submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection Agency
Q. I was recently at a senior expo that one of our state representatives put together. I saw numerous tables that had some government agencies represented, along with private vendors offering a number of services for seniors. It was also a great way to meet my state representative and let him know my overall concerns.
My reason for writing is that the Consumer Protection table had a great guide for senior citizens. Your office also introduced me to a free fraud alert that is sent periodically to individuals and to organizations like churches, civic groups and even community associations. I was hoping you could explain in more detail what everything is about and help educate more of our seniors. I.R., Richland
A. The guide that you are speaking of is called “A Guide for Seniors and Families.” Our hope is to create an awareness of the many ways people are scammed.
The guide covers a good portion of potential problems that everyone including seniors may get involved with. It also may help loved ones to identify the many different forms of abuse. Financial, emotional, physical abuse and neglect are some of the most dangerous and serious.
Our office is partnered with the Bucks County District Attorney, Area Agency on Aging, Coroner’s Office, Recorder of Deeds and Network of Victims Assistance (NOVA). The partnership is called The Bucks County Crimes Against Older Adults Task Force. The task force is constantly training professional organizations to identify abuse. The task force is also available to speak to community groups at no cost about the issues stated above.
To set up a speaking engagement or to learn more about the mission of the task force, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact NOVA at 215-343-6543. The free fraud alerts are a small part of getting particular information out into the hands of individuals and groups who will email them to their individual members. We have churches, community centers, senior centers and various other organizations that have signed up for the alerts and have agreed to forward the alerts to all their members.
Individuals can also receive the alerts. If you or your organization would like to receive the current alerts or any previous alerts, go to the Web site at www.crimesagainstolderadultsbucks.org or to sign up for the free fraud alerts call 215-343-6543. The Web site is a very useful tool and contains valuable information for everyone.
Remember you can help stop elder abuse. Silence is not golden. If you suspect elder abuse, call the 24-Hour Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
To receive a free copy of the “Guide for Seniors and Families” booklet, call the Bucks County Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800-942-2669.