Brightmore University brought to the community a very important topic all seniors should know about: “Operation Protect Veterans and Your Family”. This was presented by Members of The AARP Fraud Watch Network, Carole LaBlanc and Beth Fortunado. Carole and Beth presented on two topics, scammers seeking seniors and scammers seeking Veterans. In 2016, 15.4 million people had their identities stolen and 16 billion were through identity theft. The three most common fraud trends are Identity Theft, Investment Fraud, and Online & Offline scams. We learned that the con artists use specific persuasion tactics that include Phantom Riches, Profiling, Scarcity, Source Credibility and Fear & Intimidation.
Prevention Strategies we can all use to prevent scammers is to:
- Never make a buying decision in a heightened emotional state
- Ask more questions than you answer
- Read about the product before buying
- Don’t let a salesperson control you
- Develop a refusal script to stop unwanted interactions
- Protect your Social Security Number
- Monitor your bills and financial accounts
- Protect your PINS & Passwords
- Protect your Mail
- Protect your information online.
The Veteran scammers also have a new enemy: scammers offering to update military information, VA Loan Modifications, Advanced Cash for future pension/benefits, and opportunities to donate to a charity raising money for disabled veterans. This seminar was a great opportunity to receive consumer protection tools and preventions to protect military veterans and their family from FRAUD.