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From Homeless to King of Laundry. Danny D’Angelo

In 2022, Financial fraud exploded into a $9 billion per year criminal enterprise and the psychological tactics being used to groom trusting elders are disturbing. Even worse is how our society tends to blame the victims, leaving them silenced by shame and embarrassment instead of showing empathy. While financial fraud affects people of all ages, elders typically lose far greater life-altering amounts when targeted by scams.

My guest today is a true advocate working on the front lines to support those affected and push for real change. Kathy Stokes is the director of AARP’s fraud prevention programs and she joined me at FinCon 23 to have a frank discussion about the elder fraud epidemic in America. She explains the importance of awareness and knowledge around financial scams and why we desperately need greater empathy and advocacy to combat these predatory schemes.

Join us as we shine a light on this crisis and explore how even small acts of empathy and advocacy can help safeguard the wellbeing of those we cherish.

Resources Mentioned

AARP Fraud Watch Network – https://www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork

AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline – 877-908-3360

About Kathy

Kathy Stokes is a nationally recognized leader in the consumer fraud arena. As Director of Fraud Prevention Programs with AARP, Kathy leads AARP’s social mission work to educate older adults on the risks that fraud represents to their financial security. Since 2019, she and her team have vastly expanded AARP’s leadership in this space, including the creation of a new victim support program, a multi-year campaign to end the use of gift cards in fraud, and the formation of a national effort to fundamentally transform how our country addresses consumer fraud.

Kathy currently serves on the advisory council to the Board of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators and on the advisory council to the Senior Issues and Diminished Capacity Committee of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit:



or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Follow Kathy

Transcript of Episode

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Kathy, thanks for joining us today.

[00:00:02] Kathy Stokes: I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:04] Bob Wheeler: Well, so I got to ask, you have spent a good part of your life protecting older adults, and I’m wondering what initially drew you to this work. How did you get here?

[00:00:14] Kathy Stokes: Well, you know, it actually all revolves around financial education.

Uh, spend a good part of my career. Working to help employees of large companies understand the value of their retirement benefits. The 401k and the defined benefit plan. I actually did a little government work in that, in that space, like government relations. Um, I wrote a thesis for my master’s program that I did 10 years after I graduated, um, undergrad.

But it was on the whole problem we have of retirement income. Security in this country and the change in the paradigm from the traditional pension to the cash balance and then to the 401k puts everybody at such greater risk for not being prepared. So while I was out there talking to workers, um, and trying to get them to save and retire.

Now I’m talking to retirees and saying, you really need to understand the risk that your assets face because of the epidemic of fraud in this country.

[00:01:19] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And with artificial intelligence and all that’s going on, it just seems like there are so many more ways to get scammed.

[00:01:26] Kathy Stokes: Well, you know, the criminals have been doing this for a really long time.

Um, it used to be, you could say it was like, you know, some guy in his mom’s basement making phone calls and lurking online. But this largely is the space of transnational criminal enterprises. Right. And they have money and they have employees and they spend all day, every day, making phone calls, getting on social media, sending texts, going door to door, even sometimes to try to steal people’s money.

And it has gone from what we know of the data 2019 before the pandemic federal trade commission says the losses were 2. 4 billion. And that’s a ton. Right. Yeah. Fast forward to 2022. 9 billion. Wow. And the FTC will even say they think less than 5 percent of victims report. So imagine how off we are on that number.

[00:02:20] Bob Wheeler: Okay, that’s, that’s pretty bad. Yeah. That’s pretty bad. Yeah. That’s pretty bad. What would you say are some of the more recent scams that are starting to emerge? That might surprise people.

[00:02:32] Kathy Stokes: I think one of the most concerning to me, and there are a couple of them, but this particular one, I’m going to refer to it as financial grooming.

Um, it’s called another term, but I will not use it. Um, look it up. Um, but it’s actually coming out of Cambodia, and these criminals, this criminal enterprise is actually um, luring people to Cambodia with the um, under the auspices of getting a great job. From other Asian nations. Right. Enslaving them and they are now the first line for the scam operation under duress.

You have to make these calls, you have to send these texts and, and they’re, you know, they’re enslaved. So the big, um, the big scam they’re doing is literally starts with a simple text message that looks like it came to you in error. So you get a text, you’re sitting home one day, and you pick up your phone and it says, Oh, Dr.

