Things have been so busy I feel like I have neglected my scam fighting blogger friends. I did want to give you a quick update on a topic that is very dear to my heart . . . laws to protect scam victims. As anyone who has read my story, website, blog or who has any interaction with me personally in the past 8+ years since I have started down this road of scam education and awareness knows that I am passionate about this issue. I have been asking for laws to be changed from day one. In the beginning, people just laughed and said that there was no way to change those kinds of laws or do anything to help scam victims, but that did not make me give up . . . I just kept talking to different people until found someone that DID listen to me.
Then things started to turn around. I was able to speak with someone at Senator Franken’s office and they really listened to what I had to say. We had several phone and email conversations, bouncing ideas off of each other. Then around the same time I was asked by AARP of Minnesota and the BBB of Minnesota to come to a meeting that they were having to look at legislation that could help scam victims, or better yet, protect people from BECOMING scam victims. I could not believe it . . . things were falling into place. At that meeting I shared all of the ideas that my husband Jeff and I had from day one of beginning our site. I told them that I am not a legal expert, but I know what would have saved us, and the people that come to our website for assistance, from becoming scam victims. I showed them the “loopholes” that I saw in the way that things were currently run, with both banking institutions and money transfer companies. I said that if they could close these loopholes, we could dramatically reduce this type of scams.
So I made sure that my contacts at the BBB, AARP and Senator Franken’s office all were connected to each other, and then I waited. There were a few more emails and conversations, but after a while things kind of stopped going and I wondered if the whole idea fell through. Then, at a Fraud Fighter’s Forum organized by the Minnesota AARP I saw it for the first time . . . HF0343. If you would like to read the Bill, you can do so at this link. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_detail.php?b=House&f=HF0343&ssn=0&y=2011
Many of the items in this Bill are things that I have been talking about for years, so to see it becoming a reality was HUGE for me. There are other scam fighting sites out there that are also backing this bill. I think that is great that we can all join together on one common issue. It does not matter who told you about HF0343, just that you know about it, and that we get it passed. If it passes in Minnesota, we can then all work together to see it get passed in other states.
I was also able to be at a recent hearing about this Bill, and I shared with everyone there why I am so passionate about this issue and that if this Bill would have been law in 2002, I would not have been sitting in front of them speaking to them as a scam victim . . . if this Bill works as it is written, it would have saved my husband and I from becoming victims.
Also, there are some that have recently accused me of “stealing their thunder” and I believe most of it is due to a recent post I made telling all of you about this bill and asking you to send letters in to the authors. This other group was asking people to send in letters, and instead of “re-inventing the wheel” I passed that information on to all of you. I felt that I could do this because
1) I also had been working with the same groups mentioned in the context of the letter
2) I also feel passionately about this topic
3) This group was asking for help in getting the word out
4) Had I know that letters to the authors would “help” I would have put the word out a LONG time ago
To me, scam fighting and changing the laws is not about who “gets credit” for it . . . it is about all of us working together for the best outcome. If I have some good info, and you want to share it, go ahead . . . share away! That is how we get the word to spread and educate more people.