TYLER (KYTX) - There's a brand new tool to protect you from scams and it won't cost you a dime.
The American Association of Retired Persons this month launched something called The Fraud Watch Network.
CBS 19's Katiera Wiinfrey explains why you don't have to be retired to use it.
With the tap of a keyboard and the click of a mouse, anyone can be exposed to scams online.
"I get on the internet almost everyday."
Checking your e-mail or visiting an unfamiliar web site can land you in a minefield of pop up adds, bogus free trial offers, or links that can leave you with spy ware -- all efforts to steal your money or identity.
"I do see the pop up windows and usually I do not click on them," said Internet user Gary Richardson.
He said he's never been directly scammed, but he's been tested.
"I got one from Nigeria. They had a rich uncle or someone here in the states and for some reason they couldn't get the money." Richardson said, it was a ploy for him to send money to allegedly get money back. He didn't fall for it.
AARP representatives say, last year similar schemes raked in about 18-billion from unknowing victims. and schemes like that are constantly growing. That's why AARP launched The Fraud Network web page.
Anyone any age can sign up for free. It works by giving you the ability to track scams by looking at your area and reading what scams other people have seen.
"We thought it was important to provide and educational component to it, not just wait until you see it in the news but maybe give people the tools and information they need to protect themselves and their families so they're not victims of fraud," said AARP representative Carmel Perez-Snyder.