Char Jebens knows life can be challenging in a high-tech global society, especially for many who didn't grow up with it. In her work with older people, she sees how confusing unsolicited phone calls, e-mails and pop-up Internet ads can be.
"I knew there was a lot of fraud out there" targeting people 50 and older, she said. "I thought we needed to alert them."
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.