AARP and host of experts conduct “how-to” workshop on spotting scams and avoiding fraud
Free and Open to the Public – Free Lunch Served!
Headlining the event are two of the top crime fighters in the state and nation combating crimes against elders. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox will launch the event with the morning keynote and Paul Greenwood, San Diego Deputy District Attorney and nationally renowned expert on financial elder abuse will close the event as the lunch keynote speaker.
Greenwood has been investigating crimes against the elderly for over two decades. As head of San Diego’s Elder Abuse Unit, he’s been a front-row witness to the tragedies such crimes have left in their wake.
“I have seen for myself many instances where victims in their seventies, eighties, nineties, never recover,” Greenwood said. “They don’t recover financially; they don’t recover psychologically. And emotionally, it can be devastating for them.”
Over the course of his career, Greenwood has emerged as one of the country’s leading advocates for elderly crime victims. He has not only pushed lawmakers at the state level to pass aggressive elder abuse reforms, but he’s also testified numerous times before Congress, calling for a nationwide change in our approach to elder abuse.
“Folks are becoming more aware of the threat posed by clever scams or investment schemes. Anyone, regardless of income, education, profession or age, can become a victim when unscrupulous individuals target unsuspecting consumers in an effort to line their own pockets,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “Information is a consumer’s best defense against becoming a victim. This fraud forum is a great opportunity for folks to learn about their rights as consumers, have their questions answered by experts in the field, and learn strategies that will help them overcome these challenges.”
AARP will present the forums together with a host of experts, including the Office of Consumer Protection under the Montana Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions, the Federal Trade Commission and the Montana Crime Prevention Association.
“The prevalence of these types of crimes has already reached epidemic proportions,” said Summers. “And this type of criminal activity will continue to grow as the Baby Boomers age. Financial exploitation of older Americans — from telemarketing scams to identity theft, fake check scams and home repair fraud — costs these vulnerable consumers an estimated $3 billion annually -- a 12% increase from 2008.”
The consumer protection workshop will focus on educating attendees about fraud and scams that frequently target boomers and older Montanans. Topics covered will include investment fraud, fake insurance, Ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, identity theft, internet scams, health care fraud, telemarketing fraud and elder financial abuse. It will also explain how to investigate your broker and steps to take if you have been victimized. Presenters will explore these topics during a three-hour session. The session will also be open for questions from the audience.
The workshop is free and open to the public and includes a free lunch and materials. Also a free document shredder will be given away at the event.
“AARP is here to serve as a resource on all sorts of scams and fraud,” said Summers. “A big part of what we do is education and training on how to outsmart the con artists. We know the best kind of consumer protection is the kind where the crime doesn't find the victim in the first place -- which is why we began the AARP Fraud Watch Network.”
To find out more about prevention of scams and fraud or to sign up for “Watchdog Alerts” log onto the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork.
Due to limited seating, an RSVP is kindly requested. Please call toll free at 1-877-926-8300 or log onto www.aarp.org/MT for registration link and details.
Quick Glance Details:
WHAT: “Operation Stop Scams” Consumer Fraud Forums sponsored by AARP
Tim Fox -- Montana Attorney General
Paul Greenwood -- San Diego Deputy District Attorney
Montana Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Protection
Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
Montana State Office of Banking and Financial Institutions
The Montana Crime Prevention Association
The Federal Trade Commission
WHEN & WHERE:
Wednesday, August 30 -- Billings
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 pm (on-site check-in begins at 8 am)
Billings Big Horn Resort
1801 Majestic Lane
Free lunch served!
DETAILS: The forums are free and open to the public and a free lunch will be served. A document shredder will be given away at the event. Due to limited seating, an RSVP is kindly requested. Please call toll free at 1-877-926-8300 or log onto www.AARP.org/MT for registration and details.