WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — More than 2 million seniors are exploited out of nearly $3 billion each year, according to First National Bank.
Wichita Falls seniors gathered Thursday at the Red Door Senior Center for a 30-minute presentation about financial crimes and exploitation.
Karen Hughes with First National Bank said there are many reasons seniors are prime targets for scammers.
“They’ve got a steady income coming in. Most of them do,” Hughes said. “Its either pension or federal benefits such as that. The other thing is that sometimes their hearing isn’t so good and so when they talk on the phone they might not hear you very well, things like that. It is just sad because these people have worked very hard for their money and they deserve to enjoy.”
Hughes said oftentimes customers come in claiming they have won the lotto or sweepstakes that they never entered.
She said that scammers are becoming smarter every day with how they take advantage of seniors and if you ever fall victim to financial fraud to immediately visit your bank.
Monica Horton at the better business bureau said that while senior citizens are very susceptible to financial fraud, so are young adults.
She said victims will often come to her and say they never thought they would fall for exploitation until its too late.
“All of these scams have an emotional appeal whether it be they scare you, if love is involved if you’re happy that you’ve won the lottery,” said Horton. “Whatever that it is, it plays a role in your decision making.”
Horton said that the BBB offers a scam portal where people can check out other claims if they are worried about being scammed.
To be placed on the do not call list for telemarketers, Hughes said to call 1-888-382-1222.