Local senior citizens got a crash course Tuesday in the latest fraud schemes targeting those in their golden years.
Students enrolled in the Wallace State Lifelong Learning Institute (WaLLi) got tips on how to avoid falling victim to a variety of ever-changing scams — from fake sweepstakes to the random distant relative calling for money in an emergency — during a class at the Hanceville campus. Monday’s seminar focused on fraud, particularly email and phone scams, while a class 10 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Wallace State Wellness Center will delve into identity theft.
Emily Hines with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service is leading the program, traveling to seven counties in the area to educate senior citizens on how to spot scams.
“The bottom line is, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” she told the class of 16 in attendance Monday. “If you truly have won something, you wouldn’t have to give money to get it.”
Senior citizens, in particular, are targeted by con artists for a number of reasons — namely they typically have some kind of “nest egg” due to frugal living and wise money management but are more likely to be trusting and polite to strangers.