Smith, Fluffy’s really, really sick and I bring her in now. And you being a nice person were like, Oh, Fluffy, but I’m not Dr. Smith. So you write back, right? You say, Oh, I’m really sorry to hear Fluffy’s not well, but I’m not Dr. Smith, hope you find the right number. That’s all it takes to begin a conversation that begins a friendship or some form of relationship that builds trust that leads to fluffy’s owner now saying, Hey, by the way, I’m really, really successful investing in crypto and I can show you how.

And the trust has been built. They begin to invest together on what ends up being an entirely fake crypto exchange. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, they’re like, okay, I’m out. I got my money. And then they can’t get it out because all of a sudden nobody will talk to them. Or they’ll be told that, well, to get it out, you have to pay taxes 30 percent and nobody has that money.

And then they realized it was fraud. Oh,

[00:04:33] Bob Wheeler: wow. Wow. That’s, and so it’s a long game. It’s a long game. It’s not just here’s to, like, we’re building the relationship to take it from, which is the grooming. That’s the grooming. Yeah. Let’s, it’s, it’s bigger. Yeah, long term,

[00:04:48] Kathy Stokes: long game, and this has been happening as long as we’ve been on the internet with romance scams that and typically those used to be the dating apps, right?

You’re on a dating app. Someone puts up a fake profile, build trust, start asking for money. Um, that’s happening. Actually, what we see more on just regular social media channels. Facebook is a cauldron of romance fraud. But now this this new Um, Um, kink here with the text and it’s, they’re, it’s, it’s destroying lives is what it’s doing.

[00:05:22] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And so you’re saying like, they think it’s less than 5%. So talk to me a little bit about they find out they’ve been scammed. I would imagine there’s a bit of embarrassment. There’s probably some shame. Now I can’t tell anybody because they’re going to look at me and think, how could you be so stupid?

Right? Like now I’m going to put myself, it’s all my fault. I didn’t see the signals. Um, what, what typically happens there? Because there’s, I imagine you’re aware of, of what people are going through and, and all that.

[00:05:55] Kathy Stokes: Yeah. You know, sadly we have this tendency in our society to blame the fraud victim. Um, cause first of all, we don’t even recognize that it’s actually a crime.

This is a financial crime, but all we see is someone getting duped. You know, someone get the wool pulled over their eyes, you know, they weren’t paying enough attention or they’re old and not tech savvy and all these things. None of that could be further from the truth. But that that sentiment has been so ingrained in our society that that’s how we respond.

Right. So my mom might be afraid to tell me, but when she finally tells me, I’m not going to be empathetic and say, Mom, I’m really sorry that happened to you. I mean, what were you thinking? Right. Right. And so we studied this. Because we wanted to understand why are we blaming victims? Where did that come from?

What has it done? Um, and, and what can be done to change it? So what we learned is that, yep, we blame at every level of society. Our reaction is so gut instinct. What were you thinking? But we also learned that people don’t really mean that. It’s just that we’re so used to the lexicon, so used to that reaction that.

We don’t even know what it sounds like to the victim. And so, we’re now, uh, on a campaign to try to change the narrative. To say, look, these are crimes. The perpetrator is a criminal. This is a victim of a crime. You know, we have for so long not even bothered telling people to report it to the police. And, when we do report it to the police, sadly, we get things like, well, you gave them your money, what are you calling us for?

Right. Um, and we actually had a, a victim call us, uh, on our helpline. Um, it was probably about six or eight weeks ago and she, she had 80, 000 stolen from her in a scam. And when she explained that to whomever answered the phone, he said, you don’t deserve our help. This is what we are telling victims. Every time they get the nerve to tell their story and we’ve got to change that.

[00:08:13] Bob Wheeler: It’s yeah, it’s interesting. I remember like years ago, my grandparents got scram, scammed out of a hundred thousand bucks by an attorney and it took like 10 or 15 years. My grandparents had passed. Um, they wouldn’t disbar the guy. They’re like, well, you know, it’s not quite enough, even though it happened to a few hundred people, they were still like, yeah, I think white collar crime sometimes it’s just, well, yeah.

Yeah, maybe it’s they’re older. They should have known better. It’s not really a

[00:08:45] Kathy Stokes: crime. Yeah, and you know, we have Across the country. We have financial crimes investigators as detectives on the street FBI Secret Service I work with a lot of them and a lot of them really get it right and they’ll try to Track it down try to make a case out of it investigate prosecute.

