PORTLAND – Portland agencies were trying to prevent scams Tuesday during the ‘Scam Jam’ at the Portland Convention Center.
The event educated consumers about health care, mortgage, lending, ID theft and insurance scams.
It was supported by the AARP, Oregon Department of Justice and the State Department of Consumer and Business Services.
“What we’re trying to do is give people tools to increase their resistance,” said Doug Shadel, State Director for AARP Washington.
According to Shadel, scams often begin with the perpetrator getting under what he called ‘your ether.’
“Ether is a condition the con man puts the victim in to get them into a more heightened emotional state, so they easily manipulate them,” Shadel said.
Shadel said it can happen to anyone. Especially vulnerable are people 50 and older.
Many fall victim to door-to-door pitches and phone scams.
“The danger is staying on the phone or interacting with these people, who are master persuaders,” Shadel said.
But the majority of scams – around 60 percent -- happen online. Those cost consumers at least $300 million a year.
Shadel said those worried they’re being scammed should wait before handing over money.
“There’s no deal out there that can’t wait for 24 hours to make a decision,” he said.
He also stressed that the consumer has one powerful word on their side: “No.”