Lt Governor Prettner Solon and Commissioner Mike Rothman held a Town Hall meeting this Thursday to discuss financial fraud and abuse.
On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon and Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman met with seniors in Duluth to talk about senior fraud prevention. Governor Dayton has proclaimed April Financial Literacy Month, with agencies and organizations across the state meeting with Minnesotans to promote strong personal finance education.
Minnesota has long been a leader in providing care for our veterans and assuring they receive the highest standard of care. The latest addition to the Minneapolis Veterans Home is no exception; it will be only the second such facility in the country to offer day services in a Veteran-specific model of care.
Governor Dayton spoke yesterday at the dedication for the brand new facility – called “Building 19” – which is a new, state-of-the-art, skilled nursing facility and Adult Day Center. It features 100 private rooms arranged to provide a home-like atmosphere for veterans receiving care, and it incorporates the latest technology and modern amenities to enhance care.
Seniors are the targets of financial fraud every day. To prevent the elderly from falling victim to financial fraud, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has joined in the fight against elder investment fraud through their training program “Preventing Elderly Investment Fraud” on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day that focused on prevention through education.
Many seniors become susceptible to investment fraud and financial exploitation because of age-related factors, illnesses and cognitive impairment. It is crucial that the elder populations are protected from investment fraud because senior citizens control nearly 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. According to a 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey, one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 has already been victimized by a financial swindle.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce recognizes the vulnerability of seniors and through their training program addressed the need to educate health care providers about how to prevent seniors from falling victim to investment fraud. Health care providers are key in the detection and prevention of elder abuse, therefore providers need instruction on how to spot and report fraud and financial abuse within the elderly and vulnerable adult populations.
Lt. Governor Prettner Solon convened the first meeting of the “Own Your Future” Advisory Panel, a group charged with guiding a statewide public awareness campaign to encourage Minnesotans to plan for the care they will need as they grow older.
The group aims to raise awareness of the importance of advance planning in ensuring that Minnesotans have more control and more choice in meeting their long-term health care needs. The focus of the panel is to develop and implement strategies to increase the number of Minnesotans who take action to address and provide for their future long-term care. “We need to engage all Minnesotans in thinking about how they will plan for and pay for the care they are likely to need as we, as a society, are living longer and growing older,” Prettner Solon said.
In addition the panel will aid in the development and review of materials for use by Minnesota employers, grassroots organizations and community groups, and provide outreach assistance in a public awareness effort. The Lieutenant Governor expressed gratitude “for the assistance […] of Minnesotans representing key sectors of labor, business, health care, the faith community and non-profit organizations” in working towards these goals.
Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to fraud and financial abuse. Consumers over the age of 65 control 70 percent of the nation’s wealth, and crooks know it. In fact, each year con artists scam older Americans out of $2.5 billion.
To kick off Seniors Week of Financial Literacy Month, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Minnesota AARP, and the Office of the Lt. Governor are joining forces to raise awareness of fraud targeting older consumers and provide Minnesota seniors the information they need to protect their finances from the threat of financial abuse.
Scam artists and predatory lenders take advantage of consumers from all walks of life, causing foreclosures and financial hardship in Minnesota communities. Knowledge is often the foundation of financially secure communities and a consumer’s best defense against the pitfalls of predatory lending.
As Financial Literacy Month continues, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, Housing Finance Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, and Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey hosted a town hall forum at Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center on Wednesday to discuss the adverse financial and community impacts of predatory lending in Minnesota and the steps Minnesotans can take to protect themselves from predatory lending practices.
The forum began with a panel discussion led by Commissioners Lindsey, Rothman, and Tingerthal regarding recent trends in predatory lending, the state’s role in protecting Minnesota consumers and communities from predatory lending, and the resources available to victims of predatory lending through Minnesota’s state agencies. Following the panel discussion, community members and advocates shared their personal stories about how predatory lending has affected their families, finances, and communities.
As financial products become more complex and scammers become more savvy, the need for on-going collaboration between the Commerce, Housing Finance, and Human Rights Departments resonated with both the panel and attendees. Continued outreach efforts to educate Minnesotans, including our immigrant communities and neighborhoods that have been adversely impacted by these predatory practices, underscore the need for financial literacy. Knowledge is the best defense against fraud and financial abuse.
Following through on the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Financial Literacy Action Plan released last October, Commissioner Mike Rothman invited the heads of nine state agencies to the Department for a first of its kind Interagency Work Group on Financial Literacy at 3:00pm this afternoon. Agencies invited to participate in the work group have existing programs, outreach efforts, or other interests in financial literacy.
The goal of today’s meeting is twofold: 1) to increase communication and collaboration across the administration in order to improve or expand existing financial literacy programs; and 2) identify new ways an administration-wide partnership may help ensure Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement have the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to achieve financial security.
“This is an unprecedented coalition that demonstrates this administration’s strong commitment to financial literacy and consumer education,” said Commissioner Rothman. “With an economy in recovery, and an increasingly complex marketplace, countless Minnesota families are facing real and difficult financial challenges. It has never been more important to work together across agencies to strengthen the systems that educate and support knowledgeable, financially secure Minnesota consumers. Working together in strong partnership, this coalition can make a big difference in the lives and finances of Minnesotans.”
Summit will examine how to better utilize the talent of older Minnesotans; Recommendations will be used to bolster effectiveness of Senior LinkAge Line’s upcoming civic engagement service
St. Paul — Today, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon convened a statewide summit with leading organizations on aging and volunteerism to explore how adults, 50 years and older, can be a vital part of addressing critical statewide issues through volunteering and community engagement. The organizations involved, including AARP, Twin Cities Public Television, Hamline University, and Minnesota Senior Corps Volunteer Programs are on the front lines when it comes to building the capacity of Minnesota to address the challenges it faces now and in future.
The network of leaders in volunteerism from across Minnesota came together to explore ways of eliminating existing barriers for older adult participation in volunteer and civic engagement roles, and worked to determine concrete next steps to develop a coordinated statewide network to harness the skills and talents of this growing population.