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Frank Abagnale Brings Fraud Fighting Message to UMBC on 6/1

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event Highlights Scams Against Seniors

AARP Maryland

Baltimore,Maryland (PR MediaRelease) June 14, 2018

Friday, June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

AARP Maryland and BC-REST (Baltimore County Restoring Elder Safety Today) are using the occasion to shine a light on the financial exploitation and abuse of seniors, and to offer resources to help protect our most vulnerable citizens by hosting a free public forum with fraud and identity theft expert, Frank Abagnale at the UMBC Event Center, 1000 Hilltop Lane in Catonsville, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The day’s events will also include a Teletown Hall with Frank, AARP State Director Hank Greenberg, and Attorney General Brian Frosh at 2:30 PM.

Editors Note: Frank Abagnale is available on June 15  for personal 1:1 media interviews between 1:30 and 2:30 PM either on-site at UMBC or via Skype or phone. Please contact Nancy Carr at 443-787-5382 or ncarr@aarp.org to schedule.

For over four decades, Frank has advised law enforcement and financial institutions, including the FBI, helping them to identify and outsmart con artists. Of course, Frank should know a thing or two about scams. In his late teens he was an international con man and imposter who inspired the movie , “Catch Me if You Can.” Today, he is here as AARP’s Fraud Watch Ambassador to share what he’s learned from the “con artist’s playbook,” to help people protect themselves and their loved ones.

The problem of elder financial exploitation is pervasive. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living reports that  an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited every year. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation. Funds that they rely on for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care, are instead lining the pockets of criminals who have cleverly cheated them.

According to the US Senate Select Committee on Aging, the top scams targeting the elderly include:

  1. IRS Impersonation Scam
  2. Computer Tech Support Scams
  3. Impending Law Suit Scams
  4. Health-Related Scams
  5. Unsolicited Phone Calls

Despite the widespread nature of the problem, only about 1 out of 14 cases are actually reported to authorities. So if you suspect someone you know, a friend or loved one, is being abused, please report it.  AARP advises that vigilance is the most effective weapon against fraud and the AARP Fraud Watch Network can help. When people are vigilant and educating themselves about the dangers of fraud, means that it doesn’t have to be inevitable; it can be preventable.

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With nearly 900,000 members in Maryland, AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Nancy Carr
AARP Maryland
Associate State Director of Communications
443-787-5382
ncarr@aarp.org

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