LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – If it seems like there is a new scam to be aware of more and more often these days, you aren’t crazy. According to the Associate State Director of AARP Minnesota, Jay Haapala, since the Pandemic scams have grown 300% in volume and scope. That is one of the biggest reasons why AARP teamed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to bring Scam Jam to La Crosse. Happala says, “It’s not intelligence, or lack thereof that makes people vulnerable to scams… it’s stress that makes people vulnerable to scams. It’s isolation that makes them vulnerable.

A lot of people took in the information offered during Scam Jam at the Radisson

Scam Jam aims to educate people on the pitfalls that are out there, provide awareness of helpful tools and organizations, and, according to Minnesota and North Dakota BBB President and CEO, Susan Adams Loyd, empower through awareness, “A story I like to share is that my mother-in-law’s neighbor of 45 years offered to help us with her day-to-day needs. Of course, we invited this woman into our circle of trust and for 4-and-a-half years… we will call her Jan… took my mother-in-law to doctors’ appointments and to shopping and to the casino where she then spent my mother-in-law’s savings of over $200,000. So, I always say, the scammer is not from Nigeria or the Caribbean. The scammer is your neighbor’s son-in-law who’s coming over to help your dad shovel. And then, before long, your dad invites him in for a cup of tea and sensitive information is found or shared and then we’re off to the races. So, events like this allow people to be aware.”

The BBB was also touting its Scam Tracker. Scam Tracker is a tool on the BBB website where anyone can report or look up a scam. If you have fallen victim to a scam, you can report what happened to you and how it happened. On the other side, if you think that you might be targeted for a scam, you can look it up with the same tool.

The BBB Serving Minnesota and North Dakota is a non-profit organization in which our community turns to find trusted information. You can get more info, report a business, find help, and access every tool that the BBB has for consumers and businesses alike at

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them. For more info on how the AARP can help you visit For Information on AARP Wisconsin, visit THIS SITE, and for AARP Minnesota, visit THIS SITE