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Become scam savvy – stay ahead of financial crimes


By Patte Smith

Scams are happening everywhere it seems.  On the telephone, in emails, in postal mail, at stores, door-to-door – crooks are getting more and more clever every day.  Have you ever checked the area code number on a suspected fraudulent phone call?  Try it. There are quite a few from “area codes” that are not U.S. area codes, but out of the country.  Did you get mail from the IRS alerting you that you may qualify for a tax credit?  Oh, happy day – the only thing you have to do is fill out the form including your social security number and mail it back…hmmm, sounds fishy, or are they fishing for a sucker?  And the ever-so-popular email hoaxes that look so authoritative with the actual logos of legitimate corporations on them.  How can they do that and not be caught?

Do not feel embarrassed if you are not aware of these scams.  You are not alone.  Scams are a big part of the world these days, and law enforcement is trying to educate the public about these so-called good deals.

According to Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general who is now director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington, elder financial exploitation has been called the crime of the 21st century, and fighting it has never been more urgent.  In a recent article in The Columbus Disptch, Cordray was quoted, “Though financial exploitation is one of the most common forms of elder abuse, it is also one of the least reported.  In recent studies, only about 17 percent of seniors actually reported being a victim of financial abuse.

Many victims are too embarrassed to pursue criminal action,” Cordray stated.  “Others are too emotionally or physically frail.”  

Education about this ever-growing fraud is imperative, especially for older adults.  On Monday, June 27 at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) substation located in Highlands Ranch, the DCSO financial crimes unit will give a presentation titled “Beware of Scams – Staying Ahead of Financial Crimes.” They will educate adults about how to stay ahead of financial scams.   Learn how to protect yourself or an elderly loved one by identifying the warning signs of these scams.  

Two presentations will be offered – one at 2:00 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m.  Registration is required 48 hours prior to the event.  Visit www.highlandsranch.org/signmeup to register for a presentation.  The Highlands Ranch Substation is located at 9250 Zotos Drive, Highlands Ranch.

For more information, contact Jodie McCann at 720-240-4922 or jmccann@highlandsranch.org.

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