It’s really difficult Um, and so the, um, the, sort of the blanket response is, Ah, it’s all happening from overseas, we can’t do anything anyway. And that’s not even true. Yes, the kingpins and the operation is, you know, across the water somewhere, but there are a heck of a lot of people working in the United States as money launderers, money mules, um, that if we actually start to arrest these people?

Maybe we disrupt the business model of fraud. Right. And the criminals go do something else.

[00:09:39] Bob Wheeler: I think, like I know for me sometimes, I think, Ah, it’s just easier to let it go. Like, it’s already happened. It’s gonna be a lot of red tape. There’s bigger fish to fry. Um, I’m just this little person. So, yeah, I’ll just, I’ll let it go.

[00:09:54] Kathy Stokes: And the problem with that… Is that we have so few people reporting that we don’t see it for the crime that it is. I would submit if we were able to show data, apples to apples, financial crime through scams is probably the number one, uh, crime in our country. It certainly is in the UK and they own that.

We won’t talk about it like that.

[00:10:18] Bob Wheeler: Right. That’s interesting. Have you personally been… Somebody tried to scam you or has that happened to family members or anything you’re aware of where, Oh, be careful

[00:10:29] Kathy Stokes: guys. Yeah. Um, well, I remember, um, A few times. One time, uh, I had my own business, I was trying to build it, and I got a call from, you know, like, who’s who, blah, blah, blah, and, and if you are, uh, eligible, we have to switch you through this rigorous eligibility thing, and you pay us 750, you’ll get this special plaque and this special thing, and, you know, you’ll be listed, and I did it.

And I only realized years later. When I started getting into this business that it was completely fraudulent. Um, I also bought a t shirt online on, on Facebook once and I never got it. So I never do any online purchases. But my mom got a call, uh, I’m going to say maybe 10 years ago now, um, from her grandson who was in trouble and needed her help.

And he said, hey grandma, it’s me. And she said, Michael, is that you? Oh, wow. And he’s like, yeah, it’s me, Michael. I’m in big trouble and I need your help right away. I need money. And she paused for a second and she said, wait, what did you call me? And he said, Grandma. And she said, Michael, you don’t call me Grandma, you call me Nanny.

So, like, she kind of knew, but she was still talking to him as if it was Michael. Right. So it still kind of kept her up there. And finally she realized it and she disengaged, but… Um, you know, it can happen in the blink of an eye. No,

[00:11:53] Bob Wheeler: it just, I was just, I was just thinking, you know, about 10 or 15 years ago, same thing for me.

I work with a comedy store and we got a phone call on a Saturday afternoon. Um, Bob, you didn’t pay the electric bill. The show starts at eight. They’re cutting off, they’re going to cut off the electricity. We’ve got sold out shows. And I’m like, I know the bookkeeper paid everything. And I usually am very scrutinizing, but I thought I can’t not have the, so I paid like 700, 800 bucks, not a lot, but enough and realized, Oh, the lights, the bill had been paid.

Right. But in that moment I was emotional. Yes. And I was reacting, not responding.

[00:12:31] Kathy Stokes: Yes. And the criminal playbook is just that they know if they can get the target into a heightened emotional state, fear, panic, excitement, love. Um, that your reaction will be an emotional one and not a logical one. We go right to the emotions, and it’s really hard to back out of that and access logical thinking.

I mean, that’s just brain physiology. Yeah. Um, and they’ve known it and used it against us for thousands of years, and they’ve just gotten increasingly good at not even, um, really even showing the signs. Yeah. Um, anymore.

[00:13:08] Bob Wheeler: Well, and I would imagine… If I’ve now been scammed when I was at my emotional height, I’m probably going to emotionally beat myself up more than logically saying, well, there was, I didn’t see the signs of that.

I’m going to emotionally be, how could I be so? And how could I be so bad at this? And

[00:13:29] Kathy Stokes: that’s because that’s our societal narrative. We internalize that. I don’t know, like there’s a chicken and egg there somewhere. Do we blame ourselves and so everybody else blames us when we’re victims or is it the other way around?

Either way, it’s what’s happening. And it’s really, really important that we put an end to that. And instead of saying something like, I can’t believe you got scammed, how about, oh my God, I can’t believe this happened to you. This is a financial crime. Let me, let me help you. Let me sort of work it out with you.

