Free consumer protection help for seniors

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - On Wednesday at 10 a.m., Congressman Randy Forbes will offer a free consumer protection workshop in Chesterfield. It will take place at John Tyler Community College, in the Nicholas Student Center.

We're told from people who work at Senior Connections in Richmond that some of the people that walk through the doors there are victims to scams and fraud simply because they deal with high pressure situations from sales people.

Grandparents and loved ones are close to many of our hearts. So it hurts many when any senior becomes a victim of fraud or identify theft.

"They have given so much to their families. Our job is to give education to them so they don't fall victim to fraud and abuse," says Thelma Watson, Exec. Director of Senior Connections.

She sees how often people that she cares for fall victim to those crimes.

"We don't want to see any case. So, any case is too often," adds Thelma.

She, along with Linda Barnhart who also works at the center, saw a case just last week. "A lady that had been looking at a life insurance policy was all of the sudden enrolled in a healthcare plan which totally changed her coverage."

Some may say that's the victims fault for signing up. But see to why Linda said it happened: "It was an agent that was not following the rules."

Linda adds, recently with the change in healthcare coverage, more seniors are becoming victims of this type of fraud.

That's why leaders here are excited about the workshop next week for seniors on consumer protection methods.

"We are very concerned people get the info they need so they won't be vulnerable," says Watson.

Many of us may think it'll never happen to us. But, even Thelma knows that's just not the case.

"I'll put this on a very personal level. I would feel very concerned that my own parents would be vulnerable to this situation. So it is something that is very close and dear to all of us," adds Watson.

We're put the information on the free workshop on this web site, just click under All Access.

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