Bauer and the staff from the Office on Aging will hold a “listening session” on senior fraud at 11 a.m. at the Union County Council on Aging at 237 N. Gadberry St. The session is designed to help senior citizens and their caregivers learn how to identify frauds and scams and protect themselves.
John Legare, public information coordinator for the Office on Aging, said there are a wide variety of scams and frauds being perpetrated on seniors throughout South Carolina.
“It's a serious issue. We've been traveling the state since June; the lieutenant governor has been meeting with seniors and their caregivers to find out how they may have been victimized by scams or fraud,” he said. “The number of incidents has been alarming and Lt. Gov. Bauer is making a priority of protecting seniors.
“It's everything from family members taking advantage of seniors to telemarketing fraud, identity theft, sweepstakes scams,” he said. “The important thing to remember is that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
To help prevent seniors or anyone else from becoming a victim of fraud and scams, Legare said the office has compiled “Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's Senior Fraud Prevention Resource Guide.” The 31-page book provides information on the different types of scams and frauds and how people can protect themselves from them. Copies of the book will be provided free of charge to those attending Tuesday's listening session. The information is also available at the Office on Aging website, www.aging.sc.gov.
Counselors will also be on hand to meet with seniors who have been victimized. Appointments to speak with the counselors can be made by calling 1-800-868-9095.
Legare said seniors and their caregivers can speak with counselors at the Office on Aging by calling 1-800-868-9095. He said they can also call the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs for counseling and information. If they believe criminal activity is involved, Legare said they should contact their local police department or sheriff's office.