Workshop at ULM teaching students how to help the elderly avoid getting scammed

Published: Sep. 11, 2018 at 6:29 PM CDT
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Just last week the Better Business Bureau released a report calling fake check scams an epidemic. Tuesday, the local BBB gave a seminar to college students about the scams targeting the elderly.

University of Louisiana at Monroe student Jacy Barron minors in gerontology, the study of aging, and says she knows just what scammers can do. “Scams ruin so many people's lives, especially with elderly people; they have limited income, and you wouldn't want to take that away," she said.

The BBB is partnering with ULM to bring awareness to this epidemic and let college students know how important it is to help the aging population.

Jo Ann Deal from BBB says it’s not just fake checks that are an epidemic, but robocalls are a big issue too. She says the most popular scam now is about your social security, "saying you’re part of the social security administration and using the line something to the effect of ‘this is the SSA we have a problem with your social security number’."

Professor Anita Sharma says that it’s important to help the elderly because they are the future. "In the next ten years, our older population is going to double, and our workforce is going to half,” says Sharma, “so look at the gap that will be created."

Sharma is the Gerontology Program Coordinator at ULM and says it can be hard for younger people to understand the troubles facing the older generation. “Very often we don't understand what our parents and grandparents are going through; we are so focused on ourselves when we are younger, our plate is full."

Barron says she makes it a point to help the older generations. “I’ve had so many elderly people that have helped mold me into the person that I am today, that are so important to me and if I could do anything to protect them and make their lives better that's what I want to do."