CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Starting on Saturday and running through April 6, citizens around West Virginia will have a chance to better educate themselves on the importance of financial literacy and how to be smarter with money.
Representatives from AARP West Virginia joined forces with the offices of Secretary of State Mac Warner, State Treasurer John Perdue, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and more than 40 organizations on Thursday in Charleston to kick off the tenth annual West Virginia statewide observance of “Money Smart Week” (MSW).
MSW in West Virginia is part of a multi-state public awareness campaign of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Angela Vance, AARP West Virginia Associate State Director said on Thursday there will be events all over the state to increase people’s financial literacy and help them become better consumers.
“There are events for older people to look at credit scores and understand them,” Vance said. “There are events for younger people sponsored by the Treasurer’s Office, including their signature program called ‘Get A Life.'”
One of many events in the next week, “Get A Life,” is meant for young people to understand budgeting and financing through workshops.
Vance said the highlight event of the MSW in West Virginia will be “Operation Scam Jam” at both the St. Mary’s Conference Center in Huntington on April 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at Charleston’s Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School on April 2 with those same times.
“This is an event that teaches people how to protect themselves from frauds and scams,” Vance said. “And know and be aware of what is out there in the community that they need to look for.”
The Huntington event will feature state, regional and national experts from AARP, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, West Virginia Bankers Association and more while the Charleston event is hosted by the WVU College of Law and the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.
Included in the festivities for the week, the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office will have banking partners and mobile office visits across the Mountain State.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said MSW is all about educating the public.
“What we try to do is use this week with a lot of the partners to get a lot of information out to people so they are educated, know how to better protect themselves, and know the resources that are available to them through my office and other offices as well,” he said.
Other events in West Virginia include the West Virginia Bankers Association’s “Teach Children to Save” events across the state and “Safe Banking for Seniors” events hosted by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services.
Vance said people in their later years who have fixed income need to make sure it is protected.
“We need to make sure all that income is protected,” she said. “Scams can come from people that you don’t know but also people you know. It’s important to make sure you have control of your assets and that you know what money is coming in and out and who has access to it.”