Retired...or ReWired? Episode 13: Defrauding the Elderly


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Air date: 
Mon, 07/16/2018 - 11:30am to 12:00pm
There's a criminal industry around defrauding the elderly.

13.  Criminal Activity:  Fraud

Looking out for the exploiters.


Ellen Klem


Ellen Klem is Director of Consumer Outreach and Education in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Oregon.  Her job is to educate seniors on how to be savvy consumers.  Ellen is a lawyer who formerly worked for the American Bar Association, leading policy development and advocacy for low-income seniors.


 Her publications include  “Six Signs It Is a Scam”, and  “Just Hang Up!” In commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day last year, a campaign to educate Oregonians about imposter scams and fraudulent phone calls. 


Other publication and outreach tools:


•            A brochure on charitable giving,

•            A brochure with ten tips to protect you and your family from scams,

•            A toll-free Hotline staffed 5 days a week with knowledgeable volunteers,

•            A new website – 

•            We have a searchable online consumer complaint database – Be Informed

•            We also issue Scam Alerts via email, our website, and Twitter.




  1.     How big an industry in Oregon is fraud directed against the elderly?   

            Dollar value of scams?


            Trends over the past 5-10 years?


2.  What are the most common types of elderly scams that you see?

            Are scams generally local, statewide, national or what?

Are there frauds and scams that thrive specifically in the Portland Metro area?


            3.  Are the elderly more easily targeted?  How do scammers get information on them?

            4.  What are the “six signs it is a scam?”  (from your publication)

            5.  What kinds of scamming efforts are associated with charities?  (related to the publication)

6.  Is the AG’s office proactive in identifying scammers?  

7..  What does the AG’s office have planned for 2018 to prevent and address scams?

  1.        What’s your best piece of advice for consumers who want to stay safe?
  2.        How can consumers who have been victims of a fraud or a scam contact you?

10.   Are there financial remedies for people who’ve been scammed?

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