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Protect yourself against scammers

Fraud Squad on RLTV shows you how

Created date

May 30th, 2009

While Bernie Madoff, the world s most notorious scammer, sits behind bars, thousands of other con artists are out to get your money. A consumer education and advocacy group called Consumer Action estimates that while people over the age of 60 make up about 15% of the U.S. population, they account for roughly 30% of fraud victims. According to a 2007 Federal Trade Commission study, people between the ages of 65 and 74 were 34% less likely to report being victimized by swindlers. Justice for all The first comprehensive federal effort to address the exploitation of older people, called The Elder Justice Act, was recently introduced to Congress. Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), one of the bill s co-sponsors, is credited with adding language that protects against mail, telemarketing, and Internet scams targeting older Americans. "My own experiences as the primary caregiver for my grandmother opened my eyes to exploitative tactics targeted at older Americans and affirmed why the Elder Justice Act is so necessary," Baldwin says. Despite the clear need to address this pervasive problem, passage of the Elder Justice Act is far from certain. Similar versions of the bill have languished in previous sessions of Congress, and with so many issues competing for Washington s attention, the Elder Justice Act could very well meet the same fate as its predecessors. In the meantime, scammers are coming up with a myriad of new tactics designed to play on your good nature and separate you from your hard-earned money. The best defense is to keep your guard up and learn about their tricks. ' Fraud Squad, a new program on Retirement Living TV (RLTV), gives consumers the ammunition they need to keep ahead of the scammers. Hosted by award-winning consumer correspondent Lea Thompson, Fraud Squad investigates the ploys crooks use to steal your money and/or your identity. Each episode takes an in-depth look at actual scams from pyramid schemes to stock market swindles to home improvement hoaxes. ' Fraud Squad premiered May 27 at 9:30 p.m. EDT. Visit www.rl.tv for a list of anti-fraud resources.

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Love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood? Don t miss all-new episodes ofThe Florence Henderson Showpremiering this month on RLTV! Join Florence poolside for a chat with Ester Williams or learn what major role almost went to Joan Collins. Check local listings or visit www.rl.tv. michele.harris@erickson.com

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