February Volunteer Spotlight: Kate Kleinert

Posted on 02/24/24

Kate Kleinert (Center) at the 2023 Pennsylvania Crime Prevention Officers' Association Symposium

Meet Kate Kleinert, an AARP Pennsylvania volunteer on the Consumer Issues Task Force and an AARP Fraud Watch Network Speaker, endured a devastating romance scam that cost her everything: her life savings, home, and beloved dogs. It all started with a simple Facebook friend request from 'Tony', a supposed surgeon in Iraq. Over months, their frequent conversations developed into a deep emotional bond. Trusting him, Kleinert sent Tony $39,000, her entire savings, lured by his repayment promises.

The scam's reality hit when Tony didn't show up at the airport, leaving Kleinert financially and emotionally shattered. Soon after, a house fire, caused by an HVAC issue, claimed her remaining possessions and her six dogs.
Despite having to rebuild her life from scratch, Kleinert's story is one of resilience and empowerment. She’s openly sharing her experience to help others avoid the same fate.

Through AARP's outlets, she now dedicates herself to educating others, speaking at senior centers and various groups to help others recognize and avoid similar scams, offering support and reassurance to those in similar predicaments, ensuring they know they're not at fault. Kleinert's journey, marked by both loss and deception, has transformed into a tale of courage and a commitment to help others.

Join us in making a meaningful difference in our community! AARP Pennsylvania is always seeking passionate individuals who are eager to contribute their time and talents. Whether you're interested in advocacy, community outreach or events, there's a place for you here. Visit aarp.org/iwant2volunteer to learn more and get involved today!

This story is provided by AARP Pennsylvania. Visit the AARP Pennsylvania page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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