by Mike Urban
“Brian Long is 77 and knows his age makes him a target for the increasing number of scammers who try to steal from senior citizens.
“They see the elderly as easy prey, he said, and are ruthless enough to come after them.
“Long has learned enough about financial abuse of the elderly that he not only recognizes emails, phone calls and text messages from people attempting to rip him off, but also leads seminars about these crimes on behalf of Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon LINK, an agency that helps the aging and disabled.
“Despite his attempts to help people avoid being victimized, Long has repeatedly heard from seniors who still fell prey to financial schemes, evidence of how devious those scammers can be, he said.
“Long and others who work with the elderly in Berks hope a new state task force can help protect seniors, improve reporting mechanisms and cut down on those crimes by coordinating efforts between agencies.”
Resources for seniors
If you’re a victim, call your local police department or your bank if you notice something wrong with your accounts.
Those with general questions about crimes against seniors can call the Berks County Area Office on Aging at 610-478-6500 or the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources at 800-753-8827.
Pennsylvania also has a statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-490-8505.