'Senior Scam Stopper Workshop' aims to help seniors avoid being a victim

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of seniors in Clovis attended the Senior Scam Stopper Workshop hosted by Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) and several agencies.

"The more seniors know, what to expect, how to fight back and how to report, the tougher it is for these scammers to succeed," Patterson said.

Dorothy Gillson attended Friday's event with her friend to learn more about what she can do to protect herself and others.

"We grew up in an era where there was a lot less access to information. Unless we gave somebody information, they wouldn't know it about us. Nowadays, like the gentleman said, you can google it and find out a lot of stuff," she said.

Gillson does know not to give our personal information over the phone if she "wins" something.

"If they say, 'You've won the lottery!' I say, 'Yeah, in what dream world do you live in?'," she said while laughing.

One hot topic at the workshop was about hiring contractors. Gillson said this was helpful.

"I do have a home that I want to get a few repairs done on, and I got some information there that will help me research the people that might want to come into my house and do those repairs," she explained.

While Gillson is armed with useful tips, officials are warning of a newer scam where callers hang on the victim's every word.

"They will call you and say 'Is this is so and so?' They want you to say 'Yes' so they can record that and use you to bill it for things," said Jane Kreidler, who is the Outreach Coordinator for the Contractors State License Board. "So when you call and say, 'I didn't order this or I want this off my bill'. They will say, 'We have you recorded saying yes you wanted it'."

The best advice is to not give out any information to people you don't know.

"If you don't engage you won't get scammed," Kreidler explained.
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