Scams keep coming, so be ready

Some days you just want to scream at your telephone or your computer, “How stupid do they think I am?”

That’s one reaction to scams. But consumers may not even recognize the truly effective scams. They are that good.

What are the most prevalent scams? How can people stop them and recover from them? Those and other questions will be answered in two presentations in March of “An Ounce of Prevention: A Positive Approach to Scams,” a free, online workshop presented by the state Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and sponsored by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources.

The presentation, which requires advance registration, is scheduled for:

  • March 11 at 6:30 p.m. Register online at or at 253-798-4600. Join by phone at 253-215-8782 or 888-788-0099. Webinar ID: 944 4755 9156.
  • March 13 at 9:30 a.m. Register online at  or at 253-798-4600. Join by phone at 253-215-8782 or 888-788-0099. Webinar ID: 936 6787 6353.

The workshop will be presented by Lyn Peters, director of financial education and outreach for DFI.

Scammers are smart, said Aaron van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources, a county government program. They watch the news and craft their messages based on what’s going on. They use psychology to appeal to people’s worries, fears, hopes, and aspirations.

Hardly a day goes by for a scammer that they aren’t successful. They target people in their teens and 20s who can be easy prey. They try seniors because they often have savings. Scammers approach every age group in between because they can be convinced.

“Everyone seems to be receiving” robocalls, e-mail appeals, text messages, social media, and other bogus contacts, van Valkenburg said. “We get them because they are successful.  We get them because they work for the scammers.”