13 On Your Side: How to avoid scammers for Maine's elderly
Each and every day more Mainers are becoming the victims of scams and fraud. Take one look at our WGME Facebook page, and you'll see viewers contacting us on a regular basis about new scams that are out there. But as News 13's Kate Barker reports, elderly Mainers came together for an event that could prevent them from becoming the next victim.
Clover Manor in Auburn is the largest nursing home in the state and Thursday it hosted a large crowd. Many of the people here are victims of scams and fraud.
Janet Mills, Maine Attorney General: People are getting scammed every day across this country and maine is no exception, unfortunately.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says public events like this are key to stopping scammers from taking advantage of people.
Mills: The more education we can do, the better.
Criminals are targeting people like Joanne Sabourin, a well-educated Mainer who is embarrassed to admit she became a victim of a travel scam that came in the mail.
Joanne Sabourin: I'm saying ,there can't be that many crooks out there, but there seem to be.
Grandmother Arlene Gauthier says she felt ashamed after giving out her personal information to a stranger.
Arlene Gauthier: I'm very gullible!
People like Arlene learned that criminals will target you in any way possible, via mail, email, or over the phone.
Mills: We have people calling up senior citizens pretending to be relative or grandchild lost in Europe, sob stories, any way they can get you to write a check or to send some money.
Maine does have a large senior citizen population, which may be why scam artists target the state so frequently.
Mills: There is a great deal of isolation in our rural and graying state so people are vulnerable, but we're also independent and not stupid, and we know how to hang up the phone and delete emails.
Experts hope forums like this one will help increase awareness and decrease the number of victims here. In auburn kate barker news 13.
The Federal Trade Commission and congressman Mike Michaud's office organized Thursdays event. If you think you or a loved one may have been targeted, you're asked to report the scam to the Maine attorney general's office.
For great resource for finding specific tips on how to avoid fraud, follow the link: www.maine.gov/ag/
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