Seniors learn to avoid being victims of fraud
Doug Shadel, state director of AARP Washington and author of “Outsmarting the Scam Artists” spoke before a full room at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College Tuesday morning. Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen also attended the event.
“We want to equip as many people as we can with the tools to resist,” Shadel said.
Shadel said he interviewed victims and reviewed hundreds of tapes of con man calls to gather information that would help seniors recognize and protect themselves against fraud. Fraud complaints increased from slightly more than 600,000 in 2008 to more than one million in 2012, Shadel said. In 2005, about 20 percent of reported fraud cases involved the Internet. By 2011, that number had risen to 40 percent, he said.
Topping the list of scams in the Granite State are those involving identity theft, debt collection, bank and lender, impostor and shop at home scenarios. He told the audience they would be better able to defend against a scam if they could recognize it from a distance.
“The person who is asking the questions is the person who is in control of the conversation,” Shadel said.
Barbara Grenon, of Goffstown, agreed that the social media component was interesting.
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