WMAR — Thieves are always looking for ways to rip you off. Often they target the elderly, who are vulnerable.
One in five seniors over age 65 have been the victims of fraud, losing nearly $3 billion a year to identity thieves and con artists.
Tuesday was the kick off of Protect Week. It's designed to help older Americans protect themselves. There will be a series of events throughout the state, and the week will culminate on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Saturday.
"The problem is rampant, and technology, combined with the growth of the 65-plus population, is making it easier for con artists to succeed," said Hank Greenberg, AARP Maryland State Director.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh offered some safety tips:
- If you don't recognize the number, don't answer it.
- If it's important; they will leave a message; use complex passwords.
- Never tell your personal information over the phone.
- If it's a financial institution, you can call them back, and freeze your credit.