workers isn’t the 401(k) savings plan, but the 403(b) plan, which operate by a much different set of rules. And in some cases, they are much riskier than 401(k)s. Learn how they are different, the issues 403(b) plans face, and how to protect yours.

Your Life:

  • Test-Drive A New Community: “Try before you buy” is a good guide not only when making a purchase like a car, but also for when you are considering a new community to live in. Read four intriguing and revealing stories about how older Americans used work assignments, the Internet, vacations and telecommuting to identify their dream retirement locale.


About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP@AARPenEspanol @AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.