You know, we have a lot of media coverage on fraud these days because it’s so ubiquitous. But you’ll see like, the, the, the headline will be like, uh, elderly Vermont woman duped out of 60, 000. Well, where’s the crime and the criminal in that? Right. We have a woman who got duped, an elderly woman at that, who got duped.

We don’t have a criminal who, um, intentionally target her, targeted her, and stole her life savings. Yeah. It’s a very different story.

[00:14:26] Bob Wheeler: Well, and the piece that feels missing for me is, where’s the compassion and the empathy? We’re so focused on, ah, instead of, wow, like you were saying. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Like, are you okay?


[00:14:39] Kathy Stokes: I, I, I do a presentation where I try to explain this by saying like, okay, so when we experience a loved one who, um, you know, was a victim of a, a property crime or, or a violent crime, we’re really concerned and worried. Oh my God, that poor person, that poor family, maybe I’ll send them over a lasagna. I mean, you’re like the empathy is there, right?

Right. But when it’s a financial crime, a scam, what do we say? Wait. You got duped by that? That’s the oldest trick in the book. How could you be so stupid? How much money did you give them is my favorite. Not how much money did they steal from you. How much money did you give them? Yeah,

[00:15:19] Bob Wheeler: so we’re re info we’re, we’re, we’re re wounding the shame.

[00:15:22] Kathy Stokes: Yeah. But we can change that. Yeah. We can. And we think that if we change it, that, uh, the 700 victim or the 1, 000 victim or the 100, 000 victim who was embarrassed before is going to feel empowered to report. And maybe even, like, get angry and want to do something about it. Um, we see on our helpline, uh, when families of older victims call, um, and they’re, and they’re so enraged, they can’t believe this has happened and, and it just destroys the families.

But if the adult kids knew that it’s not mom or dad’s fault, that they were intentionally targeted by a transnational criminal. Gang, right? Then they would have empathy and try to work with them and the families would remain protected. We think police would take more cases, uh, take it more seriously anyway.

We think policymaker, uh, uh, uh, uh, prosecutors who, um, really don’t want to take these cases when they do get investigated and brought to prosecution because they think they’re dogs. If they knew the impact, if they understood it, we’d have more prosecutions. And billions of dollars would stay in our economy.

All by beginning with changing how we talk about it.

[00:16:32] Bob Wheeler: And you have a hotline, or you have a helpline for victims at AARP so that people can at least share it with somebody that’s going to have a little bit of compassion and empathy

[00:16:42] Kathy Stokes: for them. Absolutely. We have, uh, at the number there is 877 908 7000.

3360. Okay, and it’s a helpline, not a hotline, so it’s not 24 7, but from 8 a. m. to 8 p. m. Eastern, we have over 200, uh, trained volunteers and some staff that take these calls, and they can help you in a judgment free zone, understand what happened. What you can do to protect yourself going forward, who you need to report it to, how, um, and, and, and then move on if needed, and quite often it is, to get additional emotional support from, uh, an online victim support program we created three years ago, where it’s a, it’s Zoom.

Uh, and you, uh, you join the session up five or six people join it. And a trained facilitator just helps walk people through what happened. They get to tell their story. They get to hear that it’s, it happens to a lot of people, not just them, and that it wasn’t their fault.

[00:17:48] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And I think that’s helpful hearing that it’s happened to other people.

So we don’t feel like I’m the only one. Yeah. I can’t believe I was the, so that’s super, super helpful. And you. Don’t have to be a member of AARP? You

[00:18:01] Kathy Stokes: do not have to be a member. You do not have to be of a certain age. It would be helpful if you were from the United States. Sometimes we get some calls from like Canada and it’s like a 16 year old going this dude stole my bike.

What do I do about it? Like that’s not exactly what we’re here for, right? But we do get a lot of legitimate calls as

[00:18:20] Bob Wheeler: well. Yeah, no, that’s great. I think that’s such a great service. Well, Kathy, I’m going to take a pause because I want to jump in and I want to test your nerve because that’s what we do on The Money Nerve is we like to test the nerve.

Um, Test Your Nerve is sponsored by The Money Nerve. And for your listeners out there, if you want to test your nerve and discover the dirty truth about your finances, visit testyournerve. com for our free quiz. On your financial relationship. Alright, so here we go. This is going to be down and dirty. We’re just going to have a little fun here.

