Your Support Can Make a Difference!
The United Way Community Assessment of the Texas Gulf Coast population indicated that consumer fraud is one of the five major concerns among older Texans. Data from AARP indicates that older adults are particularly vulnerable to fraud. Also, the inexperience of young consumers makes them highly susceptible to unscrupulous business practices as well. Due to a high number of complaints from older adults and teenager's families about unscrupulous business practices, the BBB Board of Directors decided to meet this educational need of consumers through the establishment of two Sleuth Programs.
Since 1998, the Silver Sleuth Program has been committed to educating senior adults about fraudulent business practices. Silver Sleuths are volunteers, 55 years of age and older, that are trained to disseminate information about scams, in order to prevent future victimization of fellow seniors. Older consumers tend to be victimized due to the effects of aging, because they are less suspicious of scam artists and because they are less familiar with current consumer issues. During the past three years, we have reached over 25,000 older adults throughout our service area. The success of the Silver Sleuths set the precedent for the Junior Sleuth program.
Junior Sleuths are volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 that work with the BBB to combat businesses intent on defrauding teens and young adult consumers. Teens often fall prey to deceptive business practices because they are naïve and lack experience. Our goal is to raise the level of consumer education and awareness of teens in order to protect their rights and assist them on their way into adulthood.
We are asking you to support this effort because education is vital to the formation of competent young consumers and enables older consumers to protect their own interests. Fraud takes a toll on individuals, legitimate businesses and the aggregate consumer economy. We hope that you will be able to aid us in our work. Please contact Candice Twyman at 713-341-6144 for more information about sponsoring BBB Education Foundation Programs.