Elderly watch out for scams and frauds

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- As scams evolve, they become more complex and confusing, and scammers often target one of the most caring populations: the elderly.

No one wants to be the victim of a scam, and an array of vulnerable outlets that scammers can now attack, you have to stay alert.

"Be able to figure out when the little red flag should go up, and when that little red flag is a big scare", said Christina Cornelison-Travis, Paralegal and Consumer Protection Advocate in the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

That little red flag we're talking about is your awareness for scams. It doesn't matter what your age is, scammers are looking for a way to get your personal information and money.

"Elder community is a higher target area for fraud, but the more education we can get out there about how people are committing fraud and how we can protect ourselves, the better we can defeat the bad guy out there," said Cornelison-Travis.

It's a growing threat amongst the elderly, and Joice Williams says she gets it from all angles, "Mail and telephone, I’m an old fashioned person."

Williams says she is lucky she doesn't spend time on the internet, knowing that is a big target.

“I have nothing to do with computers; that relieves me of a lot of worry," Williams says.

Officials say knowing the number you're calling is a simple step in avoiding scammers. If you call a number given to you in a scam, you could relay information to someone on the other end who isn't your bank or credit card company. Instead experts say you should call the number on your credit card or bank directly.

Legal experts say asking a few questions can go a long way because unfortunately times are changing.

"Shake a hand-- that was an honest seal for a contract. Today it isn't that way. People are out to defraud them," said Marilyn Richardson, Service Legal Advocate.

Protection advocates say the best defense is awareness, keeping you educated about all the current scams that do change. Additionally, keep your information private and don't share personal or financial information over the phone or through email.

Experts also say to stay proactive, the best way is to consistently check and review your bank statements.

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