Jeanette A. Tucker | 5/16/2008 6:44:13 PM
North Louisiana consumers can learn how to avoid scams, fraud and identity theft at a program on May 29 at the Lincoln Parish Library, 910 Trenton Street in Ruston.
The session is part of the “Dollar Defense: Don’t Be a Victim” series being held across the state by the LSU AgCenter and other organizations.
The workshop features 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 includes 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 runs from 9:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., with lunch provided. It is free and open to the public. In addition to speakers and breakout educational sessions, exhibit booths will be set up where partner organizations and others will answer questions and provide informative literature and advice.
In addition to the LSU AgCenter, sponsors include the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs, Entergy Corporation and the Senior Health Insurance Program.