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Minnesota

Fraud Fighters Spread the Word on How to Guard Against Fraud

Volunteers educate public on scams, ID theft

Minnesota State Page News March 2011

Char Jebens is one of AARP Minnesota's Fraud Fighters, a corps of volunteers who stay on the alert for possible scams aimed at older people. Her grandson, Ishan Singh, provides computer assistance for his grandmother. — Darin Back/Redux

Everyone needs to become aware of fraud and unafraid to report it, said Michele Kimball, AARP Minnesota state director. "That means anything that just doesn't feel right."

AARP Minnesota has urged the legislature to develop additional protections for consumers but has not endorsed a specific plan.

To learn more about Fraud Fighter training or seminar dates, visit the AARP Minnesota website.

To request a Fraud Fighter information packet or to arrange for a speaker in your community, e-mail apope@aarp.org or call 1-866-554-5381 toll-free.

Protect yourself against fraud

  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Provide financial or personal information only to trusted organizations.
  • Do not pay anyone to help you receive benefits under the new health insurance law.
  • Check your online bank account daily for unauthorized activity; report possible errors to your bank.
  • Monitor credit card statements; report any charges you didn't make to your credit card company.
  • Before you open the door to someone selling something, ask to see a city permit for making house calls.
  • Request a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com yearly.
  • Report questionable Medicare and other health care charges in Minnesota to the Senior Linkage Line, 1-800-333-2433.

Kay Harvey is a freelance writer in Woodbury, Minn.

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