"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, identity theft and more. Events are free and include lunch. Registration is required.
Due to concerns about COVID-19, there are no Senior Scam Jams scheduled at this time. Please check back later.
Here is a summary of tips from these seminars. Selected presentations are available at the bottom of this page.
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.
"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 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/user/KYDFI/.
AARP research shows that Baby Boomers and older investors are natural targets for a wide range of unscrupulous practices, because they have the money to invest. The investment might be an outright fraud, or it might be a legitimate product that is not suited to 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 Investor Resources 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 following agencies to help provide information on avoiding fraud and protecting yourself and your finances.
Senior Scam Jam Partners
- AARP Kentucky State Office
To learn more about AARP in Kentucky, call (866) 295-7275. To connect with AARP’s Fraud Watch Network, call (877) 908-3360 or visit https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/.
- Kentucky Department of Insurance
To check insurance products, file a complaint related to insurance or report insurance fraud, call (502) 564-3630, (800) 595-6053 or (800) 648-6056 TTY.
- Kentucky Department of Revenue
If you think you may be a victim of tax identity theft, call (502) 564-4581 or (502) 564-3058 TTY.
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
To report mail theft or mail fraud, call (877) 876-2455 or (877) USMail5.
- Better Business Bureau
To research a company or a charity or to file a complaint:
—BBB of Louisville, Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana – call (800) 388-2222.
—BBB of Central and Eastern Kentucky — call (800) 866-6668 or email email@example.com.
—BBB serving Northern Kentucky — call (800) 471-3015.
- Kentucky Office of the Attorney General
To report fraud or obtain assistance with consumer complaints involving products and services, call the Office of Consumer Protection at (888) 432-9257, option 3.
- Kentucky Senior Medicare Patrol Program
To report Medicare fraud, call (502) 574-6960 or (877) 603-6558.
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 2010-2012 that informed more than 630 citizens. With financial support from AARP, DFI continues to cooperate with other agencies to present Senior Scam Jams.