Eduardo Garcia at the Senior Stop Scammers event

By Mario Conde

IMG_6286Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia’s office hosted a “Senior Scam Stoppers” workshop in Calexico aimed for seniors to avoid potential scammers.

Representatives from different state and county agencies, along with local law enforcement, shared useful information to teach people how to spot scams related to home repair, telemarketing, unclaimed property, identity theft, mortgages and more.

“We keep hearing in the news about local seniors begin taken advantage of by scam artist trying to steal credit card information or gain access to other important personal information,” said Garcia. “This event is aimed at teaching seniors how to recognize and avoid scams.”

The workshop took place last Friday, June 10, at the Calexico Community Center where the audience heard presentations different agencies. Other agencies present at the event where Pioneers Memorial, Imperial Valley Food Bank, Between Women, and the Office of Rep. Juan Vargas.

One of the presenters was Sandy Morales from the Senior Medicare Patrol who spoke about how to prevent scam artist from taking their medical information.

“People are receiving calls from medical equipment suppliers saying they have qualified for medical equipment and asked them for the medical number. We remind people that medical number also has the Social Security number and that can also lead to identity theft.” Morales said.

Morales said that Medicare does not call or visit clients to sell products and advised not to take their Medicare card with them unless they have to use it for doctor visit or when going to the pharmacy.

Calexico Police Detective Albert Llanas was also part of the panel and spoke about recent cases that have happen in Calexico. According to Llanas there have been several cases where people call individual seniors telling them their family member has been kidnapped and ask to give them money when the family member is safe.

“We recommend people to file a police report and contact the family member immediately to verify if they are safe or not.” Llanas said. Detective Llanas said they handle these types of cases in an average of twenty times a year.