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Keep an eye out for scammers

February 23, 2012
Times Leader
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY, For The TImes Leader

WHEELING — Senior citizens are the top targets of scam artists. What are some important issues seniors need to be concerned about when dealing with phone and online scams? Scam artists work hard every day trying to aquire money from seniors. They like to target seniors because many are trusting, they’re easily accessible at their homes, and many of them have been able to save money, according to information provided by the West Virginia Auditor’s Office. Dave Shelene, field representative with the Auditor’s Office, said the office provides free presentations for senior citizen groups about how to safeguard themselves from various scams. He said the office offers two different programs on how to address scams, Senior’s Against Investment Fraud and Internet Safety and Scams. “Never log into anything from email” is one of the first tips Shelene tells seniors. He said emails can host a number of scam opportunities including “phishing,” when a potential scam artist tries to lure seniors into sending them personal account information. He said in these instances people will receive an email that says something like, “There’s a problem with your bank account, or there’s a problem with your Pay Pal account, that kind of thing,” Shelene advises. He said often the message will request for you to “log in here to solve the problem.” “If you log in there, you’re sending your login information to a scammer.” He said in turn that allows the scam artist to log in as you, which in turn can provide them access to your personal information such as your full name and address, social security number, and credit card information. “They can go into your account and get all that information and become you — they’ll steal your identity,” Shelene added.



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