By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

Sandy Springs resident Carol Rubler (left) informs seniors at Brighton Gardens of Dunwoody about scams that target the elderly. Rubler is conducting presentations around town as a volunteer with the Atlanta Regional Commission.

“I was a victim of fraud,” said Sandy Springs resident Carol Rubler to about 10 residents of Brighton Gardens of Dunwoody on April 14. “A number of years ago when I was living in Florida, someone stole my box of checks out of my mailbox.”

The thieve purchased items using her bank information, and soon bill collectors hounded Rubler about charges she didn’t make.

“It took me a year and a half to get it stopped,” said Rubler, a former financial adviser who now volunteers with groups like the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce and the Sandy Springs Civic Roundtable. “That is why I am very passionate.”

To save others the stress of her ordeal, Rubler is touring places like synagogues and senior homes to educate older residents about fraud.

Her next stop is Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs on April 29 at noon.

“You are prime targets,” Rubler told the seniors of Brighton Gardens.

Scammers seek out seniors because they are often at home and answer calls and knocks at the door. Con artists know many seniors have healthy savings accounts and see older people as vulnerable and overly trusting.

“This is a different world than we used to live in,” Rubler said. “There are a lot of dishonest people and more so in this economy.”

Rubler conducts the one-hour talks as a volunteer with the senior services division of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Her presentations cover Medicare, mail and identify theft scam. She provides information on prevention and resources to report fraud.

“Since we have been doing the presentations, we have had a small reduction in fraud cases,” Rubler said. “It is working.”

If you are interested in having a presentation at your organization, contact Rubler at carol.rubler@gmail.com.

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Anti-scam resources

• Bar telemarketers at 1-888-382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov

• Report actual or attempted fraud at 1-800-876-7060 or www.fraud.org.

• Request a free credit report at 1-877-322-8228 or www.annualcreditreport.com

• Opt out of credit card, loan and mortgage solicitation at 1-888-567-8688 or www.optoutprescreen.com