As part of National Consumer Protection Week, which ran from March 1 through March 7, several area organizations partnered to produce a series of animated digital shorts aimed at combating fraud in fast-growing Spanish, Hmong and Somali-speaking segments of our community. The theme of the videos is “Be Wise about Senior Fraud,” and they began airing March 2nd on Twin Cities Public Television (tpt).
This initiative was made possible through a grant provided by Greater Twin Cities United Way. Additional partnering organizations include: ECHO Minnesota, AARP Minnesota, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB), Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging, Minnesota Board on Aging, Minnesota Department of Commerce and tpt.
Four versions of the videos were produced – in Somali, Spanish, Hmong and Basic English – and their purpose is to inform senior citizens and their loved ones about the risks and prevalence of fraud against seniors, as well tactics scammers use, and arm them with tips for avoiding these scams. The videos will also encourage people to report such scams to the authorities.
“Financial exploitation of older adults is an increasing problem that impacts the ability for these adults to remain independent. We’re proud to partner with ECHO Minnesota – an expert in education and outreach, along with a broader coalition of partners – to raise awareness about fraud prevention. Providing valuable resources to emerging populations statewide leads to stronger communities,” said United Way Senior Vice President of Community Impact, Meghan Barp.
Minority segments within our communities are at increased risk of falling victim to scams due to language, literacy and cultural barriers. In an effort to reach populations with limited English proficiency, the videos are narrated by multilingual ambassadors. All four videos will air on tpt’s Minnesota Channel, as part of a half-hour program titled Echo: Be Wise about Senior Fraud. They will be re-broadcast several times throughout the year. In addition, the partners behind this initiative will work with community leaders statewide to spread this message. The videos will also be posted on their respective websites.
The mission of Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.