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Seniors Need to Learn To Protect Against Scams

February 27, 2013
By SCOTT McCLOSKEY - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Senior citizens can become easy victims to scam artists. So how can seniors educate themselves about dealing with phone and online scams?

Dave Shelene, field representative with the West Virginia Auditor's Office, said if a senior wants to be better informed about the countless number of phone or Internet scams, they can call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-322-8228, or they can contact the West Virginia Auditor's Office at 888-724-3982.

Shalene said scam artists target seniors because many are trusting and they're easily accessible at their homes. Many also have been able to save up a nice nest egg of money over the years. He said more and more seniors are also taking advantage of social networking, which can make them easy prey to scam artists.

"Internet scams are targeting seniors like crazy," said Shalene, who contends many senior centers provide banks of computers for seniors to gain access to the Internet. He said social networking for seniors is "absolutely growing today." He said he recommends seniors use "site blockers" such as "Cybersitter" to help protect themselves from online scams.

Shalene offered three tips for seniors:

Shalene said seniors can also file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

He said this simply is the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center all working together to help solve internet crimes.

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