Northwest NEWS

November 8, 1999

Home & Garden

Consumer protection tips at senior seminar

   In an effort to provide older adults with the facts about con artists and their scams, as well as other key consumer issues, AARP and representatives from state and federal consumer agencies are hosting the Consumer University on Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. at the Overlake Christian Church campus at 9900 Willows Road N.E. in Redmond.

   During the first University "course," a panel will discuss the psychology of consumer fraud and how con artists scam smart people. Some of the more common types of fraud will also be reviewed. Postal Inspector Jim Bordenet; Doug Shadel, Consumer Representative with AARP; and representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and the Washington Attorney General's office will be the guest panelists for what promises to be a real education on consumer issues.

   Next, financial issues facing older adults will be discussed by representatives from the Washington Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division and the Federal Trade Commission. Mortgage concerns, home improvement scams, and tips on how to be a smart consumer will be offered during this hour-long session.

   After a break for lunch, the program will open with Julie Boyer, representative from the Washington Council on Y2K Preparedness. Julie will speak on the likelihood of experiencing Y2K problems here in Redmond and across the state. "Students" at the University will have an opportunity to speak to their specific concerns during a 40-minute crash course on Y2K preparedness.

   The University will close with a presentation on consumer related health care concerns. Representatives form the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA), the key government agencies handling Medicare and Medicaid issues. These speakers will focus discussion on resources for managing Medicare costs, what to do if you are dropped by your Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and how to help them fight the battle against Medicare Fraud.

   Call 1-800-922-8716 for more information. Pre-registration deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 24. Registration fee for AARP members is $4. Non-members will pay $5. Box lunches will be provided to pre-registered participants.