SACRAMENTO- On June 11, 2014, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Consumer Protection & Public Safety Foundation partnered with the State Bar of California and the California Bureau of Real Estate for a presentation to district directors for state lawmakers.
"We want the district directors for state lawmakers to know what we do and why we do it," said CSLEA Unit-A Vice President Kenny Ehrman. "We are the folks who fight crime, fraud and all types of illegal activity that Californians become victims of. Who best to help educate Californians about the schemes, scams and rip-offs and how they can better protect themselves?"
Together, the three public safety and consumer protection groups offer seminars or town hall meetings for Legislators to bring to their constituents. The topics are tailored to meet the needs of the audience. Currently the group has seminars designed for seniors, veterans and immigrant communities. Subject matter can include fraudulent car sales, contractor activity, identity theft, real estate and mortgage schemes, unscrupulous behavior in the legal and funeral services business and how to identify an imposter on the phone or at your front door.
"By nature, most people are polite and trusting," said Ehrman. "With seniors, especially, we have to remind them, they are huge targets, and it is okay not to open your door to a stranger, it's okay to hang up on an unknown caller."
Sadly, veterans are also one of the largest groups target by fraud. Non-English speaking residents are also among the many victims of schemes, scams and rip-offs. The town hall meetings offer a chance for lawmakers' constituents to see what these public safety and consumer protection professionals are seeing, a chance to pick up literature and complaint forms. There is also information regarding possible restitution.
"We walk people through the complaint process," said Ehrman. "When you've become a victim of fraud, you're often embarrassed and confused. We can help. Better yet, we can help by letting folks know what type of fraudulent activity is currently in play and how NOT to fall victim to it."
To view clips from a recent seminar for seniors click here.
The CSLEA Consumer Protection & Public Safety Foundation's mission is to protect Californians from illegal activity by educating them on the latest, sneaky ways criminals will try to rip them off.
The non-profit Foundation also raises money for scholarships for CSLEA members and their immediate family members, particularly those seeking futures in public safety or consumer protection. CSLEA represents nearly 7,000 public safety and consumer protection professionals who work for the State of California such as agents, investigators, rangers, wardens, inspectors, licensing & enforcement representatives, dispatchers, police officers and firefighters.