According to Rep. Paul DeMarco, the state’s senior citizens are now at a greater risk to be victims of abuse and fraud than in years past.
In a recent release, DeMarco said Alabama is a hot spot for fraud aimed at consumers, and it’s particularly true for identity theft.
The Federal Trade Commission recently released a report stating it recorded 3,339 identity theft complaints from Alabamians in 2010. That equals nearly 70 complaints per 100,000 residents, a rate that ranked Alabama No. 15 among the states in the FTC report. Experts say many more ID theft complaints are never reported.
In light of these statistics, DeMarco co-sponsored a bill in the 2013 State Legislative session that strengthens penalties against elder abuse.
“Governor [Robert] Bentley just signed this legislation into law,” DeMarco said. “And we want to educate seniors about it.”
Furthering the campaign to protect the state’s seniors, DeMarco and the Hoover Senior Center will host an Elder Abuse and Fraud Prevention Seminar on Aug. 9.
The open forum discussion will include Neal Morrison, the commissioner for the Alabama Department of Senior Services, and Joe Borg, the Director of the Alabama Securities Commission.
The event, moderated by DeMarco, will focus on helping area seniors learn simple steps to protect themselves.
DeMarco said his belief is that the statistics of elder abuse in the state are not acceptable.
Doors open at noon, and the program will begin at 12:15 p.m. Robert’s Discount Pharmacy of Hoover will provide lunch. Reservation deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 7 unless capacity has been reached. Contact the Hoover Senior Center at 739-6700.