Chances are good that someone you know has been scammed. They might not talk about it, but the statistics show attempted scamming is common. Libraries are an important source to computers and digital literacy training helping seniors connect with family, friends, health information and government services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) works to prevent fraud and deceptive business practices. Its new initiative, Pass It On, was designed to help seniors teach their peers how to avoid scams, rip-offs, and identity theft with materials in English and Spanish that librarians can download, order in bulk, and distribute to their customers. Pass It On reinforces what older adults already know, gives them the tools to start a conversation, and asks them to pass it on. The materials are respectful of older adults, and view them as part of the solution. On the site, you’ll find:
  • one-page fact sheets on six issues often seen by older adults: imposter scams, identity theft, charity fraud, health care scams, paying too much, and “you’ve won” scams;
  • bookmarks on all those topics, to serve as reminders of what to do;
  • activities to print and use;
  • a video to encourage people to pass it on;
  • and, coming soon, presentations on each of the topics.
You’ll also find a link to order the materials for free and in large quantities. You can order a folder with materials on all the issues in one place, an issue at a time in a tear-off pad of fact sheets, or a brick of bookmarks. If you have questions, ideas on other issues to cover, or other resources that would help you, please feel free to contact the FTC at