SALT Council fights scammers by educating senior citizens

SALT Council fights scammers by educating senior citizens

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In the first quarter of 2015, our newsroom was flooded with calls from people complaining about scams. Many of them have been ones we look to for wisdom, our seniors. Authorities in Baton Rouge are trying to fight this problem in East Baton Rouge by educating the older generation.

Seniors are the shoulders we stand on, and that is why authorities are making sure they get the information they need to protect themselves.

Scammers are getting better and bolder as they try to take your money. Authorities say their favorite people to prey on are senior citizens. Educating and protecting the seniors was the goal at Tuesday's East Baton Rouge meeting of the S.A.L.T. Council.

A S.A.L.T. Council is a group composed of seniors, local law enforcement agencies and senior organizations. They determine the needs of the community's senior population and create activities to address these needs.

Joshua Hollins with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office says the reason why the elderly are big targets is because they're vulnerable.

"Our seniors are the most trusting people, they come from a very trusting generation. There are so many people out there that our preying on that trust," said Hollins.

He says one of the newest scams the AG's Office has seen targets the older population is the Green Dot Card scheme. Schemers will persuade seniors to buy a Green Dot or Money card, usually at a local drug store.

Then the scammers will ask them to use the card to send money overseas with the promise the seniors will get more money in return.

"It's very scary, because seniors are very caring and loving," said Renee Johnson with the Zachary Council on Aging.

Johnson rattled off several names of people who almost fell victim to a scam.

"My mother in law gets calls all the time. She is always getting calls where saying a niece or a nephew, or someone they know, say 'you've got money,' or 'let me claim your money' or that type of thing," said Johnson.

Those are the reasons why Hollins says it is so important to keep our seniors educated.

"It's important that we give back to them let them know that we care about them. And as they get into what we call the 'golden years' of their life, we make sure that they're protected, and make sure that we make sure that we still care about them," said Hollins.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of a scam, please call the Louisiana Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Hotline at 225-326-6465 or 1-800-351-4889

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