TERRE HAUTE -- Senior citizens account for close to 12 percent of the United States population, but according to the Retirement Industry Trust Association, more than 35 percent of all senior citizens fall victim to fraud.
Each year, Terre Haute-based Senior Education Ministries, Inc., makes it their mission to educate seniors and help reduce the statistic.
The organization's annual Fraud and Scam Awareness Seminar for Seniors has educated and empowered nearly 5,000 senior citizens in the past four years.
The fifth event, themed, "20,000 Scams Under the Sea," will be presented at the Vigo County Fairgrounds May 17, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Attendees may visit sponsor and vendor booths at their leisure throughout the day.
All vendors and sponsors are safe, senior service and activity organizations who will not solicit attendees.
Seniors can attend one of three free brunches sponsored by Cobblestone Crossings Health Campus. During each lunch, speakers will educate seniors on fraud and scam prevention.
Speakers for the event will include:
* Michelle Graham, from the Senior Medicare Patrol of Indiana,
* Melanie Woods, Investor Education Coordinator from the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State, and
* Abigail Lawlis-Kuzma, Director of Consumer Protection-Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
"In the oceans of life, predators lurk, aiming to defraud our seniors," event coordinator Lori Aplin said.
"We're so excited that the community has come together to provide senior citizens with the tools necessary to defend themselves. It is a privilege and our joy to serve our seniors."