Free advice for guarding against scams and frauds

December always sees a spike in the number of scams, frauds and identity thefts by crooks taking advantage of the fast paced holiday season, according to Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. Many of the crimes happen because shoppers are a less attentive to their surroundings.
The county agency will offer “Scams for the Holidays: Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises,” a free workshop on some of the scams and ways to avoid traps that may lead to loss of private financial information.
The workshop is scheduled for:
• Dec. 9 at 12:10 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex main meeting room, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma.
• Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at Sound View Building, 3602 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma.
• Dec. 11, 12:10 p.m. at the County City Building’s Rainier conference room, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., seventh floor in Tacoma.
• Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Summit branch of Pierce County Library System, 5107 112th St. E.
“There is no worse feeling than realizing that you have been scammed, especially during the holiday season,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. “The best defense is good knowledge of how perpetrators take advantage of people so we know the tell-tale signs of scams, fraud and identity theft. It’s also important to know what to do when we are approached and how to resist such offers.”
The workshop, open to the public, includes an AARP video and examples of current scams targeting seniors and families. More information is available from Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600.