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US Attorney prevents fraud with Bingo campaign

By Katie Ritchie

 

“Fraud Bingo!”

That was what seniors called out at a Justine Department awareness campaign. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Stephens and Rob Sneed shared tips for seniors. These tips were to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and scams.

Although this event happened in the upstate, it could happen in Lexington County. I hope it will. This program proves learning about scam prevention doesn’t have to be dull. Imagine it, a Bingo caller announces “B-7”. You match it with a tip like “don’t give your date of birth to a stranger over the phone”.

That instructional game could happen anywhere.

The game is part of the Elder Justice Initiative. The initiative is a US Attorney and Department of Justice’s joint program. The goal is to protect and empower seniors and veterans.

The program educates the public about scams. They share resources on their website as well as via community events. There are sweepstakes scams which ask seniors to pay “fees” to claim a promised prize.

There are also romance scams. Those get seniors to believe their long-distance paramour needs money to visit them. The initiative also warns of jury duty schemes. They claim to be fining seniors for failing to report to jury duty. and more. Want to learn more? Visit their website here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sc/elder-justice-initiative. Don’t have internet access? Stay tuned, I’ll be breaking down how these scams work and how you can avoid them in future columns.