4 States

— AARP Texas has joined forces with the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for Operation Protect Veterans — a campaign to warn those who have served in the military about scams and fraud schemes that target veterans. The major educational campaign will reach out to veterans in communities across Texas and nationwide. The goal of Operation Protect Veterans is to educate and protect veterans from losing money to con artists. A new AARP survey reveals that …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) has been presented a Texas Legislative Leadership Award from AARP Texas, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization for older Texans. Hancock, who chairs the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, sponsored major legislation during the regular session to help combat elder financial abuse and surprise medical bills. The bills, backed by AARP, have been signed into law by the governor. A bill Hancock …

4 States

— Hurricane Harvey had barely stopped howling and Houston was still flooded when officials began hearing complaints of fraud targeting victims of the monster storm’s fury. Dismaying reports of $99 cases of water and $20 gallons of gasoline are among the 684 complaints of scams, including ones involving fraudulent charities, to reach the Texas attorney general’s office within four days of Harvey’s landfall. Gov. Greg Abbott condemned the crimes as “reprehensible” and “unTexan,” and he said the long road of storm …

4 States

— The threat posed by Hurricane Harvey remains extreme, and Texans should continue to heed the warnings of local officials and emergency personnel. The safety and security of everyone is a top priority for AARP. Harvey’s effects on Houston, the Texas coast, and many Texas communities are likely to be long lasting and varied. There are ways to help the victims of the massive storm. These local government sites have updated information: Houston: http://www.houstonemergency.org/ Corpus Christi:  http://www.cctexas.com/ San Antonio:  http://www.sanantonio.gov/ Austin: …

— The following is a statement by AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson applauding the passage of HB 3921 by the Texas Senate today, a measure which would improve the reporting of financial exploitation targeting older Texans and would give new tools to banks and securities firms to place a temporary hold on suspicious transactions. Jackson said: “The Senate today has joined the House in taking an important step to protect vulnerable adults from becoming victims of financial fraud and abuse. We …

— Retirement should be a time of peace and relaxation, not one of struggle and financial worry. And when retirees seek advice regarding retirement investments, they should expect their professional advisors to give prudent guidance that keeps their best interests in mind. But low- and middle-income Texans currently lack adequate protections with their retirement savings. The previous administration updated and strengthened a Department of Labor fiduciary rule to require financial advisors to act in clients’ best interest rather than their own. …

— Texas Appleseed and AARP today released five “Managing Someone Else’s Money” guides, a toolkit for financial caregivers in Texas who manage money or property for those unable to do so for themselves. This interactive series of guides, in English and Spanish, is available in print and online at www.ProtectTheirMoneyTx.org. Nearly 3.5 million unpaid family caregivers in Texas provide a great labor of love by helping their parents, spouses and others manage their financial affairs – but they often lack the …

— When state lawmakers convene next month for the 2017 legislative session, AARP Texas will pursue an agenda that includes strengthening nursing home quality, easing stress for family caregivers, helping millions of Texans save for retirement, and protecting seniors from financial exploitation. AARP’s non-partisan Texas legislative priorities also include a focus on eliminating surprise medical bills, and advocating for the age 50+ community to ensure that insurance costs are reasonable, coverage is reliable, and utility services are affordable and dependable. The …

— By Thomas Korosec Julie Krawczyk, director of the Elder Financial Safety Center, has seen a flood of cases like this: Four years ago, an 89-year-old Dallas woman, widowed with no family, moved to a care facility after she fell and broke her hip. She granted a friend from her church control of her finances and authority to act in her place. The so-called friend abused that trust by liquidating $145,000 in stocks, selling the woman’s home and spending the proceeds …

— It’s the season for severe storms in Texas, and AARP is alerting consumers about potential home repair ripoffs and other scams following natural disasters. It’s unfortunate, but the aftermath of a disaster attracts opportunists and scammers. Now is an important time for Texans to ready their homes, families and businesses for the worst that Mother Nature may throw their way–and to protect themselves from fraud. Too often, criminals pose as insurance inspectors, government officials or building contractors to prey on …