Seniors weigh in on 'constant' scam calls, what to look out for
EMMET COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- It's something we unfortunately see all too often, seniors falling victim to scams both over the phone and on the internet.
Luckily there are organizations out there helping to protect them.
A senior expo in Petoskey hosted about 40 different vendors that provide services for seniors.
One of them is the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan.
“They’ll ask about a phone call they got or a message, a voicemail they had," said Mary Harwood from the agency. "If it’s a client I work with who has a computer, they’ll ask about an email they got.”
Mary Harwood is a social worker who gets questions about the scams on a regular basis.
“Tell them not a good idea and if it’s ever anything from social security, Medicaid, Medicare don’t’ ever respond to phone calls or emails, because they would get something in the mail," Harwood said. "They would get a hard copy paper.”
Seniors at the expo said the calls are almost daily.
“They would like me to contribute to the police department for the widows and those that have been hurt in retirement, and they also want to do something for me with the social security and that’s when it stops," said Cheryl Myers. "When they mention social security and ask my number, I hung up.”
“Well they usually ask me if I’m interested in making a donation or sometimes they’ve got little other ideas, you know that I might have won something,” Said Len Keneziorski.
Luckily the seniors we spoke to have never been scammed, and most have found ways to tell if the calls are real or fake.
“They’re constantly bugging us," said Gil Jenkins. "It all depends, there’s one that uses the ‘you’re harder to get a hold of than my grandson.’ Well, you haven’t called me in a week so how would you know? And things like that. They all have a line, then the first thing I do is Google their number, and if it’s a scam it will tell you.”
Jenkins knows how to keep the scammers at bay, but does know others who have fallen victim.
“She actually gave them her credit card number and that created one stir," Jenkins said. "I mean that was terrible.”
The Area Agency on Aging said anyone who isn't sure if a call is a scam can call them or any local law enforcement agency.