Stetson Law program to warn about dangers of home services fraud

Contact Aaron Reincheld
Communications Specialist

Gulfport, Fla. – Stetson University College of Law’s Elder Consumer Protection Program will warn area elderly citizens about the dangers home services fraud and other scams at a free consumer protection forum Jan. 20 at Stetson’s Gulfport campus.

The session is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. in the Great Hall and will include representatives of the U.S. Postal Service, the St. Petersburg Times and Stetson Law. The forum is part of Stetson’s statewide Elder Consumer Protection Program, which is headed by Stetson’s Elder Law Chair Rebecca Morgan. The program will travel around the state in the coming months with sessions on different types of fraud.

“Everyone has needed a repair person at one time or another,” Morgan said. “There are some unscrupulous individuals who will pass themselves off as legitimate when in fact they will take your money without doing the work or do substandard work. It is important to know a few simple steps to take to protect yourself from such scams.”

Stetson’s Elder Consumer Protection Fellow Bronwyn Stanford, a former prosecutor, will lead the event with warnings on services fraud, which includes lawn care, air conditioning repairs, appliance repairs or any home service that a person may need. Representatives of the Florida Department of Financial Services and Seniors vs. Crime will also speak. The presenters also will speak on mail fraud and what to do to if a person falls victim to these types of scams.

Funding for the program was provided in part by the Administration on Aging, and the presentations are part of Stetson’s work under a federal grant to educate the elderly on consumer fraud prevention. Stetson, a national leader in the field of elder law, has partnered with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, AARP and the legal community to increase public awareness of consumer fraud against senior citizens.

For more information call Stetson’s Consumer Protection Program at 727-562-7800 ext. 7235.