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Mower County Senior Center: Scammers prey on seniors

The Mower County Senior Center — Advocacy Program will present "Scams that Seniors Face," at 2 p.m. Thursday. This presentation is free and open to the public. Please join us to learn about the many scams seniors face and how to protect yourself from them.

The elderly are scammed out of $2.6 billion per year. You can protect yourself or your loved ones from financial elder abuse by becoming familiar with the most common scams and learning what to do if you suspect foul play.

Common financial scams include:

• The Grandparent Scheme. The caller will say that they are your grandchild, they are in some sort of trouble and need you to send them money. Rather than saying, "Oh, is this John?" Ask the caller to tell you their name and do not volunteer any information. Often when the fraudster is questioned, they will hang up.

• Fake lottery or sweepstakes winnings. Don't fall for a pay-to-play scheme. It's illegal for companies to require you to buy anything to enter a sweepstakes. It's also illegal for Americans to enter a foreign country's lottery.


• Other scams include telemarketing or mail fraud, unauthorized access to funds, charging excessive amounts of money for goods or services, selling bogus items, faking an injury, offering false prizes and doing unsolicited home repairs. The scams can be delivered through the mail, by telephone, over the Internet or in person.

Too often, people older than 50 fall for these scams because they are less likely to take action when defrauded, they expect honesty and they are less knowledgeable about their rights in an increasingly complex marketplace. People older than 50 are more likely to be home than their younger neighbors, and this puts them within easy reach of devious telemarketers and home solicitors.

Be aware that as a senior you are a target of many scams. Do not share your personal information, ask questions and be informed.

On the menu

Don't forget our coffee shop, where every day you can have homemade soup for $1 and a sandwich for 50 cents. On Tuesday, we will be having scalloped potatoes and ham in the coffee shop starting at 11:30 a.m. for $2.

Upcoming events

Monday:Blood pressure checks, 9 a.m.; cards, 12:30 p.m.;Exercise w/Evie,1 p.m.;Facebook lesson, 6 p.m.; movie, 6 p.m.

Tuesday:Silver Sneakers, 8:30 a.m.;Exercise w/Evie, 9 a.m. and11:30 a.m.; scalloped potatoes and ham, 11:30 a.m.; cards, 12:30 p.m.;Zumba Gold, 4 p.m.;Silver Sneakers, 4:30 p.m.;Boot Camp, 5:10 p.m.;Zumba/Zumba Toning, 6:10 p.m.; yoga, 7:20 p.m.


Wednesday:Wood Carvers, 8:30 a.m.;Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; duplicate bridge, noon; cards, 12:30 p,m,;Stitching Bees, 1 p.m.; open chess, 1 p.m.

Thursday:Silver Sneakers, 8:30 a.m.;Exercise w/Evie, 9 a.m.; cards, 12:30 p.m,; open chess, 1 p.m.;Zumba Gold, 4 p.m.;Silver Sneakers, 4:30 p.m.;Boot Camp, 5:10 p.m.;Zumba/Zumba Toning, 6:10 p.m.;Yoga, 7:20 p.m.

Friday: Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; cards,12:30 p.m.; ping pong, 3 p.m.

Sara Schafer is executive director of the Mower County Senior Center.

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