ATHENS, Ga. – AARP Georgia and four members of the national champion University of Georgia football team have come together to help Georgians stay safe from fraud and scams through releasing a video promoting the organization’s Fraud Watch Network (FWN).
This video represents the first time collegiate student-athletes have been spokespersons for AARP Georgia. That is thanks to a June 30, 2021 rule change in which NCAA college athletes are now allowed to benefit from their name, image and likeness (NIL) directly.
“For Georgians, there was nothing bigger than last year’s national championship run, and we at AARP are proud to be partnering with some of the young men who made that possible,” said AARP Georgia State Director Debra Tyler Horton. “We are very excited to have this group of Dawgs help raise awareness of how Georgians can avoid getting scammed.”
The video, seen here and on AARP Georgia’s social media pages, including Twitter and Facebook, promotes AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, which is a nationally acclaimed program to help protect older adults and their loved ones from scams and fraud. The video features Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, offensive linemen Sedrick Van Pran and Tate Ratledge, and tight end Ryland Goede directing viewers to AARP’s FWN.
The FWN is free to all, with no requirement to be an AARP member, or over the age of 50 to take part. FWN's consumer offerings include educational events, online news and information (including more than 100 stories last year alone), much of which is promoted online and on social media channels. The FWN puts out bi-weekly texts or email "Watchdog Alerts," and includes regular Fraud Watch features in AARP Bulletin and AARP the Magazine.
While AARP’s target market is the age 50+, AARP Georgia is working with the University of Georgia student-athletes as a way to make fraud and scam awareness more relevant to a younger audience who are also targets.
“If there is one thing everyone should understand, it’s that ‘scammers,’ are career criminals skilled at the art of manipulation and no one is immune,” Tyler Horton said. “These crooks target people of any age; in fact, 41 percent of those who reported a fraud loss to the Federal Trade Commission last year were under the age of 30.”
Research shows that if someone hears about a scam, they are 80 percent less likely to engage with it and, if they do engage, they are 40 percent less likely to fall victim. The Federal Trade Commission released its annual compendium of fraud reports from last year, and the news is shocking. Over the past three years, reported losses to consumer fraud has tripled, coming in at a reported $5.9 billion in 2021.
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 www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.