Over 100 seniors gathered in Russellville today for the Senior Scam Jam—a workshop aimed to educate and ensure our Kentucky seniors are not the next victims.
“Most of the time, they want to help and they’re generous,” Sergeant Curtis Hargett, the Public Information Officer for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office explains, “they prey on that.”
The “they” he’s talking about—are scammers.
“The elderly are targeted pretty heavily, especially this time of year being post tax season,” Sergeant Hargett says.
Alongside the help of sponsors, the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has been able to educate over 2,000 seniors since 2007 about financial scams and the red flags.
Kelly May, Public Information Officer for DFI says, “a study in 2016 by Investor Protection Trust found that 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 has already been the victim of a financial scam.”
No more 1 in 5—today, over 100 Kentucky seniors took the power back into their hands and learned how to not be a victim of cybercrime, outright financial fraud, or identity theft.
“People who are actually really smart with their money are more likely to be a victim because they’re going to think, “surely, I can recognize if it’s not real,”” May explains.
Sergeant Hargett says knowing the signs is the key to keeping your money where it belongs— “Once you send the money, our hands our tied. Really, there’s nothing we can do. A lot of the time they’re bots or might even be in another country, so it’s essentially impossible to get that money back.”
If you think you may have been scammed or have concerns about the credibility of an offer, person or financial institution, you are urged to contact the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions at 800-223-2579.