In today’s “cyber” world, we use our computers for almost everything — checking on our bank account balances, transferring money, online purchases using our credit cards. We also communicate with loved ones and friends by email or through Facebook. With all this information out there everyone is a target for scams especially seniors.
It can work like this — you may get a call that your grandchild is in trouble and they need money. Commonsense would tell you that you should verify this, but people on the phone or sending the email can be very convincing. Fear and anxiety may be overwhelming, and many people have given away their credit card numbers or sent money without thinking about the consequences. During tax season, scam artists often call pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service telling you that you owe back taxes and need to pay now over the phone or you will go to jail.
This is scary stuff and scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century,” according to the National Council on Aging. It doesn’t matter whether you have money or are low-income, seniors are targeted everyday by people who want their money.
Senior Services of Alexandria is focusing its April 26 Speaker Series on “Identity Theft and Fraudulent Scams” targeting seniors. It will be an information-packed program with officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, US Securities and Exchange Commission, AARP and the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. They will be discussing the various types of scams targeting seniors and what actions can be taken to make sure you are not a victim.
The event is taking place at Alfred Street Baptist Church, 301 S. Alfred St., in Old Town Alexandria. It kicks off at 9:15 a.m. with a free breakfast. The program begins at 10 a.m. and will go until noon. There is plenty of parking and experts will be on hand to answer any questions after their presentations.
The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call Senior Services at 703-836-4414, ext. 110 or go online at seniorservicesalex.org.