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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

National Consumer Protection Week

We should all be vigilant in protecting ourselves from financial frauds and scams, but older adults are particularly vulnerable because they are often the target of scammers and unscrupulous businesses.

National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-11, is an awareness campaign led by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help older adults and consumers of all ages understand their rights and make smart decisions about how to spend their money.

The FTC’s Consumer Information website includes information about the latest financial frauds and scams, as well as consumer education on reverse mortgages, home improvement, free credit reports, online privacy and security, health and fitness claims, and jobs and making money.  The information is aimed at helping consumers make smart choices about how to use their money and protect their identity:

  • is a reverse mortgage right for you
  • is that “work from home” offer too good to be true
  • will this product really help me lose 10 pounds in five days
  • how can I stop unwanted calls and emails
  • how can I repair identity theft

Along with the FTC, many other organization support efforts to protect older adults from frauds and scams and help them make informed decisions. 

Ohio Attorney General’s Office

The Ohio Attorney General advises older adults to stay informed about the latest consumer scams.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

This website has a special section for older Americans, including the Money Smart for Older Adults – Prevent Financial Exploitation curriculum, and a guide for financial caregiving.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

Pro Seniors Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

Using a team of volunteers, Ohio SMP helps seniors prevent, detect and report health care fraud, errors and abuse.  The organization conducts outreach and education, facilitates hearings and complaints, and recruits, trains and engages SMP volunteers.  Pro Senior's Ohio SMP team will host its 8th annual consumer protection and fraud prevention forum, March 30 at Maple Knoll Village. Click here for more information about the event. 

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