Aging Networks Partner to Combat Senior Fraud

March 05, 2015

Consumer Initiative aims at seniors in Emerging Populations


As part of National Consumer Protection Week, which runs from March 1 through March 7, several area agencies have partnered to produce a series of animated digital shorts aimed at combating fraud in fast-growing Spanish, Hmong and Somali-speaking segments of our community. The theme of the videos is “Be Wise about Senior Fraud,” and they will air on Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) beginning on March 2nd.


This initiative was made possible through a grant provided by Greater Twin Cities United Way.  Additional partnering organizations include: ECHO Minnesota, AARP Minnesota, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB), Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, Minnesota Board on Aging, Minnesota Department of Commerce and tpt.


Four versions of the videos were produced – in Somali, SpanishHmong and Basic English – and their purpose is to inform senior citizens and their loved ones about the risks and prevalence of fraud against seniors, as well tactics scammers use, and arm them with tips for avoiding these scams. The videos will also encourage people to report such scams to the authorities.


“Financial exploitation of older adults is an increasing problem that impacts the ability for these adults to remain independent. We’re proud to partner with ECHO Minnesota – an expert in education and outreach, along with a broader coalition of partners – to raise awareness about fraud prevention.  By providing valuable resources  to emerging populations statewide leads to stronger communities,” said United Way Senior Vice President of Community Impact, Meghan Barp.


Minority segments within our communities are at increased risk of falling victim to scams due to language, literacy and cultural barriers. In an effort to reach populations with limited English proficiency, the videos are narrated by multilingual ambassadors. All four videos will air on tpt’s Minnesota Channel, as part of a half-hour program titled Echo: Be Wise about Senior Fraud. They will be re-broadcast several times throughout the year. In addition, the partners behind this initiative will work with community leaders statewide to spread this message.

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