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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

CT senior advocates host series about scam prevention

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Friday, February 23, 2024   

Today is the first day of AARP Connecticut's new series addressing scams and fraud. As scams become more complex, it can be harder to notice the warning signs.

In Better Business Bureau data, consumers reported 400 different scams in 2022, an increase of 90 from the year before. A primary reason older adults are targeted in some scams is that they have more money than younger people.

Kelli Lefler, associate state director for community outreach at AARP Connecticut, said losing money to scams can pose serious financial challenges.

"It can take a toll, you know; some people will only get scammed out of a couple hundred dollars, but even a couple hundred dollars is a lot of money," she said. "But it can be as drastic as losing $7,000, $10,000, $100,000 for the 'right' person with the 'right' scam."

Beyond money, scams can take a massive emotional toll as well. Lefler said it isn't true that only gullible people fall for scams, and the embarrassment of being conned can prevent people from reporting them.

The series is all online and free. Anyone looking to register can visit events.aarp.org/FightFraudFeb.

Lefler said AARP is collaborating for the series with other organizations that address or deal with fraud. Other topics will include Artificial Intelligence in April.

She said increasing robocalls and advancements in AI have created fear in some seniors.

"There's some fear that scammers can take the voice of your grandchild now," she said, "and call grandma or grandpa, saying that they're being held captive or they're in trouble with law enforcement and need help."

Last year, a Connecticut man was indicted in Wisconsin for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He scammed Wisconsin seniors out of $200,000 in 2022 by calling them and falsely claiming to be representing one of their relatives who had been arrested and needed money for bail.

Later installments in the series might focus on cryptocurrency and romance scams.

Disclosure: AARP Connecticut contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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