If you’ve ever fallen victim to a scam, you probably gained a wealth of experience and vowed to never have it happen again.  Many more of us have had a close call, where we almost had something horrible happen but at the last minute we managed to avert disaster. 

Well now, you can turn that negative experience into something positive by becoming a champion of a new campaign from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  This campaign, called Pass It On is aimed at making sure you realize that YOU can be a vital tool against scamsters by passing on your experience to friends, family, co-workers, everyone, and helping them to not become the next victim.

Experience is the best teacher, and you very likely employ the lessons you learned on a regular basis.  Perhaps you now know not to click on suspicious links in emails.  If you’re active on social media sites, such as Facebook, perhaps you’ve learned not to accept friend requests from people you don’t know or how to set your privacy settings. 

Now it’s time to share that information with your circle of friends.  They need this information to come from a trusted source: you. The FTC has put together a complete wealth of resources that will help you “pass it on” to friends and family members in order to avoid becoming one of the growing statistics when it comes to fraud.

While this campaign is aimed at active seniors, everyone can benefit from the knowledge and materials on the FTC website. 

“People 65 and older have lots of experience that enables them to recognize and avoid scams,” said Carolyn Shanoff, the FTC’s Associate Director for Consumer and Business Education. “They also have a social network with which to share the life lessons they’ve learned.  This campaign seeks to tap into their life experiences and their trusted place in the community.”

Perhaps you’re not a senior yourself, but you are the family member that helped Mom or Dad to set up an email account, or learn to Skype so they could stay in touch.  Not only did you show them the technical aspect of the process, you probably gave them some warnings of what not to do.  Now you can encourage them to check out the Pass It On page on the FTC website so they can pass it on to their friends. 

The entire online community, regardless of age, can and should engage in the process of teaching others what they know about how to avoid various scams, and these FTC materials and resources are a great way to facilitate that.

So now that you have read this blog, and you know about the campaign, what is your call to action?  That’s right – Pass it on!

 

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