"Scam artists aren't smarter than you. They're just more experienced."
The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has joined state and local partners to present a series of Senior Scam Jam events across Kentucky. These free, public workshops educate consumers about current scams and how to protect themselves against investment fraud.
The series of events includes presentations in regional areas across Kentucky.
Events are free and include lunch. Registration is required. Check back later for 2018 events - information coming soon!
Here is a summary of tips that are presented at these seminars. Selected presentations are available at the bottom of this page. See the Quick Links at right for contact information for you to get help or report suspected fraud.
What to Watch Out For
Common “Red Flags” of Financial Fraud:
- Special guarantees (in investing or sweepstakes)
- Promises of no risk with high rewards/returns
- Offers for a “limited time” only
- Offers for YOU only
- Pressure by the salesperson to give an immediate response
- Requirements for an advance payment or “cash only” accepted
- Promises to get you the paperwork “later”
- The company representative cannot be reached if you have a question
- The offer sounds too good to be true
Steps to take to avoid falling victim:
- Take your time
- Do your homework before signing any contract (lending, investing or otherwise)
- Read the fine print
- Check out the source
- Be skeptical of unsolicited calls
- Have a plan to get off of the phone
- Have a “buddy” – someone to help get you out of a situation where you feel pressured
- Don’t trust testimonials
What to do if you’re a victim:
- Don’t be embarrassed. You are not the only victim.
- Immediately report it to the proper authorities.
- Let your family and friends know what happened. By talking with others you may save someone else from becoming a victim.
Savvy Senior Publication
The Savvy Senior publication summarizes information presented at the events. Download a copy to find out how to recognize fraud and avoid becoming a victim.
"Buyer Beware" Video
DFI and AARP have produced a video summarizing the information presented at the Senior Scam Jam events. Copies of the video are made available to groups of 25 or more. Video clips of "Buyer Beware: Avoiding Financial Scams" can be viewed on DFI's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/kydfi.
AARP research shows that baby boomers and older investors – because they have the money to invest – are natural targets for a wide range of unscrupulous practices. The investment might be an outright fraud, or it might be a completely legitimate product that is unsuitable for the investor's circumstances. The investor could be subjected to aggressive marketing ploys that conceal the risk, or the pitch is for guaranteed high returns.
Before investing, investors should check with their state securities regulator to verify if the investment opportunity is registered and if the seller is licensed. In Kentucky, visit DFI's Investment Help
Web page or call 800-223-2579.
The techniques scam artists use to sell inappropriate investments are typical of many types of financial fraud. That’s why our partners include the Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and others to help provide information on avoiding fraud and protecting yourself and your finances.
Senior Scam Jam Background
The current Senior Scam Jam events grew out of the Campaign for Wise and Safe Investing™ – a national educational and awareness campaign to protect Americans against investment fraud. The national campaign was formed by the AARP Foundation and the Investor Protection Trust (IPT). Kentucky participated in the campaign from 2007-2009. A grant from IPT and the AARP Foundation funded six free, public events called “Senior Scam Jams” that informed more than 600 citizens around Kentucky about how to protect against fraud. It also funded production and distribution of the informational video, "Buyer Beware: Avoiding Financial Scams." A second series of grant-funded Senior Scam Jam events included seven city visits during 2010-1012 that informed more than 630 citizens. Events that are not grant funded continue in 2013 and beyond.
Senior Scam Jam events have been presented at the following locations:
Lexington, July 20, 2017
London, June 2, 2017
Glasgow/Lucas, Sept. 22, 2016
Louisville, Aug. 16, 2016
Hopkinsville, Oct. 15, 2015
Prestonsburg, Aug. 20, 2015
Bowling Green, April 30, 2015
Maysville, June 19, 2014
Hardinsburg, Nov. 14, 2013
Bardstown, Oct. 24, 2013
Campbellsville, July, 25, 2013
Owensboro, Oct. 18, 2012
Frankfort, Sept. 5, 2012
Somerset, May 31, 2012
Elizabethtown, Sept. 19, 2011
Richmond, May 19, 2011
Ashland, April 21, 2011
Pikeville, Oct. 28, 2010
Paducah, Nov. 18, 2008
Bowling Green, June 18, 2008
Murray, May 28, 2008
Lexington, April 23, 2008
Erlanger, March 18, 2008
Louisville, Sept. 12, 2007