Wise Senior Services in Santa Monica is joining public and private agencies nationwide in urging consumers to “read up, reach out and become informed” about fraud.

“Financial frauds and scams are a terrible and very real threat to financial security for older adults,” said Grace Cheng Braun, president and chief executive officer of Wise Senior Services.

“Wise’s volunteers are fighting back against those criminals who promote false promises of grand prizes, a ‘second chance’ to win an online auction or stories about international lotteries,” Braun said. “We are going to turn the tables on these criminals and speak directly to consumers with warnings about current scams and tips on avoiding harm.”

Through a volunteer-staffed project, Wise will reach out to more than 100,000 known and potential victims of telemarketing and other types of fraud, Cheng Braun said.

Over the next year, volunteers in the Wise Senior Fraud Prevention Call Center will contact older adults across the country, warn them about scams delivered by telephone, mail and the Internet, and follow up with prevention tips and information.

Cheng Braun advises consumers to steer clear of any “deal” that requires you to send money before you receive anything.

“Whether the come-on is for a low-cost loan, credit card or sweepstakes reward, do not send money to someone you don’t know,” she said. “This can be a way to lose money quickly.”

For information about the project or to become a volunteer, contact Ann Hammond, program director for volunteer services, at ahammond@wiseseniors.org or (310) 394-9871 ext. 450.

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