Conference held, aimed to help prevent scams targeting senior citizens

WEST HAVEN – Senior adults are frequently the targets of scams, identity theft and financial abuse. A conference sponsored by the University of New Haven and AARP brought together professionals who often work with older adults to discuss its impacts and ways to help.

“Our goal here is to make our communities as safe as possible for seniors to enjoy those golden years to enjoy retirement and make sure they are safer in their communities by education and awareness and having an action plan in our community,” Greenwich Police Detective Mark Solomon said.

More than 300 professionals, including law enforcement, social workers, healthcare workers and legal aides packed the Bucknall Theater at the university.

Experts say the problem is growing as scams get more sophisticated and the population ages. More than one third of Connecticut’s population already is over 50. Between 2010 and 2040, Connecticut’s population of people age 65 and older is projected to grow by 57%, while the population of people age 20 to 64 is projected to grow by less than 2%. Expert says some of these older adults live alone which makes them vulnerable.

“If you combine that with transportation issues, mobility issues, being dependent on family members to help them get what they need and they might also be lonely and pick up that phone or answer the door to someone that might not have the best of intents,” Gerontologist Donna Fedus said.