IN YOUR CORNER: State agencies offer senior seminars fighting scams and abuse

In Your Corner

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State agencies are teaming up to talk to seniors across the Sooner State.

Starting this week, seniors can meet and speak with agency leaders, learning how to stay safe and scam free.

“The population we’re trying to reach are the ones, even now, that were getting his the hardest,” said Liz Heigle, Communications Director with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

The seminars are offered yearly in person, most often held in metro areas across the state.

However this year, the pandemic caused the Oklahoma Insurance Department to change their tactics.

“Since we couldn’t go out into the community,” Liz explained. “We decided to still try to reach them.”

Their digital venture is called “Hoodwinked.” There will be weekly seminars featuring a series of online safety conferences.

This is done, thanks to a partnership with several state agencies, including the Attorney General’s office and AARP.

Topics to be covered are wide ranging, including several senior scams, and elder abuse.

“They’re an hour long, and begin at 10 AM,” said Liz.

This year alone, In Your Corner has covered a number of phone scams involving criminals posing as the Lottery, Publisher’s Clearing House, and a resurgent ‘Grandparent Scam’.

That grandparent scam, ultimately led an Elk City woman to mail $20-thousand to New York.

But in the age of Coronavirus, seniors are facing new ruses, which exploit pandemic fears.

Many have been contacted by folks who request personal information, in order to send testing materials.

“[Victims] are handing over info,” said Liz. “Thinking that they were going to get a test shipped to their home.”

State officials are excited to broadcast their message to a larger audience.

They’ll be able to reach folks from Texas, to Kansas, and everywhere in between.

The first of the meetings is Wednesday morning, but you must be signed up by Tuesday at 5 p.m. to participate.

Click here to register.

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