Um, if you could have a giant billboard anywhere blasting an anti scam message, what would it say and where would you put it?

[00:19:00] Kathy Stokes: I think I would say share what you know. And I would put it Everywhere I was allowed to. I mean, if I have wherever outdoor advertising still happens, I’d want it all over the place because we don’t talk about it.

But if someone’s listening to us talk today in this podcast and they’ve learned something that they didn’t know about fraud, go and tell your friends and family about it. Have the conversation, especially if you’ve got an, uh, an older mom or dad and, and maybe they’re a little socially isolated, they might not have access to the kind of information like this.

Talk with them, make it a regular part of the conversation because we do know. If you know about a specific scam data says you’re 80 percent less likely to engage with it. 80%. That’s amazing. So share what you know.

[00:19:54] Bob Wheeler: That’s the next marketing campaign. I tell you, and if you don’t take it, I’m going to steal it.

I love that. That’s like, because that’s, that’s so true. And we hear it from others. We, it, it either resonates or not, but at least. It’s out there. Yeah. I love that. I love that. If you could, if you could enact one new law tomorrow to protect seniors from scams, what would you do?

[00:20:13] Kathy Stokes: Oh my goodness. What I would do, I can’t speak to because my government affairs team would destroy me for talking about advocacy and government affairs.

Um, but, um, I think that we have to do more around. Um, the easy payments, um, the peer to peer apps, um, don’t have enough protections. Um, I’m sorry, but I don’t need a Bitcoin ATM machine at my Safeway and they’re showing up everywhere and they are a vector for so much fraud. Um, and I wish that at the state or federal level, we would realize that these aren’t vending machines, their financial transaction machines, and people are losing a lot of money to them.


[00:21:05] Bob Wheeler: that’s yeah. And so your point, I think we Venmoed the wrong James or something, 400 bucks. He’s like, thank you. Please give it back. Yeah. No, no. Thank you. Um, what’s one big money myth you would like to debunk once and a for all.

[00:21:23] Kathy Stokes: The myth that only older people experience fraud. Almost every time I ask an audience, how many people think that, um, younger people experience fraud losses more often than older adults?

And everyone’s like, nope, nope, that can’t happen. It’s older people. It’s only older people. If you look at the data, we do have the federal trade commission says that younger people like under 30. are more likely to experience fraud losses than older people. Wow. However, and this is the big however, when the older person is the victim, they lose so much more.

And it stands to reason, right? If you’re 27 years old and you lose 400 to a tech support scam, you know, that’s a shame. It never should have happened. It should be outlawed, right? Right. But if you’re 80 years old and you’ve lost 80, 000 and there’s no, there’s no recourse, there’s no restitution. It’s such a much bigger, bigger problem for us.

[00:22:26] Bob Wheeler: Wow. Wow. What keeps you feeling energized and motivated in this work, after so many years of fighting the good fight?

[00:22:35] Kathy Stokes: I’m starting to see change that I believe can be systemic. I’m on LinkedIn. I talk to a lot of people on LinkedIn, professionals, fraud investigators, people that work in banks, people that are in a variety of different industries, law enforcement, and I’m starting to see that people are coming to a place of agreement that fraud is out of hand and we need to do more.

And that makes me hopeful. I also believe that in a project that I’m trying to help get launched, um, And if it works, we will have a National Elder Fraud Coordination Center in this country. And all the elder fraud cases will go into one place and the data will be analyzed by really smart analysts who will say, Oh, that 10, 000 grandparent.

10, 000 grandparent scam in San Diego. The exact same M. O. has happened 72 times in these states. And instead of it being one case to look at, it is now a multi million dollar package. And the federal authorities will go after the bad guys and put them in jail. Love it. Love

[00:23:44] Bob Wheeler: it, love it, love it. Um, what is one scam that people would think is outdated and still doesn’t exist?

If there’s such a thing.

[00:23:53] Kathy Stokes: Um, so this, it’s funny that you asked that because I, I often hear people talk about the Nigerian Prince scam, um, which I thought, Oh my God, that was 30 years ago, right? And I haven’t seen examples of it actually happening. I’m not on our helpline, so I don’t know, but I still sometimes see the Nigerian Prince scam being brought up.

