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Money Smart Week targets seniors to prevent fraud

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - If you've been thinking about talking to your aging parents about fraud, this week is the perfect time to have that conversation. It's Money Smart Week.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson along with members of the Attorney General's office, Prosecutor's Office, and other agencies took part in a panel, Tuesday, to share advice with seniors on how they can protect themselves from scams.

Seniors are the target for fraudsters. According to a Virginia Tech study about elder financial abuse, the annual loss suffered by senior victims of financial fraud is estimated to be $2.9 billion dollars.

“They’re either on a fixed income and they need that promise of additional income or they’ve built up a nest egg and they have money," explained Secretary Lawson. "So they can prey on either one of those situations.”

Secretary Lawson added the best protection is prevention and sometimes that's as easy as family members getting more involved.

“Everybody needs to be vigilant. They need to work with seniors who don’t understand the risk of talking with people on the phone, or clicking on phishing emails. So families just need to help make sure seniors understand the danger of technology these days.”

There are fraud prevention events happening all week. To find one close to you, click here.

Panel members included Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Director of Outreach Services for the Office of the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection Division Michelle Mayer, Deputy Prosecutor Cindy Oetjen from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Vanessa Convar with Adult Protective Services, Mandla Moyo from AARP, Nancy Stone with Senior Medicare Patrol, and Doctor Mary Guerriero from the Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

You can watch a video about ID Theft produced by the Federal Trade Commission  here.