Officers from the Bismarck Police Department stopped by Senior Center to enjoy caramel cinnamon rolls and discuss the issue that puts many people at risk, online scamming. According to the Attorney General, the “Grandparent” scam targets senior citizens, pretending to be a grandchild in need.

“The younger ones are more technology-wise, so they go after us,” says Hilda Horner, volunteer at the Bismarck Senior Center.

Anyone can fall victim to online scammers but senior citizens are especially vulnerable. Ever gotten an email saying, “YOU WON,” when you didn’t even play anything? Scams are a common issue but Officer Clint Fuller with the Bismarck Police Department said they’ve gotten reports of a couple of scams circulating, locally.

“We talk to the Attorney General’s office and they see scams coming out and they’re pretty reasonable in time. We just had one at the police department where somebody claimed they were an officer, calling and saying they had to send money or they’d be arrested. We found out it was a scam and get several calls,” says Officer Fuller.

Officer Fuller said there are a couple of ways to avoid getting scammed: Never share bank info, never share your Social Security number, and avoid unknown calls and emails

“They probably think the older people have some money so they’re going to try and get that,” says Horner.

Another way to protect your information is by creating strong passwords for you online accounts. Not saving your passwords to electronic devices, such as cell phones or tablets, can also protect your personal information.

“You want to use a multiple character password. Ours are 20 characters long now so it’s hard for a scammer to figure that out,” says Officer Fuller.

“We’re all older people here and we’re the ones going to get scammed a lot. So they’re trying to inform us so we’ll have some idea what’s going on,” says Horner.

Officers visit the Bismarck Senior Center once a month to talk about issues in the community. The ultimate goal is to keep senior citizens informed and safe.