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ALTON - Senior Services Plus (SSP) is hosting a Fraud Prevention Panel on Friday, June 21, 2024, sponsored by the AARP. Event attendees will get expert advice on how to stay alert for - and report - fraud and scams targeting older adults.

Experts on the panel will include the following:

  • Deputy Chris Alfaro, Elderly Services Officer for Madison County Sheriff’s Department
  • Assistant State's Attorney Courtney Lindbeck
  • Scott Verseman, Fraud & Corruption Section Chief for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois

Topics covered by the panel will include how to detect and prevent fraud, who and where to report it to, and what legal resources are available to protect older adults. There will also be a Q&A session towards the end of the event in which speakers will answer questions from attendees.

The panel will be held in SSP’s School House Grill, located at 2603 N. Rodgers Avenue in Alton. Doors will open at 11 a.m., with lunch being served at 11:45 a.m. and presentations from 12 to 1 p.m.

Emily Jackson and Leslie Eberlin with SSP shared more about the upcoming panel on Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com. Eberlin said the panel is open to everyone willing to learn more about preventing fraud and scams.

“It’s open to the public,” Eberlin siad. “Anyone from older adults to your family members, anybody who’s interested in learning more on this topic are welcome.”

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Lunch will also be provided at the event, courtesy of event sponsor AARP. While the panel is free and open to the public, interested attendees will need to RSVP as space is limited: call Eberlin at 618-465-3298 ext. 123 to secure your spot.

Jackson said the subject is not only relevant to the public’s concerns, but also SSP’s mission.

“Fraud prevention is a really hot topic, lots of people are really asking questions about that,” Jackson said. “With us serving mostly older adults, it’s something we really need to continue to bring to the forefront.”

She added the expert panel members will discuss some current scams and common scenarios to look out for, as well as where and how to report if you or someone you know has been scammed.

“If you’ve fallen victim to a scam, what should you do next? Because a lot of people are actually embarrassed to admit that they have, when really the best thing you can do is start to take action from there,” Jackson said.

She also emphasized the importance of fostering a comfortable environment to discuss these topics with the local authorities involved.

“Your local Police Department, your Sheriff’s Department, these are the people you’re going to be reporting to first, and so we want to bring them into our space and introduce the public to them to make that a more comfortable interaction,” she said. “We want to make this a comfortable interaction because it is so uncomfortable to report something like this.”

To learn more about SSP, the upcoming Fraud Prevention Panel, and other upcoming informative panels, see the full interview with Jackson and Eberlin at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

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