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Senior Scam Jam participants learned how to avoid financial fraud

More than 110 seniors participated

LUCAS, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2016) — More than 110 seniors from at least 10 Kentucky counties learned today how to recognize and avoid financial fraud at a Senior Scam Jam seminar.

The Senior Scam Jam is designed to raise awareness about the techniques con artists use, so seniors can recognize the tactics and protect themselves from fraud. Topics included cybercrime, mail fraud, reverse mortgages, identity theft, Medicare fraud and investment fraud. All attendees received free handouts and materials, including a contact sheet so seniors would know who to call with questions.

The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) organized this free, public event in conjunction with the Barren River Area Development District, Kentucky AARP and other partners. The Barren River Area Development District secured grant funding for this event.

“A recent national survey found that one in five people over the age of 65 has been a victim of a financial swindle. We want to lower those numbers in Kentucky,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “We hope to prevent future scams from taking place by helping seniors identify red flags and find out where to get help.

Participants learned to recognize these common “red flags” of fraud:

  • Special guarantees
  • Promises of no risk with high rewards/returns
  • Offers for a “limited time” only
  • Offers for YOU only
  • Pressure by the salesperson to give an immediate response
  • “Cash only” accepted
  • Promises to get you the paperwork “later”
  • The company or a representative cannot be reached if you have questions
  • The offer sounds too good to be true

The following are some steps seniors learned to take to avoid falling victim to fraud:

  • Take your time
  • Do your homework before signing any contract or paperwork
  • Read the fine print
  • Check out the source
  • Be skeptical of unsolicited calls
  • Have a plan to get off the phone
  • Have a “buddy” – someone to help get you out of a situation where you feel pressured
  • Don’t trust testimonials