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.
Brian, Some time when you have time and want to talk with me about this issue, please call me at 717 269-5208. (I’ll answer because your name and numbers are in my phone.)
I have been concerned about this issue since my father was prey to international scams 20+ years ago.
I also get calls and emails all of the time and have used various options to try to do something to report these, however, my local police laugh at me and say “they get them too” so I have got no satisfaction going that route.
I have filled out state and federal report forms, but they never get back to you, and about twice a week I am sending emails to abuse@…comcast, Amazon, etc. with no feedback except that they got my email.
Yesterday I got 12 calls from the Lebanon 269 cell phone exchange which I know were robocalls, because I called the first one back and got the guy who was being spoofed! After that I just let them ring out, but it was annoying to get that many in a row and past 8:00 PM. And Yes, I was registered to not get these types of calls on my cell and home phones, yet they still keep coming. And, I have Verizon as my provider, who was supposed to have recently put something in effect to stop these calls, but they haven’t stopped!
My desire is to get these SOB’s in one way or another, so if you know of someway that I can be helpful – like working with a task force to give them my experiences and ideas, please let me know!!!
Thanks for listening. My fingers hurt from pounding out this message! Kathy