MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Phone calls and text message scams are usually the most successful and most expensive types of fraud that impact older Pennsylvanians.
Katrina Boyer, investor Education Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities said, "because of the isolation from the pandemic and other things, they're being targeted more often."
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Pennsylvanians from all age groups fell for imposter scams more than any other type of fraud last year.
It usually starts with someone asking you to pay off a debt with a gift card.
"The problem is as soon as we go to the convince store and pick up those gift cards, as soon as we scratch the number off the back and give that to the person, the money is gone and we're not able to recover it," said Boyer.
That's why the department of banking and securities and the state auditor general held a "Scam Jam" event to make seniors aware of the risks.
"Whenever the fraudsters think there are vulnerabilities regardless of where they think it is, they're going to try and get those funds, get those resources," said Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy DeFoor.
The goal of these events is to make it less taboo to talk about becoming a victim of a scam so you can help others and spot any future fraud.
Boyer said, "We need to make talking about frauds and scams as common as we talk about the weather, the cost of gas."