Celebrity chef partners with Dover FCU to combat senior scams

From left, are Vince Setnar, chief lending officer, Dover Federal Credit Union; Kimberly Iapalucci, associate state director for communication, AARP Delaware; Kathleen Alt, assistant operations manager, iHeart Radio; Carole Langiu, director, Communications & Government Affairs, Cooperative Credit Union Association; celebrity chef Robert Irvine; Travis Frey, chief innovation officer, Dover Federal Credit Union; Larence Kirby, state of Delaware, Department of Veterans’ Affairs; Walt Laskos, senior vice president, strategic communications, Cooperative Credit Union Association; and Chaz Rzewnicki, president/CEO, Dover Federal Credit Union. ( Submitted photo)

DOVER — Best known for his celebrity role on the Food Network, hosting such programs as “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible,” Chef Robert Irvine, added his voice to credit unions on Aug. 26 in their ongoing effort to raise awareness of the many financial scams targeting seniors and their family members.

Mr. Irvine was the featured guest at an educational breakfast hosted by Dover Federal Credit Union and the credit unions of Delaware at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.

More than 80 veterans, their caregivers and family members filled a junior ballroom for the morning gathering to hear Mr. Irvine and a panel of experts representing the Delaware Department of Veterans Affairs, AARP Delaware, The Delaware Department of Justice, the Cooperative Credit Union Association, and Dover Federal Credit Union, offer guidance on ways to recognize the signs of financial exploitation, what to do in response, and where to turn for assistance when one becomes a victim of a financial scam.

“Financial scams are estimated to reap more than $40 billion dollars a year from seniors,” said Walt Laskos, Cooperative Credit Union Association senior vice president of strategic communications.

“Credit unions are determined that such a travesty targeting seniors and American veterans does not go unanswered, so we’re fighting back with what’s proven to be the best weapon in the arsenal — education. While we’re hosting educational sessions at senior centers and community gatherings where we arm elders with information to help protect them and their life’s savings, our free online educational program, CU Senior Safeguard, can be accessed on our website, BetterValuesBetterBanking.com by anyone from the comfort of their home.”

“At AARP, we believe that achieving any financial milestone helps make our future brighter and more secure,” said Kimberly Iapalucci, AARP associate state director for communication. “Preventing fraud is key to protecting your hard-earned money and one way we do that is by providing free resources like AARP’s Fraud Watch Network designed to help keep you informed and safe from becoming a victim of a financial scam.”

After addressing the gathering of veterans, Mr. Irvine was escorted onto Dover Air Force Base where he met with and conducted a cooking class for the airmen, courtesy of Dover Federal Credit Union.

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