On Monday, Jan. 27, the American Legion Post 92 in McCloud donated their annex for “Lunch and Learn for Seniors,” which was the first of a free community service hosted by the McCloud Community Resource Network.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey gave a talk to bring awareness to the senior community in McCloud about scam artists and how they target the elderly.

On Monday, Jan. 27, the American Legion Post 92 in McCloud donated their annex for “Lunch and Learn for Seniors,” which was the first of a free community service hosted by the McCloud Community Resource Network.

Lopey not only explained how scam artists work via phone, U.S. mail, door to door solicitors, or through social media, but also offered social resources to connect to for help and support.

Some of the tactics seniors can use to avoid scams include

• Not opening unidentifiable emails

• Checking bank and credit card accounts regularly for irregularities

• Never giving out personal information during an unsolicited phone call unless you know who you are dealing with

• Changing passwords regularly and Googling any organization to make sure they are real before giving a donation.

“County inspectors don’t go door to door,” said Lopey.

Lopey also suggested suggestions using cash instead of credit cards when traveling out of town.

Any legitimate government organization will say they understand if you don’t want to give out personal information over the phone, Lopey said. Avoid participating in mail, phone or internet sweepstakes, lotteries, surveys, contests or free gift card offers.

One participant of the Lunch and Learn for Seniors talked about how her husband was contacted through Facebook by an old high school friend.

“He spends more time on social media since he can’t get out with his failing health issues,” the woman said. “He got a request from someone he went to high school with. He thought he was talking to his friend who connected him with someone to get a grant from. It turned out that the ‘agent’ was some guy from a foreign country trying to scam him.”

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has monthly meetings with Siskiyou Alliance Against Abuse of Aging and At-Risk Adults (SA6) along with Adult Protective Services and other health agencies to identify and respond to crimes or abuse, neglect, or exploitation perpetrated against elders or dependent adults, including fraudulent schemes.

Lopey recommends signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry for both your home and cell phones by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.

If you suspect senior or dependent adult is being abused or victimized, contact Adult Protective Services at (530) 841-4200 during normal hours or (530) 842-7009 after hours. If you suspect a crime or scam is being perpetrated against you, contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office 24-hour Dispatch number (530) 841-2900. If it is an emergency abuse situation or a crime in progress, dial 911.

To find out more about the Lunch and Learn for Seniors and their next event, go to the McCloud Community Resource Network Facebook page.