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Scam artists, telemarketers top list of fears for Otter Tail seniors

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Otter Tail County Triad was formed in 2008 and is a partnership of law enforcement, senior citizens and community groups dedicated to promote senior safety and to reduce the fear of crime that seniors often experience.

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Triad conducted a survey of the seniors in the county through local nutrition sites to see what their real safety concerns were.

Highest on the list were telemarketers and scam artists who fraudulently use the telephone to "steal" important information from them, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card numbers.

The Bankers Association began enlisting their member banks to provide free meals at the county's senior nutrition sites to seniors and their adult children in April of 2008. At these meetings, participants were provided information about scams and fraud, elder abuse, and safety tips by law enforcement and professionals from a variety of agencies.

They met with seniors and their adult children in Battle Lake in April, Parkers Prairie in May, Underwood in June, Pelican Rapids in July, Perham in August, New York Mills, Rothsay and Henning in September, and Fergus Falls in October.

In all, they were able to meet face to face with over 600 seniors and their concerned adult children in Otter Tail County during these meetings.

In a commitment to reach even more seniors with important safety information, Otter Tail County Triad will be working with local and regional newspapers to publish articles pertaining to senior safety concerns to help reduce their fear of crime through knowledge.

In the weeks and months to come readers can expect to see information on fraud and scams, alcohol and aging, power of attorney, phishing, vulnerable adult issues, elder abuse, transportation, security/emergency calls, fear and the senior, internet and telemarketing fraud, vandalism, ID theft, safe driving, and more.

Thanks to all the concerned professionals and agencies involved in Otter Tail County Triad, the seniors in Otter Tail County will be better armed with the knowledge to protect themselves from becoming a victim of crime.

Get to meet and know your local law enforcement when they make presentations on safety in your community or area. Get to know who the senior agencies and other businesses are who are concerned about your safety and can provide you with information. But mostly be in the know about the schemes and scams that uncaring, selfish people will use to take advantage of your kindness or vulnerabilities.

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What is Triad?

Currently involved in Triad throughout East Otter Tail County are the Fergus Falls Senior Citizens Program, Inc., Someplace Safe, Otter Tail County Coordinator on Aging, Mill Street Residence, Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging, Otter Tail County Bankers Association, and Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department.

Also participating are the various local law enforcement agencies around the county including: Battle Lake, Fergus Falls, Henning, New York Mills, Parkers Prairie, Pelican Rapids, and Perham.

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