Insurance Commissioner hosts town hall on senior financial protection
News: 2015 Press Release
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will host a financial elder abuse and fraud prevention town hall meeting on Monday, June 15 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Laguna Woods Village Clubhouse 3.
Jones will be joined by experts working to protect seniors, including Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Director of the Orange County Social Services Agency, Michael Ryan and Director of the Orange County Council on Aging Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, Kathleen Weidner. The event will feature tips on how seniors can spot and report potential fraud and insurance scams. Guests will also learn about state and county resources available to help them if they have been a victim of fraud.
"Crimes targeting seniors are especially offensive," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "There are individuals who seek to prey on trusting and vulnerable consumers. We want to arm seniors with information to prevent them from becoming targets of fraud."
California's most vulnerable populations are often seniors who can be the target of deceitful agents and scam artists. Each year, the California Department of Insurance receives over 170,000 calls to its Consumer Hotline from Californians with insurance issues, including many who are unfortunate victims of insurance fraud.
"Financial criminals are sophisticated and cause great devastation to their victims who may be elderly and vulnerable," said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. "By wiping out their victims' bank accounts, these criminals also wipe out their victims' hopes and dreams. That's why we aggressively prosecute these financial crimes and often get sentences that imprison them for decades."
This event is timely considering a major scam artist who took advantage of seniors, Michael Woodward, 52, of San Diego was arrested and prosecuted recently in Southern California. When search warrants were served, investigators found six boxes of direct mail targeting residents of the Laguna Woods community. Woodward is now serving time in state prison, but there are still many people out there, like Woodward, who will take advantage of consumers.
- Experts from the department and Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Social Services Agency, Council on Aging and National Center on Elder Abuse will host an informational fair following the town hall and will be on hand to answer questions about purchasing insurance and investment products, and to provide advice and resources to avoid becoming victims of abuse.
- Town hall address: Laguna Woods Village Clubhouse 3, enter at Gate 3, 23822 Avenida Sevilla, Laguna Woods, CA 92637
- Admission is free and open to anyone interested in attending. RSVP is required for county residents living outside of Laguna Woods, to ensure gate entry. RSVP by phone to (916) 492-3588 or by e-mail to Lindsey.Hart@insurance.ca.gov.
- Media with press credentials will be allowed entry.
- Michael Woodward booking photo.
- Photos from the event can be viewed on CDI's Flickr page.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.