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Groups, State Leaders Seek To Help Seniors Avoid Scams

The AARP and state officials are working to help empower senior citizens to identify financial predators.

Andre Carson and Joe Donnelly

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Sen. Donnelly gives a talk on how seniors are at risk for scams.

Several groups such as AARP in Indiana, along with state and elected officials such as the Indiana Attorney General and Sen. Joe Donnelly are working help seniors identify scams aimed at stealing their savings and identities.

Donnelly serves on the Senate Special Committee on Aging and Tuesday he took a hearing on the road, holding a meeting at the Indiana State Fair.

Several organizations, including the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Attorney General and the Secret Service participated, with a goal of helping empower seniors to identify financial predators.

Donnelly says seniors are particularly at risk because they often have more savings than younger people and they’re often more isolated, living alone.

“They haven’t talked to anyone in a while and for some seniors, the person calling tries to act like they’re their friends, somebody who cares about them and is interested in them,” Donnelly says.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says his office holds information sessions around the state, telling seniors about current scams but also helping identify warning signs that apply to almost all frauds.

He says the first red flag is unsolicited calls or emails.

“Stop the transaction and make your own contacts  So if they say you’re a relative, call one of the relatives. If they say they’re from the government, call somebody in the government,” Zoeller warns.

Zoeller and Donnelly say current scams include phone calls about winning a Jamaican lottery and messages about sending money for relatives on vacation who need help.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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