Special to The Hays Daily News

TOPEKA -- Recently, older Americans are being targeted more often by scammers and con artists looking to make a quick buck.

Kansas seniors have been victimized by e-mail and mail scams, identity theft and financial fraud. The Kansas Consumer Protection Act recognizes seniors as a particularly vulnerable class.

Attorney General Steve Six recently announced the creation of the Senior Consumer Advisory Council, to be led by former Attorney General Bob Stephan. The advisory council will be responsible for researching and recommending new ways to protect seniors from falling victim to various types of consumer fraud and scams. In addition, the council may provide recommendations to focus enforcement efforts when seniors are targeted.

"Our experience shows us that seniors are often targeted by scams and fraud. This new advisory council will help us stay ahead of the curve in our effort to protect elderly Kansans from consumer fraud," Six said.

Stephan said he is pleased to be able to continue his public service in the area of consumer protection.

"Consumer protection, especially when it comes to the elderly, is of vital importance to the state. I can tell that Steve Six shares my commitment to protecting our elderly, and I am honored to work with him on this initiative," Stephan said.

The advisory council will research and review common ways seniors are victimized and provide recommendations to the attorney general's office. The council is expected to address a number of issues including identity theft, financial fraud, mail fraud and Internet scams and how they affect older Kansans.

In the coming weeks, the full membership list of the advisory council will be released. The first meeting of the council is expected to take place by the end of this year, with a final report to be delivered to Six in late 2010.