There is no doubt: During the election season, we are inundated with unsolicited and unwanted politically motivated telephone calls. Whether live or “robocalls,” received midday or as we sit down for dinner, most people find these calls annoying. Fortunately, Election Day has come and gone, and these calls end.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with some other kinds of unsolicited and unwanted telephone calls, particularly the ones that end up swindling trustworthy people of their money.

These calls never end…and they are more than annoying. They are devastating to those caught unaware. They are demeaning and destructive to the unsuspecting victim who may lose large sums of money, even entire savings or retirement nest eggs in the process.

While it’s hard to believe that this happens to people in Maine, it does happen: to your friends, your neighbors and possibly even a family member.

In recent months, people in Maine alone have reported losses far exceeding $750,000. This does not include the unreported losses because some people are too embarrassed to report such incidents.

We hope to change that. The National Council on Aging reports that between $10 million and $30 million per week is sent to scam artists in other countries from the United States.

Merrymeeting Bay Triad, a volunteer organization dedicated to keeping seniors safe, invites you to a program on telephone and internet fraud to be presented by Larry Caruso, senior security Manager of Fair- Point Communications, a Triad partner.

Caruso will provide “Tips on How to Recognize and Avoid Being Scammed” at The Highlands, 30 Governors Way, Topsham, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. to noon.

The interactive program is free; please call 1-(888) 760-1042 to register.

Another program gearing up is the annual Triad/Area Agencies on Aging “Coats for Seniors” collection of gently worn adult winter coats at the L.L. Bean flagship store during their Northern Lights Celebration opening weekend, Nov. 16- 18.

There will also be several satellites collection sites for those not able to travel to Freeport. Check www.maine4a.org or the Triad website for those locations. Coats will be distributed to seniors in need through AAAs and other agencies, and L.L. Bean will donate $5 per coat received to a fund administered by the Maine AAAs to help seniors.

And watch this space for information about the new Yellow Dot program: a way to provide vital medical information in the event of an accident or emergency while driving your car, coming soon to the Brunswick area.

CONNIE LEWIS-HOOKER is an associate with Merrymeeting Bay Triad.


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