Jeanette A. Tucker, Claesgens, Mark A. | 10/12/2006 12:11:53 AM
The LSU AgCenter and other organizations are offering a program across the state designed to help consumers learn how to avoid scams, fraud and identity theft.
The next session is scheduled for October 19 at the St. James West Bank Reception Center in Vacherie.
Titled "Dollar Defense: Protecting Your Money, Personal Identity and Home Equity," the program will feature speakers and breakout sessions covering a wide variety of fraudulent schemes and scams, according to LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker, event organizer.
It will include discussions on identity theft, home repair scams, payday loans and other non-mortgage predatory lending, home equity mortgage lending scams, Medicare Part D and more.
Tucker says this consumer protection educational program is patterned after a successful series last summer known as "Scam Jams."
"Unethical individuals and companies use fraud to steal millions of dollars from Louisiana citizens each year," Tucker says, stressing that fraud is a burden that affects everyone. "Fraud takes money from hardworking individuals and retirees, drives up the cost of insurance premiums and compromises the quality of critical economic and social programs administered by the state."
Anyone can be vulnerable to fraud or identity theft, the family economist notes, explaining that the costs of identity theft or scams of any kind can be devastating to consumers. Therefore, consumers need to be scam-smart and to learn how to recognize predatory activities and avoid becoming a victim.
"We hope that ‘Dollar Defense’ participants will learn to better defend themselves from such fraudulent practices," Tucker says.
The program will run from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., with lunch provided. It is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so participants must register in advance. Place a toll-free call to (877) 926-8300 to register.
In addition to the speakers and breakout educational sessions, exhibit booths, where partnering organizations and others will provide informative literature and advice, also will be featured.
Sponsoring organizations include the LSU AgCenter, AARP Louisiana, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Entergy Corp., Southeast Legal Services and the Latin American Civic Association of Louisiana.
For more information on additional family economics information and related family life topics offered by the LSU AgCenter, visit www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com