Learn To Avoid Scams, Fraud

Jeanette A. Tucker, Claesgens, Mark A.  |  10/9/2007 1:29:57 AM

News Release Distributed 10/08/07

Consumers may learn how to avoid scams, fraud and identity theft through a program offered across the state by the LSU AgCenter and other organizations.

The next session is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Hardwood Mill Restaurant, 1194 Old River Mill Road in Oakdale.

"Dollar Defense: Don’t Be a Victim" will feature speakers and breakout sessions covering a wide variety of fraudulent schemes and scams, according to the event organizer, LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.

The program will include discussions on home repair scams, payday loans and other nonmortgage predatory lending, home equity mortgage lending scams, elder abuse and exploitation, Medicare fraud, insurance fraud and more.

"Unethical individuals and companies use fraud to steal millions of dollars from Louisiana citizens each year," Tucker said, 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 noted, 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 learn how to recognize predatory activities to avoid becoming a victim.

"We hope that ‘Dollar Defense’ participants will learn to better defend themselves from such fraudulent practices," Tucker said.

The program will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., with lunch provided. It is free and open to the public. In addition to speakers and breakout educational sessions, there will be exhibit booths, where partnering organizations and others will answer questions, provide informative literature and advice.

Sponsoring organizations include the LSU AgCenter, AARP Louisiana, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Entergy Corporation and the Senior Health Insurance Program.

Future 2007 Dollar Defense programs are scheduled in Belle Chase, Dec. 11; Lafayette, Jan. 10; Metairie, January 2008; Houma, February 2008; and Ruston, March 2008.
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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com

Contact: Jeanette Tucker (225) 578-5398 or Jtucker@agcenter.lsu.edu
Editor: Mark Claesgens (225) 578-2939 or mclaesgens@agcenter.lsu.edu

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