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AAG, BBB Partner to Protect Seniors from Coronavirus Scams

American Advisors Group (AAG) has built on its relationship with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to raise awareness for seniors concerning scams that may target them in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. This is according to an announcement both organizations jointly released on Friday morning.

“Financial criminals have seized an opportunity created by the COVID-19 pandemic to target and exploit older Americans,” the announcement says. “To combat this ever-growing threat, American Advisors Group (AAG) and Better Business Bureau serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) have launched the COVID-19 Senior Scams campaign as part of their Savvy Seniors Program partnership.”

The new campaign features a series of different educational lessons designed to teach seniors how they can stay vigilant against any new kinds of fraud that may emerge due to the pandemic, and how they can spot warning signs in the event they find themselves targeted by such unscrupulous efforts on the parts of financial criminals.

“Seniors remain one of the most sought-after targets by scammers and this pandemic has created a batch of new schemes,” said AAG Chief Marketing Officer Martin Lenoir in the announcement. “With our entire customer base comprised of older Americans, we felt it was important to provide these specific courses during these confusing and uncertain times.”

AAG and BBB introduced their “Savvy Seniors” educational initiative in early 2019, initially designed to host in-person seminars around California and Arizona to inform seniors about various kinds of fraud that may target them. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team migrated its operations to digital events, and began exploring ways that financial criminals might try to use current events to their advantage.

The digital lessons produced by the partnership will be made available on both the AAG and BBB websites, and will be distributed via social media and email newsletters to seniors across the country. The individual lessons will cover separate topics, including coronavirus-related email scams; government relief check scams; fake coronavirus product and cure scams; charitable giving and crowdfunding scams; and price gouging and advertising scams.

“Scammers prey on headlines to take advantage of vulnerable individuals,” said Michael Sedio, VP and general counsel at the Better Business Bureau. “At this time, seniors are even more susceptible to scam tactics relating to COVID-19, including phishing attempts, misinformation, and potentially harmful false product claims.”

The organizations have also created a series of infographics available online to offer helpful information related to the topics discussed by the lessons. Find more information at the Savvy Seniors website.
If there is need for immediate assistance, and a family member suspects that their loved one has been involved in a scam, AAG and BBB encourage affected people to contact the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline.