AARP Pennsylvania Highlights the Power of Screening Calls to Combat Scams

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — AARP Pennsylvania urges Pennsylvanians to use call screening as a powerful defense against scams. By letting answering machines or voicemail screen calls, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of falling for fraudulent schemes.

Mary Bach, Chair of AARP Pennsylvania’s Consumer Issues Task Force, emphasizes the importance of this approach, stating, “The single most effective way to avoid scam calls is to let your answering machine or voicemail screen calls for you. It is a power we all possess, but unfortunately, it’s not one we all use.”

Watch AARP’s “Fraud Watch Minute” on Scam Calls here.

Recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals that over one-third of reported scams originated from phone calls, resulting in reported losses exceeding $700 million, with a median loss of $1,200.

David Kalinoski, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Pennsylvania, highlights the necessity of call screening, stating, “Our best defense is allowing calls to go to the answering machine or voicemail. This gives us the opportunity to listen to messages with intent and evaluate their validity.”

Scammers employ tactics such as false promises, aggressive sales pitches, and phony threats to deceive individuals and extract personal information or money. Advancements in technology have made such activities easier for scammers.

AARP Pennsylvania advises everyone to remain vigilant and exercise caution when dealing with potential scams. Individuals should be wary of unsolicited calls claiming to be from government agencies, public utilities, or major technology companies. It is important to note that these entities do not make unsolicited calls. Additionally, individuals should be cautious of calls offering products or services that sound too good to be true.

Mary Bach concludes, “IF YOU CAN SPOT A SCAM, YOU CAN STOP A SCAM.” She encourages individuals to sign up to receive bi-weekly alerts from the AARP Fraud Watch Network by visiting or by texting FWN to 50757. The Fraud Watch Network is a free resource available to anyone; you do not have to be an AARP member.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

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 and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

TJ Thiessen | [email protected] | (202) 374-8033

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania

Originally published at
Images courtesy of PixaBay

Next articleGermany continues to provide urgent support to victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria