Friday, September 22, 2006

PA AG Speaks to Seniors about Scams

On September 19, 2006, the Bucks County Courier Times (a Calkins Newspaper) published, and the Philly Burbs website made available online, an article by Crissa Shoemaker Debree entitled "Helping Senior Avoid Scams".

She reported the appearance and remarks of Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett at a seminar attended on Tuesday by fifty senior citizens at a hotel in Lower Southampton, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on the topic of financial scams targeted at senior citizens.

The article reported the PA AG's essential message to the audience:
Senior citizens are frequent targets of financial scams. Therefore senior citizens must protect themselves and their assets.

"They target older people,” Corbett said. “Why? You’re a little more trusting. Forty years ago, you probably left your keys in the car. You’ve got to start being a little suspect.” * * *

One Cambria County senior lost $65,000 to a common scam, Corbett said. A caller told her she had won the Canadian lottery and needed to send a check to cover international taxes, the AG said.

“They keep calling her,” he said. “We keep telling her, ‘Don’t do this.’ ” * * *

Corbett also advised seniors not to hire anyone who doesn’t have a physical business address or a business phone number.

“If they have an 800 number and no address, how are we going to track them down?” Corbett asked.

The newspaper reported that two other experts -- a local elder law attorney, and the president of a financial services company sponsoring the series of seminars -- also spoke to the audience about legal documentation and financial planning.

I believe that this seminar represents the sort of informative, cross-professional, and trustworthy presentations that seniors should attend.

On the other hand, I believe that seniors should avoid seminars with a "scare tactic" approach, a blatant marketing motive, or a "one-size fits all" solution for the attendees. Such seminars could be more a part of the problem than the solution.

The full article is found online

The PA AG's press release about the General's appearance can be found online here.