Scam artists consider seniors easy targets

TYLER (KYTX)- When Charlotte Parks' phone rings, there's often someone on the other end looking for help. Parks works for the Better Business Bureau as a Senior Advisor. She helps elderly East Texans overcome and avoid money Scams.

"If there's gonna be a scam artist, he's gonna come to Tyler Texas," Parks said.

But Parks isn't just handing out advice, she also has first hand knowledge. Earlier this year, she almost became a victim herself when a pushy door to door salesman rang her doorbell at 9:30 pm. The man had a spray bottle of cleaning solution with him and asked Parks to let him show her how well it works.

Parks abruptly refused and called the police to report the man. She later found out she made the right decision by refusing to open the door to the salesman.

"Come to find out, this man had been working the area all day long," Parks said. "When you open the door he sprays that in your face and robs you."

The BBB offers programs for anyone who has either fallen victim to or wants to protect themselves from a scam.

"Ultimately what we try to do is help people make good wise purchasing decisions," President and CEO Mechelle Mills said.

Mills said that seniors are easy targets for two reasons; because people 50 and older control just under 75 percent of the nations wealth and seniors are often home.

"Hang up, shut the door, tell them let me think about it," Mills said. "If they're legitimate, they should let you do that."

When it comes to avoiding scams, Parks stands by the old adage that if it's too good to be true, it really is.


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