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Commissioner Rothman teams up with AARP to talk about elder fraud, financial abuse prevention

Mon, Apr 22nd, 2013
Posted in All State of Minnesota

Statewide Tele-town hall focused on the fight against senior fraud

SAINT PAUL, MN – Within this decade, there will be more Minnesotans over the age of 65 than children enrolled in our public schools. Senior citizens across the country hold the majority of the nation’s wealth and scam artists know it. As part of Financial Literacy Month, The Department of Commerce and AARP held a tele-town hall this morning for Minnesota’s seniors about the importance of protecting themselves from financial fraud. AARP reached out to roughly 20,000 members and asked them to stay on the line to learn how to spot fraud, protect themselves from financial scams, and learn who to turn to if they or a loved one have been victimized.

Due to age-related factors, illnesses, and cognitive impairment, many older adults are particularly vulnerable to investment fraud and financial exploitation. Senior citizens control nearly 70 percent of the nation’s wealth – and crooks know it, often making seniors a prime target for fraud. In fact, older consumers lose $2.5 billion every year to financial abuse – a startling statistic that Commissioner Rothman is working to change.

“The best line of defense against fraud is prevention, education, and reporting it,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Whether you are being solicited over the phone, by mail, email, or at your door, we are here to help seniors protect themselves and stop fraud and abuse.”

Protect Yourself

Commissioner Rothman stressed the importance of awareness and the steps that Minnesota seniors can take to protect themselves, to be aware of the potential for elder financial abuse and to take the following steps to protect themselves from scams:

End the Call – There is no such thing as being rude when protecting yourself and your investments from scammers. If a solicitor makes you uncomfortable or is confusing, just hang up. Trust your instincts.

Phone a Friend - When Commissioner Rothman’s grandmother is called by a solicitor over the phone, the first thing she does is call Commissioner Rothman. You should identify a trusted friend or family member you can call for questions and advice.

Report the Fraud – The Minnesota Department of Commerce is here to help. Report the fraud so others don’t fall victim to the same scam.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Help Line can be reached by phone at (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602. Complaints can also be sent by email to consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by mail to Minnesota Department of Commerce, 85 7th Place East, Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55101.

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