CONSUMER FORUM

Elder Finance Seminars scheduled around Maine

Posted Sept. 02, 2012, at 4:13 p.m.

Another round of free seminars on protecting senior citizens from fraud is coming up around Maine next week.

The sessions are designed to give seniors and others who care about them solid information on spotting fraud and exploitation and getting help when they occur. Financial exploitation of seniors is on the rise in Maine and around the country; it’s considered one of the growing crimes of this century.

The sessions will be held in Hallowell 9-11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10; in Scarborough 2:30-4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10; in Lewiston 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11; in Bangor 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11; and in Presque Isle 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12. Locations and details are available by calling Maine’s Office of Securities at 877-624-8551 or the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 877-353-3771.

The Office and Association have teamed up with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, Investor Education Foundation ( www.SaveAndInvest.org), Legal Services for the Elderly and other experts to offer the sessions.

“Investment fraud criminals are experts at parting people from their money, and Mainers are being targeted,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. “We are committed to providing Mainers and all Americans with the information necessary to spot and avoid investment fraud and scams.”

The sessions are titled “Outsmarting Financial Fraud and Elder Abuse.” Judith Shaw, Maine’s Securities Administrator, said the gatherings will give resources to seniors and training to others who interact with seniors on a regular basis.

“Our partners in this effort do remarkable work to inform and protect seniors, and we encourage people to take advantage of the resources and insights to be offered,” Shaw said.

The two-hour general sessions are open to anyone. Each will be followed by a one-hour, train-the-trainer session; these are designed for service providers, professionals and others who deliver training to seniors on these issues.

A similar session last October in Bangor was well attended. The upcoming sessions could serve as a refresher for anyone who was there, as well as offering an array of information and resources for first-time participants.

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s membership-funded, nonprofit consumer organization. Individual and business memberships are available at modest rates. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit necontact.wordpress.com or email contacexdir@live.com.

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