AARP Eye Center
Medford Scam Jam Rocked KOBI Studio!
We came. We saw. We jammed.
Tuesday was our highly anticipated and completely free Scam Jam events held in Medford, OR. And as with any event - sporting, educational, or otherwise - we’ll now take a look back. Peer over the day’s proceedings. And, most importantly, take a step back and ask ourselves, “So what exactly did we learn?” That’s right. It’s now time for the official Scam Jam recap.
Okay so first off, the basics;
- We had 2 free events.
- The first starting at 9 am
- The second at 1 pm.
- Our partners from the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services and 10 local non-profit businesses and partners supported out cause.
- The Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Roseblum was our keynote speaker.
- AARP Consumer Advocate Ron Burley spoke on how con artists take your money.
- Detective B. Mak of the Medford Police covered Mail Fraud.
- Chuck Harwood of the Federal Trade Commission was on ID Theft
- The local SHIBA Chapter was in attendance.
- KOBI-TV NBC5, our media sponsor, graciously allowed us to hold the events in one of their studios, provided refreshments for attendees.
- And in all, we had nearly 250 people show up and learn how to better protect themselves against scammers.
Phew! That was a lot to get through. Certainly, the large turnout and spectacular support we received was awesome and nothing short of, well, jammin’.
Of course, what really made the day’s events worthwhile was actually listening to what our expert speakers had to say. Learning from their experiences, and realizing that scams really can happen to any of one us. Polling during the first event showed that 39% of the participating audience had been scammed. And in the second event, that number jumped to 45%. In fact, even Oregon’s own Attorney General admits to being a victim. “Two weeks ago, I learned my name and Oregon Department of Justice seal were being used as part of an email scheme,” Roseblum said during her opening remarks. This scam “Tricked people into paying money for a debt they didn't owe.”
In the end, Burley and the other speakers offered simple, yet effective tips to better protect you against scammers. Things like using a credit card instead of debit card or writing a check. Always asking for references, and taking your time when making big decisions.
But it’s not always just the proverbial “Scam Artist” who can trip you up. As author of Outsmarting the Scam Artist and AARP’s Consumer Advocate Ron Burley noted, even well-known companies can be to blame. "You get a free trial for something, all you do is give them your credit card and (pay) $4 for postage and handling," Burley stated. "But three pages down in the fine print, it says unless you return the trial product in 14 days, including postage both directions, with a letter requesting cancellation, after you've gotten the (return address) code from a special phone number, you are agreeing to be charged $80 a month for the next 12 months.”
So what’s the overall take-away from this (amazing) event? Answer; Take your time, and be weary. Because, ethical or not, Scammers want your money. And they’ll do whatever it takes to succeed.
Hear more tips from our speakers and other experts by visiting the AARP Fraud Watch Network.