Seniors most vulnerable target to get hit by scammers

Assemblyman Jim Patterson hosts seminar to combat scams amongst seniors

Fresno, Calif. - As the transition takes place to get ready for the holidays, it's also the time to transition to be on the look out for scammers.

Experts say those most vulnerable to scams are senior citizens.

That's why Assemblyman Jim Patterson held a seminar to teach them what to look out for when encountering a scammer.

Destin Watkins is a Digital Forensic Analyst with the Clovis Police Department.

He says online scams is a multi-million dollar industry and most of the money comes from taking advantage of elderly people.

Watkins says most scams are built off of fear.

The most popular ones happening right now Watkins says are scammers calling to say that someone's loved one is locked up and needs bail money, or receiving a phone call from someone pretending to be Microsoft to fix the house computer.

That's the scam that got seminar attendee Doris Ghan.

She says they hacked into her computer, put a bug in it, then called her to fix it.

"$250 for that scam, $250 for a lesson well learned," says Ghan.

Ghan hopes attending Assemblyman Patterson's scammer seminar will prevent her from getting scammed again.

"Pitty the poor scammer who runs into an army of seniors who knows what to look for and are on guard," says Patterson. "This is going to be a group of seniors in Central California that the scammers better look out for."

Watkins said they are most targeted because they are the least in touch with technology, and they come from a generation where your word was your bond.

Watkins' advice is to very everything.

"Instead of going along with the scammer, call your bank directly or call someone who may know more about the problem than you. It prevents you from falling into the scammer's trap," says Watkins.

It's a lesson Ghan had to learned the hard way, but thanks to the seminar hopefully it won't happen again.

"I've learned so much, a little depressing that the world has gotten this way, but we as elderly people must realize that we've got to protect ourselves," says Ghan.

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