The Investor Protection Trust estimated that more than 7.3 million seniors (about 20 percent of all Americans 65 and older) have been victimized by a scam. Met Life Inc. estimated the annual loss by victims of elderly scams at $2.9 billion dollars.
Medicare and Medicaid estimate a combined total of more than $23 billion improperly billed and collected as a result of scams and frauds, according to a report from the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
Terre Haute-based Senior Education Ministries Inc. is setting out to educate seniors and help reduce these staggering statistics. The annual “Fraud and Scam Awareness Seminar for Seniors” has educated and empowered about 7,500 senior citizens in the past six years.
The seventh annual themed event, “Scam-a-lot” will be presented from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds and will provide many resources for individuals to better understand the elements of senior fraud and thereby avoid being scammed in the future.
Attendees can visit sponsor and vendor booths at their leisure throughout the day. All vendors and sponsors are safe, senior service and activity organizations who will not solicit attendees.
Seniors can attend one of three free medieval type lunches sponsored by Sycamore Manor.
During each lunch, speakers will educate seniors on fraud and scam prevention.
The speakers include Michelle Mayer, outreach director, Office of Indiana Attorney General; Steve Herndon, chief risk officer, First Financial Bank; and Don Penn, fraud specialist, First Financial Bank.
Mayor Duke Bennett will present a proclamation on behalf of himself and Gov. Mike Pence, declaring May 21 as Fraud and Scam Awareness Day for Seniors.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is scheduled to address law enforcement, senior citizens and community activists at the event with a formal charter signing ceremony at 1:45 p.m. for the Vigo County TRIAD.
Triad is an association between law enforcement, seniors and community organizations focused on protecting the well-being of seniors by fostering education and the prevention of consumer fraud while promoting safety issues.
For more information, visit senioreducationministries.org.