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Rosendale Task Force Speaks To Seniors About Protection From Fraudulent Activity

 

October 16, 2019 | View PDF

Matthew Rosendale and his team speak to a group of seniors at Fairview Senior Center. (Photo by Michele Seadeek)

"One in four Montanans is the victim of a scam," says Montana Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan as she speaks to a large group of seniors and community members at the local Fairview Senior Center Wednesday, September 9. Along with Lynne Egan, Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance state auditor, Matthew Rosedale and his team spoke to the group about senior financial protection and prevention from becoming a victim. Given the large increase in fraudulent activity in recent years, the newly formed task force's main goal is to reduce crime within the state's more vulnerable populations. According to Egan, "seniors account for 20% of Montana's population and hold approximately 70% of the state's assets." Rosendale says that because of those assets seniors have, "become a large target to scammers." The main presentation, "Protecting Yourself from Financial Exploitation," given by Egan provided information about the nine top scams that seniors face and examples of scammers who were from Montana and how they each affected their victims financially. According to The Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office, these top scams include Pyramid Schemes, Ponzi Schemes, Fake or unsuitable investments, Churning and Unauthorized Trading, Annuity dumping and repurchasing. The task force encourages all individuals to get a prospectus and research the person and/or company asking for money with the Montana Securities and Insurance Office prior to giving money or investing.

The task force was developed with eight Montana departments that will work together to increase consumer awareness and reduce the number of fraud victims in Montana. Rosendale's staff reports that ultimately the state wishes to have four districts that will help support the task force's goals.

Safety tips from the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office: 1. If you don't know the number of the caller, don't answer. 2. Don't send money or give out personal information like SSN, date of birth, bank account or credit card information over the phone, email or any social media. Scammers often claim an emergency hoping you will take quick action without checking out the situation. 3. Engage a trusted family member if you are unsure about financial matters. Some scammers pretend to be loved ones needing immediate help. Call other family first. 4. Contact local authorities. 5. Contact any of the state departments listed below to find out more or to report fraudulent activity.

The state task force includes: the Montana Office of Consumer Protection: 406-444-4500, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office: 406-444-2040, Montana Adult Protection Services: 844-277-9300, Montana Attorney General, Montana Division of Banking, Montana Legal Service Developer and the US Attorney Office in Montana. "If you have concerns about possible fraudulent activity or have been a victim, please contact any one of these state offices," says Egan. Fairview, ND residents are also encouraged to contact Lynne's office to get the best contact for North Dakota offices. To learn more visit csi.mt.gov. Additional state department contact magnets will be available at the Fairview Senior Center as well as Fairview city hall.

 

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