Missouri Attorney General warns donors not to confuse 'Seniors Center' scam for legitimate local senior center fundraising efforts

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mail scams continue to be perpetrated on seniors in Missouri, as Attorney General Jay Nixon warned recently in a press release regarding an organization now contacting seniors in the state.

Nixon said a Maryland-based organization called "The Seniors Center" has been soliciting donations from seniors all across the state. This organization has no connection to senior centers in Missouri.

The letter says The Seniors Center is in danger of running out of money and asks for a donation of $20 or more.

"Many Missourians who see this letter believe it's raising money for their local senior center, but that is not the case," said Nixon.

Although the organization is legally registered with the Attorney General's office to solicit money from donors, the money collected does not go to senior centers in Missouri.

The Slater Senior Center and the Marshall Senior Citizen Center recently sent letters to local seniors regarding the Grandparents program, which supports the delivery of meals to home-bound seniors. Both centers are concerned about the confusion that might be caused by the Maryland organization.

Teresa Durham of the Marshall center said, "Our seniors need to be careful. They are targeted, especially the home-bound seniors. Some are concerned they'll lose their local senior center and it's often all they have to look forward to, so they send the money."

If seniors receive one of these letters, Durham said, "We want them to contact us immediately so we can verify if it's true or it's a scam, and so we can get it stopped."

Lucy Brandon of the Slater center, echoed Durham's comments. She said, "I hope that people will pay attention that this is not our center that's doing this, that it's a scam and that if any of our seniors get this letter that they will contact us. Our senior citizens should be very, very careful."

Contact Kathy Fairchild at

marshallhealth@socket.net

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