Showing concern about senior citizens getting scammed, Lesia R. Henderson shared a family story about her uncle who received a scary call.
Someone threatened to hold his grandson hostage and asked for $4,000 for his release.
“The person he talked to sounded just like his grandson,” said Henderson, family caregiver support specialist for the Sampson County Department of Aging. “He was just about to send money but he decided to call his daughter.”
After talking to relatives, he found out his grandson was safe and the incident was just a scam. Henderson wants to make sure seniors are not swindled out of their money. One way to help is though the upcoming “Elder Abuse, Fraud & Scams Workshop: Learn How to Protect Yourself.” The free public event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, May 22 at the Bellamy Recreation Center, 500 Pierce St., Clinton. The event is sponsored by the Mid-Carolina Area Agency on Aging and the City of Clinton. Refreshments will be served.
“It’s elder abuse when people take advantage of senior citizens by getting to their finances,” Henderson. “It happens time and time again.”
During the workshop, different scenarios will be provided by state and local educators. The presenters include John J. Jones, North Carolina Department of Secretary of State; Hugh A. Harris, N.C. Department of Justice; Stephanie Bias, N.C. Department of Insurance; Nina Williams, Sampson County Adult Protective Services; and the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department.
“It’s a wealth of information and I wish the seniors in our county would grasp this,” Henderson said about spreading the knowledge. “If one person goes and learn, they can go back and share with other seniors. It’s a coordinated effort to help our seniors protect themselves.
Also known as the “Scam Jam,” the event is one of many being held for the Older Americans Month Celebration, which honor seniors throughout the nation. Later during the week some of the other events include The Open House & Resource Fair, scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday, May 24 and the Garland Senior Center, 91 Church Ave., Garland; Laughter Therapy, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 30, at the Bellamy Center, 500 Pierce St., Clinton; and Movie Day at Eastpark Cinema, 122 Southeast Blvd., Clinton. Along with a movie, a box of popcorn and drink will be provided for $5.
“We’re having a good celebration,” Henderson said. “I think people are realizing that we do need to celebrate our senior population and look at what they’ve experienced. We can gain so much from their knowledge.”
The theme for 2018 is “Engage at Every Age.” Older Americans Month was established in 1963 following a meeting between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens. May was designated as “Senior Citizens Month,” a prelude to “Older Americans Month.”
“Celebrate a senior in your life this month and continue it,” Henderson said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.