Dixie State University students offer free seminars to help prevent financial fraud

Dixie State University students are warning the Southern Utah community about the risks and early indicators of identity theft and elderly fraud to help keep some of the region’s vulnerable population financially safe and secure.

Students in the university’s chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners are taking turns presenting on these two topics throughout the semester. The free series continues with a presentation on identity theft on Feb. 9 and elderly fraud on Feb. 16. Each presentation is set to take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room 220 of the Ernö and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business on the Dixie State campus.

“By attending an ACFE club presentation, community members will learn about steps they can take to help protect themselves from these problems and what they can do if they are a victim of either of these,” Katie Hanus, president of DSU’s chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, said. “It will help them become aware of common threats and best practices to keep themselves safe.”

The students’ presentations focus on teaching attendees how to avoid scams from financial predators both known and unknown to them to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“The Community Education presentations are the students’ way of giving back to the community and fighting fraud at the same time,” Dr. Cindy Greenman, associate professor of accounting at DSU, said. “One of the best tactics in fighting fraud is through educating the public. When people know what red flags to look for, they and their families are less likely to be victims.”

By providing this community service, DSU students, members of the association’s only student chapter in Utah, are reinforcing what they have learned about protecting the millions of elderly Americans who are targeted for financial fraud each year.

“The presentations exemplify active learning. The students themselves are responsible for taking what they have learned, preparing the material and presenting it to the community attendees,” Greenman said. “This is purely voluntary on the part of the students. This is on their own time and not for a particular class or grade. It is simply their way of being engaged with the community and helping educate on such an important topic. The presentations also assist the students in their careers by preparing them for public speaking, critical thinking, composure, professionalism and leadership skills.”

For the students, helping members of the community is not only a learning opportunity, it’s a rewarding experience as well.

“DSU students being active in the community benefits both the students and the community members,” Hanus said. “It provides students an opportunity to impact others and see how their experiences in the classroom can benefit those around them. It gives community members a chance to learn from students something that can help them improve their lives. These presentations are an excellent experience for students and community members alike.”

The presentations are free to attend, but pre-registration at ce.utahtech.edu is required due to limited classroom space.