Pass It On: New FTC Education Campaign Encourages Older Consumers to Share Their Knowledge to Help Fight Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission’s newest education campaign, Pass It On, encourages older adults to help raise awareness about fraud by talking to their family, friends, and neighbors about avoiding common scams.

Pass it On resources take a new approach to current consumer protection issues that affect all consumers, including identity theft, paying too much for bills, and scams involving imposters, fundraising, prizes and lotteries, and health care. They offer short and direct reminders of the signs of scams, suggest tools to start a conversation, and encourage older consumers to pass the information on.

“Older people not only have a lot of experience and expertise to share, but they’re also trusted and respected sources of information within their social networks,” said Carolyn Shanoff, associate director, FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education. “Pass It On is based on the concept that older people are part of the solution to the problem, not just the victims of scammers.”   

While consumers of all ages are targets for scams, the consequences often are more severe for older people, many of whom have no way recoup their losses. 

Agency staff is reaching out to libraries, social and civic clubs, senior centers, adult living communities, and veteran’s facilities to share the new resources.

The campaign includes fact sheets, bookmarks, word games, presentations, and a new video that describes how consumers can start a conversation about spotting fraud.

Visit Pass It On online to download or order free materials. The site is also available in Spanish: Pásalo.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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