Tips to guard against would-be scammers
Norman Nelson knew right away the person calling him on the phone was after his money.

"I got a call and they said this is the IRS and we've issued a warrant for your arrest," remembers Nelson. "I said send 'em over, I'll be waiting for them and I hung up because I knew it was all fraud."

Nelson is one of many seniors learning about fraud and how to spot it at the Crystal Community Center. The Fraud Fighting session is part of the "Donut Make You Wonder" series co-sponsored by the cities of New Hope, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Brooklyn Center and Robbinsdale Area Schools.

Where the money is at

When it comes to older adults, it's not so much about cognitive decline or memory loss, it's more about con artists targeting older adults because that's where the money is, explains Jay Haapala with AARP Minnesota.

"There’s a lot of misinformation that's out there about why we should be concerned about identity theft, but really there are simple things we can do to protect ourselves," Haapala said.

Haapala recommended three strategies to reduce your liability for identity theft.

 - First, monitor your financial accounts so you can spot an error right away.
 - Then, monitor your credit reports. While many online sites will try to make you pay for a credit report, you can get one for free through www.annualcreditreport.com.
 - Finally, don’t store large amounts of money around your home where it can be stolen or quickly accessed. Keep your money in the bank where it is federally protected.

When it comes to keeping up with fraudulent trends, sign up for AARP’s free Fraud Watch Network to access a wealth of information.

Shannon Slatton, reporting
on Twitter: @sslatton

February 15, 2017


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