Session held for seniors about scam awareness

Originally appeared on Rockford’s WIFR

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — It’s been estimated that seniors lose over $36 billion every year to financial fraud. That’s why a local representative is teaming up with AARP to help make sure our loved ones can avoid being victims.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos lead Monday’s session, talking about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to protecting our identity. Seniors are reminded to never pay for anything over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from the IRS. Many seniors have retirement accounts, own their homes, and have excellent credit, making them a prime target for scammers.

“We started out our last senior scam event saying has anyone here been the victim of a scam and without exception every single hand went up in the room. And so there are a lot of attempts out there and that’s what we’re here to address today,” says Representative Cheri Bustos (D) 17th District.

Rep. Bustos says her own 80-year-old mother has been the victim of credit card fraud, so she knows firsthand the problems it can cause and stresses the importance of not giving out personal information and getting regular credit checks.