Salisbury Forum to Protect Seniors Against Scam Callers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Forum to Protect Seniors Against Scam Callers

Posted: May 31, 2018 4:54 PM Updated:

SALISBURY, Md.- It's referred to as the crime of the 21st century: scam callers. Callers who try to get your personal information and steal your money. It's often senior citizens who are the unfortunate targets of these crimes, but local elected leaders are stepping in to educate people about way they can protect themselves.

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh came out to the MAC Center in Salisbury Thursday afternoon to speak about the growing concern of scammers.

Among the crowd sits Tom and Bertie Johnson, who know firsthand what it's like to answer a fraudulent phone call.

"It's very scary the first couple of times you hear it," Tom explained. The two mentioned they get up to three scam calls a week.

"We're getting them on our home phone and also on our iPhones. We didn't used to but now we're getting more on the iPhone than we are on the home phone," Tom said.

They've also noticed it's increased in the past six months -- calls from robots and even calls from actual humans.

"We're very vulnerable because everybody is out to make a buck, to make a dollar. And that's what these scams are all about, they want your money," Bertie said.

The Johnsons were just two of the dozens of people who listened intently and scribbled notes of what to say, or in this case not to say, when you do get a scam call.

"If you're getting a call and someone says they're from the IRS, hang up the phone. Because they're not and it's somebody trying to scam you out of money," Van Hollen said.

Frosh said his office receives about 40,000 calls a year from Maryland consumers who need help, and they're able to bring back $10-15 million a year to those people.

"Don't talk to anybody that you're the least bit unsure about," Frosh said.


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