N.J. Commissioner Urges Seniors to Watch Out for Insurance Scams

October 6, 2014

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski advised senior citizens at a recent financial literacy meeting to be wary of insurance and other financial scammers.

Kobylowski met with seniors at Our Lady of Victory Church in Sayreville, New Jersey, last Friday to discuss how to spot and avoid insurance and financial fraudsters as part of Insurance Fraud Awareness Month.

The presentation was part of an ongoing month-long campaign to raise consumer awareness of insurance fraud. It also continues the ongoing financial literacy campaign for seniors, launched in July 2012, in which Department staff speak to seniors about the many financial products geared toward them.

“Sadly, senior citizens are among our most vulnerable targets for insurance and financial fraud,” said Kobylowski. “That is why we are here today, so that consumers in their golden years can enjoy their hard-earned retirement savings without falling prey to criminals.”

Kobylowski provided detailed tips on avoiding insurance fraud. He also cautioned seniors when considering insurance-related financial products, such as annuities. He said that while many of these financial products are legitimate and useful, they can be wrongly directed toward seniors.

“Unfortunately, seniors are defrauded in this country by unscrupulous salespeople and con-artists who do not have the customer’s best interests in mind,” said Kobylowski. “Your most important defense with unsolicited sales people either in person or over the phone is to simply say no.”

In covering reverse mortgages, he urged seniors to be careful. He cautioned them to be wary of the fine print where hidden costs, such as fees, may be hiding.

“If you do not understand everything, do not sign anything,” said Kobylowski.

The program for seniors complements the Department’s ongoing financial literacy programs for high school and college students. For the last nine years, the Department has conducted financial literacy programs for high school students and spoken to thousands of students in schools across the state about topics including basic personal finance, the importance of credit and how to manage credit cards. That program was expanded to reach out to college students in 2013.

Source: New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

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