Workshop offers tips for scam prevention

Seniors are the target of choice for scammers and other crooks. Financial scams often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime.  However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses. And it’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted.

“Scams, Schemes & Swindles: Surviving the Onslaught of Crooks” is an interactive presentation to help consumers be alert and aware of the most successful techniques that the scammers use and the risks of falling victim. The event will be held four times in August:

Aug. 7 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the County-City Building, Rainier Room

930 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma

  7 to 8 p.m. at the South Hill Branch Library

15420 Meridian E, South Hill

Aug. 11 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex Main Meeting Room

2401 S. 35th Street, Tacoma

  7 to 8 p.m. at the University Place Branch Library

3609 Market Place W, University Place

The presentation will review the top ten scams targeting seniors using actual case studies.  Participants will also learn how to protect themselves and loved ones from scammers and identity thieves. Resources for victims of scams and fraud will be provided as well as practical things people can do to report crimes.

“Scams are the crime of our day,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources manager. “It is easy to victimize a trusting person and often not reported because of embarrassment. A little awareness and knowledge of some community resources is probably the best prevention tool we can have.”

Although it’s widely believed to be underreported, a 2009 study by MetLife’s Mature Market Institute estimates that seniors lose approximately $2.6 billion per year due to financial abuse – fraud, as well as theft by family members and acquaintances.

The workshop is a presentation of the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center in collaboration with the National Council on Aging. The event is free and open to the public.  RSVP not required. For more information about the presentation call (253) 798-4600.

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