I’m like, is it? Is it possible that that’s still happening? I thought we talked enough about that one, but, um, I think it might still be going on out there. I get

[00:24:26] Bob Wheeler: emails

[00:24:26] Kathy Stokes: from Nigeria. Do you? Yep. Okay. Yep. And is it somebody trying to, uh, get you to help them get money out of the country? That whole thing?


[00:24:35] Bob Wheeler: either got a government contract they’ve inherited or there’s, there’s like two or three different stories that I get. Okay. Um, I usually just delete it. I haven’t responded, although I’ve toyed with. You know playing with them, but then I thought yeah, it’s just better to stop

[00:24:51] Kathy Stokes: and I’m so glad you said that for all of us Who want to just play with these guys and make them mad and make them waste their time.

It’s a really bad idea and and one of the reasons is Any any indication that you’ve continued a conversation whether it’s returning an email or a text or staying on the phone in extra 15 Seconds to just mess with them your number your your your text number your email It’s hotter now and it’s bought and sold on the dark web, on all these lead lists.

And we’ll say, Hey, Bob was on that call for an extra 17 seconds. They make more money off of you by selling your number. So you just set yourself up for more.

[00:25:33] Bob Wheeler: Wow. Okay. Well, I, I did follow my gut, even though my incline, I really wanted to play with them. So I’m glad I didn’t. Yes. I am glad you didn’t too Bob.

That’s good to know. Good to know. Um, I just need to reset the camera, Gil, how long have we got? Okay, great. So, wait. Alright. Start winding down. Yeah,

I will. It’s I will. I’m in. If you could give one piece of advice to, um, folks in their retirement age on how to protect themselves from fraud, um, or predatory schemes, what would that be?

[00:26:12] Kathy Stokes: Uh, stay in the know. Stay in the know. We do a bi weekly email called a watchdog alert and you can also sign up for it by text and it’s just a reminder every two weeks even if you don’t read the whole thing and it’s easy it’s you don’t have to like click out to anything right you can just read it through but it’s a reminder that fraud is out there and you’ll pick up some new information and you’ll share that information now after we’ve told everybody to share, right?

Um, and I think that just helps. We have to keep the conversation going so that people are constantly aware that this is out there.

[00:26:47] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And I just want to reiterate, and we’ve talked about this and we talked about it beforehand, but I just want to reiterate out there, if you’ve been scammed, whether you’re older, whether you’re younger, it’s not your fault.

And the more you can let people know about it. The more you will actually be empowered and not have to live with this shame and doubt that you did something bad, but that like, it’s happening to other people. And it’s sort of like when you said, you know, if people get together and all know it, it sort of becomes like this cheerleading team of let’s all get them

[00:27:19] Kathy Stokes: together.

That’s right. Right. Band together. Let’s use our knowledge. Let’s use our, our voices and, and try to put. Put some stop to this. I have to say we cannot educate our way out of this. We’ve been trying to do that for way too long. The issue is way too big. We need a whole of society response, including law enforcement, including tech companies.

You know, it’s got to be safe by design. It’s got to be secure by design. Don’t send something out into the marketplace and then think later about how to protect people from scams that can happen through that. We’ve really just got to kind of reset.

[00:27:53] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, it feels like a paradigm shift. It’s really a whole new mindset and a whole different way of looking at it with a lot more compassion and empathy and actually advocating for people who have been

[00:28:05] Kathy Stokes: scammed and file police reports.

Even if they say it’s not a crime, insist. Because what happens three years from now, five years from now, and there’s a state or federal law that creates a victim restitution fund because we see all the money people are losing. Uh, how are you gonna Prove that it happened to you if you don’t have a police report.

Right. Absolutely. So for at least that reason.

[00:28:29] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Well, Kathy, I appreciate all this so much. Where can people find out more about AARP?

[00:28:35] Kathy Stokes: We have a special webpage, AARP. org slash Fraud Watch Network. And we would love people to stop by and see all of the great educational resources. We have a scam tracking map.

You can learn about our podcast, The Perfect Scam. Um, which is, uh, you know, all these true crime. It’s true crime, but it’s from the victim perspective. Wow. Yeah, that sounds awesome. And I think people would really learn a lot from

[00:29:00] Bob Wheeler: it. Well, Kathy, thanks so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it.

And I hope you have a great experience here at FinCon. Oh, you too. Thanks,

[00:29:07] Kathy Stokes: Bob. Thank you.

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