Farmington seminar aims to help seniors learn how to avoid online scams

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – As we rely on more and more on technology in our daily lives, it can become a target for scammers. They use text messages, emails, and phone calls to get personal information, and sometimes it’s believable enough for people to fall for.

“Those who are not that up to date on technology can be a lot more vulnerable to being a victim of the scam,” said Aaron Newman, senior program coordinator said.

So to help unmask scammers the Farmington Family Crisis Center put on a free seminar Monday to help educate the elderly on what scammers are looking for and how to protect yourself.

“The older adult population is the fastest growing population in the United States, we wanted to continue to protect older adults in our community to ensure they have a high quality of life, and they have a life that is safe and protect them by education and awareness,” Newman said.

Because these scammers prey on vulnerability.

“One of them had to do with a medical condition and having to exploit a lot of money from their personal finances and the finances of their family,” Newman said about one of the victims that attended the seminar. “They are getting a lot of phone calls as well they are asking them for specific information about what to do with their wellbeing too to see if they need any help, a lot of it too was through text message, just random text messages.”

Messages that are easy to fall for. 

“They are not aware they can get an email that looks like it’s from an online source but there is just something different about it that makes it not an official purchase,” Newman added.

Newman says the best way to protect yourself is to be vigilant over your finances.

“Know what you’re purchasing who you are purchasing it from and review your finical statements so you can be aware of it. You are the one that knows best on what you’re purchasing and if it’s too good to be true it probably is,” said Newman.